George Christy Talks About Lilly Fallah Lawrence And More
The sunset sky is streaked with pink and violet as the bewitching hour approaches at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Forty-eight guests are arriving. Ladies in high style and gents at their sartorial best.
Stepping out of a ’59 purple Cadillac (one of her 12 rare vintage classics), Lilly arrives. In an Art Deco diamond tiara topping an upswept hairstyle by Laszlo. She floats in Monique Lhullier’s couture frock of purple silk chiffon embroidered with a thousand Swarovski crystals. Her gown’s accessorized with a necklace created for the Queen of France. Rubies large as quail eggs … an inheritance from Lilly’s mom, Mahin Fallah. A wedding anniversary gift from husband Dr. Reza Fallah, the ambassador for global oil during the reign of the Shah of Iran, who asked for Lilly’s hand in marriage. Refused. When Lilly and Mahin lost Reza, the International Herald Tribute devoted an entire page reviewing Reza’s worldly achievements.
Lilly is Lilly Fallah Lawrence, the stunning Persian princess anointed as the Rose of Shiraz by The New York Times. Not long ago Lilly departed a luxurious life in Manhattan’s posh Essex House where Dad Reza gave her the penthouse. “I grew up as a hotel kid, and now am smitten by this comfortable life in California,” she says. “Not only our weather, but the easy lifestyle, friendly people, and surprises up and down the coast.”
Living in Los Angeles inspires Lilly’s impressive (and nonstop) charity work. Financial support for women’s needs, medicine, education, city coffers, telecaster Wendy Burch’s Good News Foundation. Major gifts, although Lilly prefers remaining quiet.
However, if lady chums admire a jewel or a Judith Lieber handbag while shopping at the tony boutiques in Beverly Hills after lunch with Lilly, it’s likely to be theirs the next day.
Lilly’s elegantly presented six-course dinner that evening honored the birthday of U.S. Marine Corp. Douglas Banker, the commander of the reactionary guard force that secured 66 percent of the country’s nuclear weapons at the Naval Submarine Base in Bangor, Washington. Douglas was later assigned to a TRAP platoon (Tactical Recovery of Airline Pilots), then deployed as a first responder to evacuate personnel aboard the USS Cole after the bombing of the ship by Al Qaeda in Yemen. Douglas’ military service is exemplary.
Drinks were served in the bar of the hotel’s Rodeo Room, guests soon sharing a jaw-dropping exchange of disbelief as they entered the dining room. The table’s square design was complimented with a garden of showgirl roses and lush greenery in its spacious center. “Who else dreams of a ‘live’ garden as a centerpiece?” asked KTLA 5’s Emmy-winning anchor Wendy Burch to beau Bruce Taylor, adding that all the flowers were delivered the next morning to local hospitals.
Among the evening’s Who and the Who: Lilly’s general counsel Amanda McClintock of the famed law firm Girardi Keese and husband Michael Swanson; world-renowned cardiologist Dr. Harold Karpman with wife Molinda; Fireside Convalescent Hospital’s kind-hearted Howard Celnik, with wife Mina (if only every hospital had a compassionate guy like Howard); Shera Danese Falk, the joy of everyone’s life, a sexy mermaid in Elie Saab’s curvaceous red sequins.
Also: Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Commander Dennis Cross and wife Sandy – Dennis saved Lilly by minutes during the explosive Malibu fire when her Castle Kashan burned to ash; real estate champ Jade Mills, who’s repping Lilly’s Malibu estate, with husband Adam Mills, who built and sold Elton John’s house; ABC reporter Ana Garcia with business executive Ming Fu; Fox 11’s Emmy winning anchor Christine Devine; ex-Marine Joe Bologna with Renee Taylor; Dr. Randy Pokomo with wife Cheryl; Dr. Daniel Salvati with wife Megan; couturier Aria Baracchi, who’s launching his House of Baracchi on Wilshire Boulevard this fall.
Additionally, Rafinity’s jeweler Ann Mangini, whose fifth-grader pianist son Rio, 10, performed in concert at Carnegie Hall three times this year; Occidental Petroleum’s Jena Chanel; California Closets’ Leslie and Scott Siegel; Douglas Banker’s dad George, a Vietnam war veteran; brother George Banker Jr. who flew in from Florida; army veteran Robert Rosebrock bravely fighting to save the VA land opposite the Federal Building in Westwood that developers are hot to take over. “A disgrace,” claims Robert. “This land belongs to all of us and those who fought to save our country!”
Lilly gifted the men with a colorful paperweight of the globe in precious gemstones, the ladies with an Oleg Cassini perfume atomizer, and Douglas with a Breitling Avenger wristwatch. Often known as Tiger and true to form, Douglas miraculously unearthed a rare 45 vinyl recording from Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis. It was Sam who discovered Howlin’ Wolf, B. B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash. And Elvis Presley, who dedicated his first record of That’s All Right, Mama to his mother Gladys. An Elvis fan from birth, Lilly Fallah Lawrence, thanks to Tiger’s derring-do, now owns this musical treasure.