At La Dolce Vita, Taste Is Mostly in the Food

They gathered for a night of Northern Italian cuisine, wine tasting and revelry under twinkling lights in the name of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on Sunday at South Coast Plaza Village in Santa Ana. And while the annual La Dolce Vita party served a fine cause, the $100-a-head event doubled as an excuse to dress one last time in summer elegance on a tepid autumn evening.

There was another cause in the air--cause for concern over most of the selections sported by the 400 guests. And we're not referring to the ones who played it safe with black or simply thought the "summer" dress code allowed for jeans and a Hawaiian shirt. The society maven affliction to dress regardless of personal style or not to equate expensive items with tacky presentation was on parade (a parade the size of Macy's). Rainbow-striped, sequin tube tops, gaudy costume jewelry of incredible proportions and chiffon numbers fit for B-movie bimbos were part of the scene.

Fortunately, there was hope. A small number proved style does exist in these parts. There were tasteful suits on both men and women, worn confidently with little accessories. Even the few who dared to glamour it up did so with grace, as seen here. Hair didn't need to rival Ivana Trump, nor did makeup.

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