The Valley Line: Looking forward to 'Autumn Moon'

Tiffany & Co. in Pasadena was the setting for the Pacific Asia Museum’s patron party on Sept. 22, spotlighting the plans for the museum’s annual “Festival of the Autumn Moon” benefit that will be held Oct. 15.

It was a beautiful setting as guests were surrounded by the jewelry that this iconic company has been famous for since the late 1800s.

Gary Pellant, store director, and Marty Bendera, a La Cañada Flintridge resident and manager of sales for Tiffany’s, were gracious hosts as they greeted guests individually. Several of the guests found this evening to be a perfect time for not only ahhing over the beauty of the jewelry but also the store’s beautiful selection of handsome leather goods.

While guests were mingling they were entertained by a jazz combo provided by the Jack Lanz Big Band and tasted beautifully prepared and displayed hors d’oeuvres prepared and served by Elements Catering.

Adding color and an exotic prelude to the Pacific Asia Museum benefit were two women dressed in Japanese kimonos. Peter Lai, well known dress and costume designer, created the costumes that evening as well as his own silk Chinese robe and headdress.

During a pause in the reception, Pellant came to the microphone to welcome guests. He then introduced Kathleen Gilmore and Carolyn Oliver, both Pacific Asia trustees and co-chairs of the upcoming benefit, who then added their own welcome and an invitation to attend the benefit to be held at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles.

The two honorees for the benefit, George Good, longtime supporter and overseer of the museum, and Lisa See, best-selling author and museum overseer, also were introduced.

Oliver then presented Charles Mason, the newly named museum director. He in turn welcomed guests and encouraged guests to attend the benefit. He said that the benefit will fund 15% of the museum’s operating budget. He reiterated what an important part the museum plays in this era of virtual images.

“People can connect more closely with Asian cultures when they come to the museum to see the artifacts, listen to lectures and feel more a part of distant lands in the arts we present here,” Mason said.

Near the end of the evening a drawing was made for a lovely sterling silver pendant and chain designed by Paloma Picasso, one of three major designers for Tiffany. The winner of the pendant was Patty Torres. Needless to say, but she was delighted to take home such a beautiful gift from Tiffany.

However, everyone who attended that night did take home one of the admired Tiffany blue bags. The bag was filled with a beautiful book called “Legendary Tiffany” that told about the history of Tiffany and the men, women and artists who made them one of the most famous names in the world of fashion and jewelry.

This presentation of “Festival of the Autumn Moon” celebrates the 40th anniversary of the museum. For more information about the benefit and tickets, call (626) 449-2742.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at

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