In Style
May 2000
How Swede It Is: Isabella Rossellini, launching her Manifesto makeup line, treats friends to a veritable smorgasbord
By Monica Corcoran

the event: A kickoff party for Manifesto, makeup line of model-actress Isabella Rossellini

the setting: Hollywood Lofts, a chic photo studio with stellar views of L.A.

the special touches: Rossellini's friend Paavo Turtiainen (chef to her late mother, Ingrid Bergman) decorated the tables with silver candelabras from his own collection.

the entertainment: "I wanted everyone to laugh and enjoy the night. I like ferocious humor, and drag is always outrageous," said Rossellini, who performed an homage to legendary Hollywood beauties with Lypsinka.

the party favors: a selection of Manifesto cosmetics

the menu:

a buffet: Turtiainen prepared an extravagant feast of Swedish meatballs, gravlax, creamed and pickled herring, potato-with-anchovy casserole, and a mixed green salad. Dessert was Swedish pancakes with fresh berries, cloudberry sauce and a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream.

"It's just like Isabella to throw a wild party," Kyle MacLachlan says of his friend and Blue Velvet co-star. But the success of even the wildest parties--like the one Isabella Rossellini is hosting at a candlelit Hollywood loft in celebration of her new makeup line--relies on scrupulous attention to detail, such as making sure the elevator man is wearing the perfect shade of blue eye shadow.

"A showcase of my whims" is how Rossellini describes her Manifesto cosmetics--and the same could be said of this soiree, which features a culinary salute to her Nordic heritage. "I bet you've never had Swedish food. You're going to love it!" she promises her guests, who are treated to a buffet of pickled herring, gravlax and--of course--meatballs. "It's all very interesting," says Camryn Manheim. "And tasty," she quickly adds. Post-feast, Rossellini talks about the four years she spent developing her beauty products. Speaking of makeup, there's no shortage of face paint on entertainer John Epperson, transformed into his saucy drag queen alter ego, Lypsinka. "Such grace! Such elegance! Look at what a red dress does for a man," marvels John Lithgow. Later, table-hopping takes on a whole new meaning when Gina Gershon bounds into MacLachlan's lap. "Remember me from that blockbuster we worked on together?" she jokes, referring to their campy performances in Showgirls. They share a long laugh, testament to another Rossellini manifesto: "There should always be a sense of humor about makeup."

the recipes:

Swedish Meatballs (Serves 6)

1 lb. ground beef 1/2 lb. ground pork 1/2 cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup) 1/4 cup heavy cream 5 tbsp chopped, fresh parsley, divided 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 tsp ground allspice 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tbsp butter

In large bowl combine ground meat, bread crumbs, onion, cream, 3 tbsp parsley, salt, pepper and allspice. Shape into 1 1/2" balls (mixture should yield about 36 meatballs). In medium skillet heat vegetable oil and butter. Cook meatballs in batches over medium-low heat until cooked through (about 10 min.). With slotted spoon remove meatballs from skillet to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve with berry preserves, if desired.

Swedish Pancakes (Serves 6)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups milk 3 eggs 4 tbsp butter, melted, divided 2 tsp sugar 1/8 tsp salt

In medium bowl, beat together flour and 3/4 cup milk. Add eggs, remaining milk, 3 tbsp butter, sugar and salt. Beat until batter is smooth. Pour batter into glass measuring cup. Brush a small skillet with some of the remaining butter. Pour 2-3 tbsp batter into the hot pan. Tilt the pan so the batter evenly covers the entire surface in a thin layer. Cook 2-3 min. or until the underside is golden. With a spatula, carefully turn the pancake over and continue cooking until lightly browned. Remove pancake to plate. Brush pan with additional butter as necessary and continue cooking with remaining batter. Serve with syrup, fresh berries, or a preserve of your choice.

Jansson's Temptation (Serves 6)

5 medium baking potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick (about 1 1/2 lb.) 1 large onion, sliced 1/4" thick 1 can (2 oz.) flat anchovies, drained 2 cups heavy cream 1/4 cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs 1/8 tsp pepper Lettuce leaves for garnish (such as radicchio or butter lettuce)

Preheat oven to 350[degrees]F. In 11" x 7" baking dish, layer potato slices, onion and anchovies. Pour cream over the mixture. Sprinkle bread crumbs and pepper over top. Cover with foil and bake 30 min. Remove foil and continue baking 45-50 min. or until potatoes are tender. Let stand 10 min. before serving. Serve on bed of lettuce leaves.

(I would love to include some photos from this event, so if anyone has a copy of this issue of In Style and wants to scan the pics, please feel free to contact me and I'll include them right here, giving full credit to you. Thanks.)

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