Celebrating Orange County style


NEWPORT COAST — There were women in cutting-edge evening and cocktail dresses and sky-high stilettos. There were gentlemen looking razor sharp in suits.

They stood chatting in a lavish 14,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom mansion at 9 Beachcrest listed for $17.5 million.

But they were all there to support the Orange County chapter of the Dream Guild of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in a fashionable way.

“We are incredibly honored; there are so many charities that could be chosen,” said Linda Riley, executive director of the foundation.

The OC Look Party, held Wednesday, celebrated the style of Orange County from those who rock the looks of surfers, musicians and artists, as well as the high-end designer labels.

Sponsored by the lifestyle magazine Orange Coast, the third annual OC Look Party recognized 14 individuals and one couple for their fashion sense. Alexis Bellino, a cast member on the “Real Housewives of Orange County” TV show, was among them. She wore her own designer dress, Alexis, by Tal Sheyn.

Though known for shows like “The O.C.” and “Real Housewives,” Orange County has much more to offer the fashion world, said Linda Goldstein, publisher of Orange Coast magazine.

It’s not all about expensive looks. Each year, the OC Look committee nominates people who develop their own style and honors them with OC Look awards, Goldstein said.

Heather Madden of Newport Beach is not afraid to shop at low-cost stores like Target or H&M. But she mixes up her look with shoes designed by Manolo Blahnik. Madden, 45, the Grace Kelly conservative dresser, was one of this year’s honorees.

“I’m definitely very flattered and very honored as well,” she said, wearing a red Oscar de la Renta dress.

On the other hand, there was Westside Costa Mesa resident Sean Harris, who indulged in a 1960s-era look with a pinstriped suit with a polka-dotted bow tie.

Harris never thought he’d be recognized for the way he dresses.

“It’s kind of weird,” he said, “because, I’ve always dressed to be doing my own thing. The idea of being appreciated for it is bizarre to me.”

Each of the OC Look winners was given a Tiffany & Co. crystal.

All proceeds go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In the last two years, the OC Look Party raised $25,000 for the foundation, Riley said.

This year, she said, they expect to raise $15,000.

“We think they are a wonderful, wonderful charity,” Goldstein said. “And the people (who) work there are so passionate and they are touched some way and they care so much.”

For more information on the diabetes research foundation, visit