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Originally published March 25, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified March 25, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Finally, a place to take a cute dress

It's a common refrain in dress shops all over town: I love this, but where am I going to wear it? That explains the dress code on a recent...

Seattle Times columnist

It's a common refrain in dress shops all over town: I love this, but where am I going to wear it? That explains the dress code on a recent Thursday night at the tiny and dark cocktail spot Suite 410, where you couldn't swing a handbag without hitting a skinny girl wearing giant earrings and fire-engine-red stiletto boots. Oh, hello Tamara Donaghy! The sassy owner of Sway and Cake, who was blond and curly last time I saw her, is now a sleek brunette and bounced around the bar, cocktail in hand, as hostess of the evening. She started throwing parties with pals Max Borthwick (proprietor of Suite 410) and DJ Wesley Holmes so her customers wouldn't be all dressed up with no place to go.

"I did it purely because I sold really sexy cocktail dresses and everyone was like, 'Where am I going to wear this?' " Tamara explains. "It's a really urban little mix. ... We call it '$OCIETY,' because it's our little culture and our business and our friends." Which is not to say that you, too, can't be a "$ociety" girl; just sign up for e-mail invites at www.swayandcake.com ...

A POPULAR ITEM at the Wing Luke Annual Dinner & Auction is a meal for 10 hosted by chef Gary Locke. The former governor — now a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine — apparently wears many hats, and at least one of them is white and poofy. "Gary doesn't cook, though!" exclaimed one observer at the Wing Luke event on March 18, who turned out to be Fred Kiga, the governor's former chief of staff. "Oh yes, I do it myself," insists Gary, who will prepare his famous Mama Locke's chicken at the late-19th-century Victorian Queen Anne home of Nelson and Andrea Nakata. In fact, the husband and father enjoys cooking at home a couple times a week: "I like doing salmon, or pork chops with cream of mushroom sauce. Of course, when we do steaks, I'll barbecue on the grill ... and I love vegetables." Gary's dinner party went for $3,750 in the live auction; the evening raised close to $600,000 for the Wing Luke Asian Museum. ...

DONALD BOWMAN is no fan of ABC's hit reality show "The Bachelor." The Seattleite was vacationing in Honolulu with his family earlier this month when they ran into film crews — who claimed to be shooting a documentary for the Travel Channel — at the USS Arizona Memorial. "All of a sudden we see this good-looking guy and he's wearing Navy whites. They film a lady getting off the boat, and he comes down and takes her to walk her up to the memorial," Bowman reports. "They're moving people out of the way ... they literally pushed my wife out of the way so they could get the shot." Bowman won't be watching the "lousy, rotten reality show" when it premieres April 2. But I will. ...

IF YOU'VE BEEN paying attention, you know there's a bit of controversy surrounding "My Name Is Rachel Corrie," a play based on the writings of a local young woman killed by an Israeli bulldozer, which opened at Seattle Rep on March 21. Backstage last week, Marya Sea Kaminski — who stars as Corrie in the Seattle production — remained unfazed by the attention. "My attitude has been, it's very exciting," she said. "From our lips to God's ears, let theater always let people talk!" ...

FOR THE FOLKS at Tiffany & Co., the Achievement of Excellence Award is a much-coveted trophy presented a bit like the Oscars at the company's annual conference in New York City. This year, the recipient of that honor was the downtown Seattle Tiffany store. "One of the questions I am asked most often is, 'How is Tiffany's doing in this market?' " says Detra Segar, vice president of the Pacific North Market. Exhibit A: The lovely sterling-silver plaque will be displayed in a store window in early April when it comes back from engraving, and when it does I shall put on a little black dress, grab a pastry and stand in front of the window admiring it. For breakfast.

Girl About Town appears every Sunday in Northwest Life. Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com

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