David Warble, smashing in a red suede bomber jacket, and Thomas Bay, the image of cool panache in $1,600-leather pants, were among several Orange County Philharmonic Society supporters who modeled in "Fashion con Brio," the society's jazzy, pizazzy, lightning-paced fashion show last Wednesday at the Anaheim Hilton and Towers. (Warble is conductor of the Disneyland Band and Bay is motivator for the Rodheim Bay Marketing Group.)
Attended by about 700 guests and sponsored by all 32 of the Orange County Philharmonic Society's women's committees, the event was a show biz extravaganza featuring pantomime, dancing, lighting effects and music--all effectively staged by producer Carlton Burnett and featuring designer clothes from Fashion Island.
The first vignette presented sports clothes--the men were heavily into leather while the women wore variations on red--red gabardine, red leather, red crepe and red turbans.
But it was the men who stole the show. Three were professional dancers who stepped out with pulse-quickening arrogance and bravado--requisite qualities when modeling full-length blue fox coats and bomber-style fur jackets sporting fur tails and largish gold beaded chains. "Young bloods in their sartorial splendor," related fashion coordinator Kitty Leslie who provided a zippy narrative.
Flash and Elan
The non-professional male models had their share of flash and elan, too. Erich Vollmer, executive director of the Orange County Philharmonic Society, wowed the ladies with his tux accented with red scarf and bow tie. Then Louis Knobbe, chairman of the board of the Orange County Philharmonic Society, strolled down the runway with a beautiful model on his arm. The model (all female models were professionals) stepped out and turned, then stage-whispered to Louis, "Turn around." Knobbe hesitated, then gave a tentative half-turn and the audience burst into applause.
It was that kind of crowd. Everyone helped, and everyone was appreciated. As board president Eva Schneider put it, "We're like a family, and our spirit and camaraderie derive from the fact that we were a volunteer organization for our first 30 years, until two years ago when executive director Vollmer was hired. The society is the oldest nonprofit musical arts organization in Orange County."
Elaine Redfield added, "Did you realize that this event--in its 27th year--is the oldest society function in Orange County?"
Co-chairs of the event, Yvonne Kelley and Joanna Chase, indicated that the occasion raised $48,000 for the society's extensive youth programs, staffed and operated by the indefatigable women's committees, together numbering about 1,700 women.
In a salute to the musical encounters educational program, 12-year-old Alan Kwong entertained the group with a virtuosic piano performance after an excellent lunch consisting of Greek salad, veal vol - au - vent and International Chocolate cups. Accompanying wine was donated by Glenn Hale, manager of the Anaheim Hilton and Towers. Kudos also went to Estee Lauder for the perfume favors and to Emy Lane for the invitation design. Other men modeling in the show were David Mudgett, president, Irvine Retail Properties Co.; Pat Kelley, district sales manager for Lightolier, and George Chase, senior vice president of Belmont Financial Corp.