The Crowd: Arts society launches program series

The very fashionable and artistic Decorative Arts Society last week launched the 16th annual program series in Newport Beach, fronted by the chic Mary McDonald, the Los Angeles-based interior designer and author.

McDonald was in town for a pre-lecture cocktail and dinner reception hosted by Newport Beach-based designer Brenda Eastman and her husband Dirk. Brenda Eastman, known as the owner of Les Interieurs, welcomed the crowd of Decorative Arts devotees to her bayfront residence at Peninsula Point. The Eastmans only recently had occupied the romantic old-world, shingle-style residence that commands a picture-perfect view of the harbor. The arriving crush was suitably impressed by the Eastman touch as the home had a feeling of having been lived in much longer.

Chaired this season by Elana Donavan, with support from Sandra Ayres, Hyla Bertea, Marion Palley, Sharon Henwood, to name a few, the Decorative Arts Society will raise funds to benefit Casa Teresa, Laura's House, Mariposa and Women Helping Women.

The next event, on Nov. 9, will feature the well-known architect Marc Appleton speaking about West Coast architecture. Also spotted in the upbeat cocktail crowd were the very stylish Linda Gianini, Marion Hartwich, Cecilia and Bruce Nott, Margaret Larkin, Marilyn and Bill Robbins, Adrienna and John Garrison, Ruben Flores, Maralou and Jerry Harrington, Linda Colton, Karen Littlefair, Kitty Canada, the owner of Newport's latest designer consignment boutique known as "The Find" on Coast Highway, and, in from Los Angeles the charming Bridget Gless Keller.


The Harvesters, in support of The Second Harvest Food Bank, recently chose Seasons 52, a new restaurant at South Coast Plaza, as the destination for their underwriters' cocktail reception following the success of their annual fashion show and luncheon at The Island Hotel, Newport Beach.

Seasons 52 is one of two new restaurants in the building that housed the old Clubhouse restaurant. One is with butter and the other is without.

Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar all about healthy eating, and the kitchen prepares a remarkable selection of dishes without grease, butter, fat, excess salt and other ingredients that people are trying to limit in their daily diet.

Next door and upstairs, an East Coast institution, The Capital Grille, has just opened up for business. The restaurant chain is known for its superb hand-carved steaks and seafood.


From fine dining to luxury shopping, Tiffany & Co., South Coast Plaza, introduces an exquisite leather collection for men and women created by world-class leather designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex.

On Nov. 17, the designers will be in-store between 2 p.m. and 4 pm for a "meet and greet" with the Orange County crowd. One of the designer's bags, known as the "Manhattan Satchel," is creating a buzz in the fashion world and has been seen on the arms of a number of celebrities. Another of the bags to check out is called the "Laurelton," a top-handle bag.

Among the glamorous evening purses is a Tiffany blue version of the clutch, festooned with an exquisite crystal Tiffany bow that will certainly be the "must have" accessory for the social season. The collection is on display and available for purchase now and the public is invited to the Nov. 17 in-store reception.


Holiday shopping on the Orange Coast traditionally kicks off with Christmas Co., which benefits the Junior League of Orange County.

This year's event will be launched with an opening night gala themed "Come Fly With Me," marking the 35th year of the four-day shopping extravaganza. It starts Nov. 10 at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa.

Chaired this year by Jaynine Warner, a pilot for SkyWest Airlines, the production is also in the hands of Jennifer Gonzales and a team responsible for creating many of the events associated with the four-day shopping experience.

Tickets to the opening night party are $75 per person and are available through Nov. 5 online at Christmas Co. is a major fundraiser for the League, an educational and charitable organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the health, safety and education of Orange County residents. Founded in 1956, it is one of the oldest such charitable arms within the community.

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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