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Yesterday's Womens's Wear Daily reports that former Gucci fashion designer Tom Ford will join legendary television director-producer Norman Lear as a speaker Saturday, January 29th, at the first annual “Ready to Share: Fashion and the Ownership of Creativity” conference, a daylong event at the University of Southern California. Inspiration, creativity, piracy, counterfeiting and other issues involving the creative process in fashion, as well as film and music, will be explored. The by-invitation-only guests will include people working in fashion, film, music, academia and law. Speakers include designer Kevan Hall, “Sex and the City” creator Michael Patrick King, musician T-Bone Burnett and Booth Moore, fashion reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and vintage guru Cameron Silver.

According to the published schedule, Michael Patrick King and Norman Lear lead the panel on the Business of Creativity with folks like Booth Moore, actress/model Sheryl Lee Ralph and EMI's Ted Cohen addressing practical obstacles and opportunities for implementing innovative visions in fashion, film, music and television

OK, we admit to being jealous (and somewhat mollified to learn that the event will be webcast at 9 AM PST on January 29th, and beyond, if properly archived), but how come almost everything in LA has to be by invitation-only? We can understand when that policy extends to Hollywood-events and parties, but an ACADEMIC conference?

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We've felt this way before-- upon learning that USC's Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities hosts invite-only monthly gatherings of LA intellectuals (or so we've heard as we're never invited).

If you're savvy enough to know about an event, you should be able to make a reservation and go, if there's room. Therefore, you are all welcome to join us at the Central Library on Saturday, January 29th, at 10:30 AM for a presentation by Brit wits Marc Meltonville and Richard Fitch on “Reconstructing the Kitchens of Hampton Court Palace: Experimenting with a Tudor Kitchen.”

This is an illustrated talk, sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Southern California, on the experimental archaeology project the two have built, which reconstructs the historic kitchens of Hampton Court Palace, looking at their original usage as the kitchens of Henry VIII and their subsequent two hundred years of Royal occupation.

It's FREE and open to the PUBLIC!