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A youngersomething MOCA Benefit Suitable for Framing

Times Staff Writer

It was the twenty- and thirty-something crowd’s turn at the charity social circuit as the MOCA Contemporaries threw a fashion show fund-raiser at Robinson’s Beverly Hills.

The Contemporaries, a young support group for the Museum of Contemporary Art, hobnobbed on the home furnishings level of Robinson’s while dining on gourmet pizza and fajitas .

Even the event planners were surprised at the turnout, more than 500. “A lot of people are getting tuned in to the contemporary art scene in Los Angeles,” said Mark Eshman, founder of the 3-year-old, 250-member group and a stockbroker by trade.

“Since we were quoted in Newsweek (in a story on young art patrons two years ago) we’ve become the model support group for young people’s groups. I get calls weekly,” Eshman said.

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He began the group, he said, because he saw “a void in the community. People grow up chasing a buck, and everyone sort of loses sight of giving something back to the community.”

Eshman, there with wife Jill Mazirow Eshman, an attorney, added that he has since gotten his parents involved with the museum as well.

Contemporaries president Mindi Horwitch, a development coordinator at Childrens Hospital, said that the group consists of art-minded professionals (there is a preponderance of accountants and lawyers in the group) who had their first party at Helena’s, the chi-chi private Silverlake club for celebs and cognoscenti.

Seen among the bed linens and deluxe Cuisinarts on Thursday night were MOCA director Richard Koshalek, and event co-chairs Sandra Kline and Kathryn Arnold and Sue Mettler, wife of Robinson’s president and CEO Robert Mettler, who couldn’t attend the party “because he is literally on an airplane right now,” Sue Mettler explained.

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A fashion show sponsored by Elle magazine was the main draw of the evening--and the reason most of the audience was female. But it wasn’t the only draw. Guests were invited after the show for dessert and coffee served in women’s designer wear. And to sweeten the deal, the expendable-income crowd was also offered late store hours and a 10% discount on merchandise.


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