NZ Weekend Herald

21 June 2003

Scan Contributed by Richard K

Famous for being A-List

At any major event worthy of scented tealights and South Island salmon, you see the people who make this city tick, a coterie of perfectly poised glamour ponies, sports spunks and power-brokers who influence us in ways we can't even imagine. Through their glamorous example, we learn what to buy, where to party, what to wear, how to do our hair, where to live, what to drive, where to send our children to school. They are the A-listers, the best groomed, wealthiest, sassiest, most admired Aucklanders of all.

In a city where you often run into Shortland Street starlets powerwalking down Queen St and regularly spot sporting greats shopping in Newmarket, standards for A-list status are scrupulous. We want mystery, style, success, charisma, the scent of money. Above all, it seems, we damned a level of sophistication and class that most of us will never achieve.

Every party planner in town has a "dream list" of the most desirable A-listers, those whose very presence would turn any event into a triumph. Lucy Lawless is right at the top, not least because she is beautiful, fashionable and famous outside New Zealand, but also because she has busied herself with offbeat projects since Xena: Warrior Princess threw down the shield. Remember the summer tour with Dave Dobbyn?

Lawless gives to charity, has a network of powerful and interesting friends and, most importantly, she doesn't turn up  to every event to which she is invited. So when she does sashay into the party with her killer whites gleaming, she generates a palpable frisson.