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A Season When Big Benefits Are in Style

March 12, 1987|MARY LOU LOPER | Times Staff Writer

Poufs and frills, bustles and bows are in. The sturdy black taffeta is getting a run from slinky satins, dallying damasks, flouncy failles. It all means that the benefit fashion show is a major deal right now. The Pasadena Junior League is expecting 1,000 Saturday for its I. Magnin Center Stage daylight benefit style extravaganza headed by Susan Chandler at the Bonaventure, 700 more that evening for the black-tie repeat.

Then, the Joffrey Ballet season gets decked out with mimosas and sweets Tuesday at Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills, when Saks honors the ballet's special friends, patrons and supporters with a fashion preview of all they'll desire for April ballet evenings, formal and otherwise. Director of Couture Vincent Knoll will present the SFA International Collection, featuring the best of American and European designers.

Saks Fifth Avenue has definitely gone to the retail forefront of culture: It has just become a Music Center Benefactor with its donation of $100,000 to the Music Center Unified Fund.

In fact, patrons' letters--1,500 of them--are in the mail for a special event to precede a special event--the SFA/USA, a fashion gala benefit to be presented by the Music Center and Saks Fifth Avenue at the Mark Taper Forum on June 1.

Those who opt to be patrons will be wined and dined May 31 by Arpad and Kati Domyan at The Bistro.

According to Mrs. Thomas R. Vreeland, SFA/USA chair, the Domyan soiree is only the prologue (the prelude, the overture) to what will be "one of the Music Center's most glamorous evenings." And the duo affairs are on Sunday and Monday evenings, proving Los Angeles never rests.

FASHION RUSH: Designer David Hayes' latest in spring is promised for the St. Joseph Medical Center Guild's fashion gala Wednesday at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills. The affair is led by the mother-daughter team of Mary Greaney and Debbie Parker. They're calling it "Color Me Spring." . . .

The fifth annual "Best of Beverly Hills" fashion show, commentated by Steve Edwards and Patty Duke, is presenting Saint Laurent, Mila Schon, Claude Montana, Torie Steele--and arrays from numerous BH boutiques including Giorgio, Suite 101, Elizabeth Arden--Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom to benefit ERAS Center. That's the nonprofit educational center for the learning disabled.

IRISH TREASURES: A flurry of excitement has surrounded the visits of the Hon. Desmond Guinness, president of the Irish Georgian Society, and the 29th Knight of Glin, Desmond Fitz-Gerald and Mme. Fitz-Gerald. They've been in town to talk about Irish houses, castles and the decorative arts, especially to meet those who will be traveling with Carol Bramhall on a tour of Irish cultural treasures in May. Adelaide and Alec Hixon were hosts to the visitors at Annandale Golf Club, including the Toby Wilcoxes, the Robert Mortons and the Arthur Crowes. Douglas Campbell entertained at home, black-tie, and Carol was a supper hostess after the reception at the Valley Hunt Club for the John Culhanes, the James D. Fullertons, Dr. and Mrs. Arnold Mulder, the Richard Stevers, Dr. and Mrs. George Lancaster and Estelle Schlueter.

CORO KUDOS: Richard B. Lippin, Coro Foundation chairman, is revealing the names of winners of the 11th annual public affairs awards. They'll be presented April 9 at the Century Plaza Hotel dinner headed by Keenan Berle and Virgil Roberts. Sanford C. Sigoloff is honorary chairman.

Recipients will be Betty Anderson, president, Friends of School Volunteer Program of Los Angeles; Roy Anderson, chairman of the executive committee, Lockheed Corp.; Eli Broad, chairman and CEO of Kaufman and Broad Inc., and Jill Halverson, founder/director, Downtown Women's Center.

Tickets are $250. The net will support Coro's leadership training programs, which have provided 2,200 future leaders with intensive, firsthand exposure to individuals and institutions that set the public agenda.

LIKE FATHER: Following in the footsteps of her late father, Vincente Minnelli, Liza Minnelli was decorated with the distinguished Comandeur de L'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in Paris's Ministry of Culture by the Minister of Culture Francois Leotard. Liza, we hear, was smashing later at the elegant black-tie supper at Maxim's, wearing Chanel's short black velvet gown, dancing with composer Michel LeGrande, and surrounded by friends including Baron Guy de Rothschild, Caron Alexis de Rede with Princess Ghislaine de Polignac, Princess Ira Von Furstenberg, Lee Minnelli (in Bill Blass's black slinky silk), Countess Anne d'Ornano, Bernard Meyill Lavin, pretty Gisele Gallante (Olivia de Havilland's daughter), Monsier et Madame Jean Pierre Cassell and popular ballet star Patrick du Pont (Paris Opera in Rudolf Nureyev's "Cinderella").

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