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Scene & Heard: The Colleagues’ Oscar de la Renta fashion luncheon

For most charities, finding fashion designers to present runway shows is a challenge. Not so for the Colleagues. During a spring luncheon April 20 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Oscar de la Renta said he had already staged seven or eight shows for the group.

“I hope I will be invited many more times,” he told the audience of 600, adding, “please do not invite any other designers.” The Colleagues support Children’s Institute Inc., which provides care for abused and neglected children.

Anne Johnson said she has chaired the event for 18 years, with Nancy Reagan as her honorary chairwoman. “I’m a longtime member of the Colleagues and a longtime friend of Oscar’s,” said the former first lady.

The admiration was mutual. “This is the greatest lady in the country,” said De la Renta.

While Colleagues President Nettie Dart acted as emcee, actress Diane Lane presented the designer with the Champion of Children award. In the audience were Raquel Welch, Alana Stewart and designer Kevan Hall, along with committee chairs Jane Ackerman, Jenny Jones, Debbie Lanni, Mary Milner, Wendy Stark Morrissey, Topsy Doheny, Ginny Sydorick, Chardee Trainer and Tawny Sanders.

Malibu Foundation dance party

Judging from all of the lace, leggings, epaulets and neon, party-goers traveled through time to get to the “‘80s Dance Party” to benefit the Malibu Foundation for Youth and Families, which funds the Boys & Girls Club of the Malibu Teen Center.

“The ‘80s means big hair to me,” said Cindy Crawford at the April 18 event, standing on the breezy bluff at Liane and Richard Weintraub’s Malibu home. Added husband Rande Gerber: “It was bigger before the wind came up.”

Liane Weintraub channeled Madonna by piling on pearls and pendants. “It’s fun not to take yourself seriously sometimes,” she said, surveying the 260 guests, including Keely and Pierce Brosnan, Dee Dee and Dan Cortese, Michael Bolton, Anthony Kiedis, Dorothy Lucey, Linda Thompson, Tracey Bregman, Chris Cortazzo, Debbie Frank, Jack McShane, Daniel Stern and Lyndie Benson.

“We have nothing for teens in Malibu. Zero,” Benson said. “That’s why the club is so important.”

Pasadena showcase house

Not everyone gets the opportunity to decorate a room at the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. Benefit chairwoman Beverly Marksbury said that after invitations went out to designers to transform the historic Cravens Estate, 13 competed for the morning room; 15 for the solarium.

Standing inside one of the coveted rooms at the April 16 black-tie Premiere Night, Greg Parker said, “My thinking was, ‘How am I going to stand out?’ ” Then he described his proposal, in which he spun a yarn around the solarium’s fictional inhabitants.

Following the house tour, committee members, designers and guests adjourned to the Annandale Golf Club for dinner, dancing and, for many, the first serene moment since the project began. Among them were PSHA President Delise Menik, Diana deNoyelles, Joan Vienna, Andrell Panconi, Kait Sullivan, Marti Farley and Jenine Baines.

“The work is done,” said Julianne Reynoso, dinner co-chair along with her mother, Cherie Saxton. “Now we relax. Commiserate. Talk about whose room is better.”

Organizers hope to raise $1 million this year and expect more than 35,000 visitors before the house closes May 16. One of the oldest home tours in the U.S., PSHA has donated more than $17 million to music programs and organizations throughout the L.A. area since its founding in 1948.

ellen.olivier@society-news.com


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