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Originally published Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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Wrapping with DVF, dress diva

Diane von Furstenberg is on the phone from London, and she is telling me, quite charmingly, that she forgot about me and our scheduled call...

Seattle Times columnist

Diane von Furstenberg is on the phone from London, and she is telling me, quite charmingly, that she forgot about me and our scheduled call. "I've had no voice for two days," she rasps, "and last night in the middle of the night, I broke a cap right in the middle of my tooth."

The iconic fashion designer was coming off a terrible cold and may or may not have been on emergency dental-related pain medication, which made her much less intimidating than the last time we spoke, about three years ago. That meeting, for me, is a vague memory in which she spoke rapidly into her cellphone in French and I felt shabbily dressed and afraid.

So when I was told that her "people" specifically requested that I interview her in advance of her visit to Seattle this week, I thought, why? Perhaps they are confusing me with someone who can figure out how to properly wrap the signature wrap dress. (I own a single Diane von Furstenberg dress, which I bought on sale, and have never worn because I don't know how the belt works.)

Her spring/summer collection, called "All About Eve," is inspired by women and nature, and will be featured at Nordstrom's Spring Fashion Ovation at the Paramount Theatre on Tuesday.

"It's mostly dresses. I always have wrap dresses, but there's a lot of new silhouettes," she said. "There are a lot of nature elements, like ladybugs and frogs and bees. It's a lot of bright colors and green."

Ms. von Furstenberg is frequently inspired by nature, and regrets that she has never had time to hike during her visits to Seattle.

"I'm a big hiker. I hike at home in Connecticut because we have the Appalachian Trail, and I hike everywhere I travel," she said. "... Obviously, not in London."

Struck by a sudden vision of the glamorous Diane von Furstenberg hiking up a mountain in heels, I asked, whatever do you wear?

"Shorts and a T-shirt and sweatshirt and hiking boots, what else am I going to wear?" she replied. Of course, I said quickly, and tried not to be disappointed. Secretly, if DvF came out with a line of designer hiking gear, I would consider taking up hiking. For a minute.

"I think there is something very special about Seattle. You have some amazing people there," she went on. "People are incredibly hospitable and very homey; people have lots of children and it's nice."

It's a lovely observation, if slightly flawed: Seattle, home to more dogs than children, is among the top childless cities in the nation. ...

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Entertainer Jamie Foxx hosted what EMP staff called "the wildest party the venue has ever had" at his official Belvedere Vodka Party following his performance here last weekend, which raises the question: Who goes to parties at EMP? Oh, I kid. But speaking of EMP, wasn't it nice of Foxx's "Dreamgirls" co-star, Jennifer Hudson, to give it a sartorial shout-out at the Oscars? Her metallic Oscar de la Renta bolero jacket can only be described as "swoopy." But I digress.

Highlights from the packed after-party reportedly included: 1) Jamie delivering an impromptu performance to rival his official concert at KeyArena; 2) Jamie pouring his signature Sex on the Beach concoction straight out of the bottle into the mouths of every open-mouthed lady within reach (classy); 3) EMP security staff managing a massive crowd outside, which wrapped all the way around the arena; 4) Former Seahawk Warren Moon being escorted to Jamie's VIP table; and 5) Former Sonics star Shawn Kemp loitering outside the party for an extended period of time to pose for pictures with fans.

Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com

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