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Graves 601 AIDS Benefit 11/14. Julie Farnham, Michel Sanders, Linda Horgan.

Matt Miranda,

Wendi Russo.

Matt Miranda,

Face time: Scenes from a slumber party

  • Article by: CHRISTY DESMITH
  • Special to the Star Tribune
  • November 23, 2008 - 12:11 AM

DIVAMN struck a note of brilliance last weekend when it hosted the first-ever Ultimate Pajama Party, a benefit for women's and children's HIV/AIDS programs in Minnesota. For once, the preferred attire included comfy clothes -- flannels, bunny slippers and, of course, silky leopard prints.

But rather than sip cocoa and gab about boys, an overwhelmingly female crowd at the Graves 601 Hotel got to swill cosmos -- and shop! A host of chichi retailers were on hand to pick up loose change (just when defenses were down and pocketbooks were snug as a bug). Our favorite was Pink Champagne, a Long Lake-based boutique that sold lacy undies and stylish cotton shirts.

It was the girly mother lode: sofas and chairs teeming with satin pink pillows, waiters offering dainty chocolates, even salon services such as skin analysis and eyebrow waxing.

We don't often get to fawn over our girlfriends' nightclothes, so we jumped at the chance: Miss Minnesota America Wendi Russo wore a wonderfully frilly vintage bathrobe by Vanity Fair (bought for "$20, baby" off eBay). "I also have a vintage nightgown underneath, but it's see-through," she said.

Linda Horgan was sipping red wine with her girlfriends, Julie Farham and Michel Sanders, when we paused to admire her Doris Day-style slippers. As it turned out, she'd crafted them herself with a hot-glue gun, a boring pair of Franco Sarto sandals and pieces of a disassembled lei.

We couldn't help but notice how Spencer Knisely resembled the Big Lebowski in his terrycloth bathrobe and slippers. But it took us a moment to realize: His girlfriend, Sharon Lessard, wore something equally remarkable -- a scandalous black negligee. However, she kept it covered with a long jacket.

Was she being bashful? No, bashfulness doesn't plague "someone who wears these things," she said, kicking her foot in the air to show off a towering pair of black patent platforms. "They're YSL."

Christy DeSmith is a Minneapolis writer.

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