They didn't do this fashion show once. They did it twice. With laughter, love, hoots and wows, clapping, cheers, raves. Performed twice during the weekend at the Bonaventure--at noon Saturday to a standing-room-only crowd and later in the evening to a black-tie audience--the Pasadena Junior League's "A La Mode" (according to fashion) was a luscious, double-dip cone of fashion and frolic.
And it may have been the noisiest party of the year. It certainly was the dancingest. Would Sid Engle and his orchestra play until midnight? "Absolutely not. We're going to 1," said Cynthia Perucca, Center Stage chairman, stunning in her black, low-cut Louisa Nevins ball gown, holding hands with her handsome bank executive husband, Terry Perucca.
Last year the league did Center Stage I when Sharon Thralls was president. The double affair last year netted $75,000 for community projects. League members had so much fun raising dollars for the community that they put the show into their "permanent repertoire."
Saturday night, every bill, except Colorgraphics, which donated much of the cost of the program, had been paid. "They were all paid today," Mrs. Perucca said, "and I think we'll net $87,000."
She had awakened at 3:30 a.m.--"but I didn't call anyone"--remembering a forgotten detail. But, all was rosy, and really not forgotten. And Saturday night, she and her three assistant chairmen--Mmes. John Cameron, Stephen Chandler and John L. Poole--were receiving hugs and kisses and compliments galore when all they really had done was work themselves silly through the summer and Christmas, forging contracts, selling advertising, training models and building friendships as a bonus.
Robin Billings produced and staged a popular show with Saks Fifth Avenue fashions coordinated by Patricia Fox, Saks Beverly Hills fashion director, and Revillon furs.
Mark and Laura Sellers (they won the $100,000 Star Search) and Michael Jackson look-alike Daryl Barnes were riotous, but so were league models. Competition had been knock-down, drag-out in December to choose 22 league members, four children, a few teen-agers and seven husbands to model. The leaguers spent two hours every Thursday for six weeks on modeling techniques. To say they were confident and classy is an understatement.
First out, Mary Kay Gilmore and Carol Allen created a heat wave in their Gottex hot-pink and black swimsuits. Loud cheers. But then, Cathy Alexander, Deborah Booth, Karen Goodyear, Kathy Leroy, Judith Sexton, Harriet Kuhlman and Mimi Martin came along, and the hoots were just as loud.
Pete and Anne Madison (Cynthia Perucca's parents) sort of melted when their granddaughter, Jennifer, appeared in a Florence Eiseman blue swimsuit, bobbing downstage with Kevin Maples in red Polo trunks.
When Fred Schoellkopf appeared with Mimi Martin (in Anne Klein and Valentino classics), his wife, Eileen, stood with applause. And, also when he wore the Ungaro navy suit and blue shirt. Banker Tom Thomas threw away dollars swagging down the ramp in Giorgio Armani's white linen suit and a Valentino black shirt, and Larry Pastre had his own unique two-step, whether in Perry Ellis' tuxedo or Ungaro's long white walking short.
Katie Galbraith (she wants to be an actress) lilted with flair. Amy Ryan was regal. Dottie Clougherty skipped with professional pizazz whether in Karl Lagerfeld's silk pajamas or Tom and Linda Platt's green jersey and organza cocktail dress.
At the show's finale, president Mrs. David Murphy beamed to the standing applause (to the music "I Love L.A."), and then the crowd took a break for dinner: marinated mushrooms and artichokes, kiwi sorbet, filet de boeuf palace surprise, bouquitierre of vegetables, bombe Suchard with chocolate sauce and Veuve du Vernay Brut Blanc de Blancs and some California Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon (Redwood Coast). Pam and Bob Huss, Holly and Dave Davis and Mary Ann and John Sturgeon were among those enjoying.
Frequently on the dance floor were young prominents such as the Peter Barkers, the Norman Mitchells, the John Millers, the Gary Conrads and the Gary Thompsons, and when the orchestra played "Ease On Down the Road," and the men stood on one side and the women on the other, they were in on the fun.
Assistant Secretary for Human Development Services Dorcas R. Hardy also was frequently on the dance floor. Formerly educational vice president of the Pasadena league, she was being welcomed back royally. And she was relaxed about whether she'd get President Reagan's nod (she's one of two leading candidates) for the post of head of Social Security. "Eighty-thousand employees and a $220-billion budget," she noted in obvious awe.
She joined the table including Sharon Thralls, Neil Papiano (a benefactor), Elsie and John Sadler, the Jack Liebaus and the William Taverners.
At 1 o'clock, when Sid Engle bowed out, the parties began in the hotel suites. Among those entertaining until very mid-morning were Karen and Bill Goodyear (she was fashion show chairman last year), Don and Sherry Payne and Andrea and Bob Gregg.
Proceeds, along with those from the league's successful Clothesline (which is about to start taking quality merchandise on consignment), will benefit numerous programs, according to Joan Anderson and Cynthia Bidwell. They include the Pasadena Dispensary, Share-A-Home, Foster Family Recruitment, a Pasadena history project and a public issues cable television effort.