The Crowd: Artsy affair at AnQi

The Art Institute of California partnered with AnQi by Crustacean at South Coast Plaza to present an annual student fashion show billed as "Cool Days Haute Nights."

The June 14 fashion dinner, held in the stunning dining room created by the talented Elizabeth An of AnQi, featured a Paris-themed runway show. Student designers and models displayed their fashion creations, parading on a 60-foot glass catwalk that bisected the restaurant.

Some 300 local fashionistas began the evening with a champagne cocktail reception and sampled AnQi's signature appetizers, including their famous garlic noodles, while student designers were busy putting finishing touches on the runway show.

The gala evening was created by Mary Ann Gale, academic director of fashion design at The Art Institute. Gale was joined by restaurateur Elizabeth An and celebrity guest judges including Heather Dubrow, of "The Real Housewives of Orange County", Tina Borgatta of Riviera Magazine and orthopedic surgeon and footwear designer Dr. Taryn Rose.

The top winner of the fashion show was Coral Castillo. Second place went to Emily Siu and third place went to Aliecee McCutcheon Martt. Other student designers recognized included Michelle Huynh, Heather Piper, and Natalie Avila.


DARTS gathering

A sophisticated summer luncheon in the iconic bayside dining room of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club welcomed the ladies of The Decorative Arts Society.

The gathering was an annual event to formally announce the charitable recipients of the society's fundraising efforts. Decorative Arts Society president Elana Donovan joined with dedicated constituents to present a formidable $128,000 to 10 deserving local charities supported by the group for the coming year 2013.

The Decorative Arts Society is a small, dedicated, hardworking and generous confederation of long standing friends in the community who share a love of art and design. The DARTS sponsors a series of informative annual lectures that feature prominent members of the international design community speaking on every imaginable design-related subject.

From these lecture events and associated parties held throughout the year, the DARTS members and their husbands and guests raise significant dollars that go to carefully selected hands-on charities that make a discernable difference in the lives of people who are struggling.

The 10 charitable recipients include Casa Teresa, Down Syndrome Assn. of Orange County, Laura's House, Orange County Interfaith Shelter, Laurel House, Providence Speech and Hearing, Women Helping Women, Veterans First, The Teen Project, and Serving People In Need.

Participating in the upbeat ceremony were Cecilia Nott, Sandra Ayres, Bonnie McClellan, MaryAnna Jeppe, Lois Tingler, Lauri Burns of The Teen Project, Charlene Ashendorf of Laurel House, Stacey Proctor of Casa Teresa, and Jean Wegener, executive director of Serving People In Need.


One degree of Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon and his band The Bacon Brothers are set to front the 5th anniversary summer extravaganza known as SeaChange benefiting Oceania, the International Ocean Conservation group.

The gorgeous duo of Valarie Van Cleave and Eve Kornyei Ruffatto will co-chair the enormous undertaking set for Aug. 26 at the Villa de Sogni, Laguna Beach.

The alfresco evening fronting the Pacific Ocean set on the exquisite estate lawn of the villa will honor Newport Beach citizens and philanthropists Tricia and Michael Berns. Also honored will be South Coast Plaza for its extraordinary support.

The SeaChange summer party is one of the top social events of the summer season on the Orange Coast, always featuring world-class entertainment and a fabulous dinner under the stars. A must attend for celebrity watchers.

Also supporting the cause are Harriett and Sandy Sandhu, Jo Ann and Anthony Fanticola, Marta and Raj Bhathal, Leslie and Dino Cancellieri, and Lisa and Ed Vogel. The incredible Julie Hill is chair emeritus of the 5th anniversary event.

For more information, go to or call (949) 295-5811.

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