The Crowd: Nordstrom, museum team up for fall preview

The Orange County Museum of Art joined with Nordstrom in presenting the annual designer preview for fall 2011. Collections off the runways of New York, Milan and Paris combined the worlds of art and fashion under the stewardship of fashionable event Chairwomen Kay Bright, Susan Etchandy, Christina Ferguson, Kimberly Prado and Gina Radomski.

Guests arrived at Atlantic Aviation's private hangar in Santa Ana for a 7 p.m. cocktail reception prior to the massive runway show featuring designers like Donna Karan, Givenchy, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci and Versace to name only a few.

"This is the third year OCMA has been the recipient of this highly anticipated designer fall preview — and it just keeps getting better and better," museum director Dennis Szakacs said.

Nearly $40,000 in ticket sales are earmarked to benefit the museum.


In the world of art and design, Longchamp stands apart as one of Europe's most fashionable houses. On Bastille Day, July 14, the French luxury brand opened its first Southern California boutique at South Coast Plaza. Newport's sophisticated Harvesters turned out in force to support the opening at a swank in-store party co-hosted by Suzan Paek, Kacey Spies-Bruno and Olivier Cassegrain, U.S. director of Longchamp boutiques and a member of the Longchamp founding family.

The new store, designed by architect Eric Carlson, is outfitted with fashion forward ready-to-wear, luggage and accessories from the French house of design. Mingling among the goods were Harvesters Jill Johnson-Tucker, Melinda Serra, Ann Smyth, Jennifer Segerstrom and Mary Adams. South Coast Plaza executives Debra Gunn Downing, Kathryn Glassmyer and Anton Segerstrom were also front and center. The Harvesters support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Longchamps donated $5,000 plus 20% of sales during its first two weeks of operation to the organization.


The third annual Eric Pepys Memorial Golf Tournament and summer party is slated for Wednesday at the Santa Ana Country Club. Funds raised benefit student scholarships for foster youth associated with the programs of the Orangewood Children's Foundation.

Established two years ago by Pepys' wife, Shirley, of Balboa Island, and close friends Frank Robitaille and George Rach, the golf event celebrates Pepys' legacy, love of golf and devotion to the foster children supported by the Pepys family primarily through the dedicated efforts of Shirley Pepys over many years.

To date, the tournament has raised more than $116,000 for student scholarships. Organizers this year hope to raise $75,000 for Advanced Studies, which will enable six former foster children to continue their higher educational pursuits.

For more information, or to reserve a spot for the tournament and/or the party, contact Jeff Gilstrap at Orangewood Children's Foundation at (714)619-0237 or


A bit of the New York literary world mixed with Orange County's avid readers recently as author Franz Wisner addressed the Fountain Valley Book Club. Wisner, author of the New York Times bestseller "Honeymoon with my Brother" is on a national tour with brother Kurt Wisner promoting a new book, "How the World Makes Love."

Franz Wisner, a former Irvine Co. employee, writes about many people he knew in O.C., and some turned out for the upbeat dinner gathering with the author. Justine Amodeo, the talented editor of Coast Magazine, emceed the gathering. Amodeo was instrumental in helping Wisner with both the book title and content.

In the crowd were Newport-Mesa literati Suzy Casey, Barbara Steinberg, Nella Webster O'Grady, Bobbitt Williams, Shel Grossman and Janice Johnson.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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