SAN DIEGO — Fashion and football usually mix as well as oil and water, but since all the usual rules were ignored during Super Week, the San Diego Hall of Champions Auxiliary found it an easy task to attract an enormous crowd to its Friday fashion luncheon and fund-raiser.
Billed simply the "Super Fashion Show," the event drew 1,100 participants to the Atlas Ballroom at the Town & Country Convention Center for glimpses of football greats and a full serving of designer Bob Mackie's spring collection. For some guests, such as honorary chairman Carrie Rozelle, wife of NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, the moment was just another stop in a week bursting at the seams with glamorous interludes. For others, though, the luncheon was a highlight, and one to be savored.
Auxiliary president Kay Rippee was quick to put the day on a Super Week footing. "Today is just super," she said. "We have the Super Bowl, super people and super fashion. Everything is just super!"
Luncheon chairman Barbara McColl agreed that everything was just about as super as it was likely to get.
"We're thrilled to see our town decorated, and even our skies are filled with excitement as we gather to see these football giants battle it out on Sunday," McColl said. (She was indeed right about those skies--as guests walked toward the convention center, several noticed that a pair of blimps circling intimately overhead looked like two silver salmon engaged in a mating ritual.)
Men usually are as scarce at fashion shows as hula dancers at Eskimo picnics, but several tables' worth turned out Friday. The male contingent included chairman McColl's husband, Dr. Bill McColl, and their son, Milt, a linebacker for San Francisco 49ers who is attending Stanford University Medical School. Milt is following in his father's footsteps: Bill McColl played eight years for the Chicago Bears while earning his medical degree. Others in the select fraternity were Hall of Champions founder Bob Breitbard and retired NFL superstars Larry Csonka and Ben Davidson.
Csonka, the legendary Miami Dolphins fullback, and Davidson, the equally famous defensive end for the hated (and then-Oakland) Raiders, appeared in their guises of Miller Lite Beer All-Stars. Their formal remarks were brief and therefore less filling; the two occupied themselves primarily with circulating among the tables and signing hundreds and hundreds of programs.
At several tables, Csonka gladly passed around his fistful of Super Bowl and NFL Hall of Fame rings; he also gave his autograph to Ann Jones, who swore she had requested it as a gift for her husband, NBC sportscaster Charlie Jones. (Several of Ann's tablemates seemed politely disinclined to believe this claim.)
A lively performance by the Up With People singing troupe followed the typical Town & Country chicken lunch--this one was called chicken Cynthia, although no one of that name stepped forward to accept the honor--and served as an appetizer to the Mackie show. The fashion collection caught the audience's attention instantly and held it fascinated with a non-stop presentation of bright, sprightly designs that ended well above the knee. The general comment on whether these high-rising hemlines will catch fire locally was a cautious, "We'll see."
The committee roster stretched to some length and included Georgia Blatz, Karen Bowden, Kathy Buoymaster, Virginia Chasey, Leonor Craig, Ralphine Greaves, Ernie Grimm, Margaret Hilbish, Linda Horrell and Bess Lambron. Others were Pat Lijewski, Betty Mabee, Virginia Monday, Barbara Malone, Jane Marsh, Pat Menke, Claudia Munak, Diane Pastore, Patty Payne, Robin Renert, Barbara Rieger, Charlotte Roberts, Lynn Silva and Pattie Wellborn.
As difficult as it might be to believe, there were a few events last week that had absolutely no relation whatsoever to the Super Bowl, and, even more startlingly, made no effort to infer any such relations.
Probably the chief among these was the midnight champagne reception given Friday in the ballroom of the Omni Hotel for comedian Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg, who once washed dishes at a San Diego restaurant and went on to earn an Oscar nomination for her role in "The Color Purple," presented performances of her new, one-woman show, "Living on the Edge of Chaos," at the Lyceum Theatre as a benefit for the San Diego Repertory Theatre.
Proceeds from the benefit performances were earmarked for a fund created to match an $80,000 challenge grant contributed by the Parker Foundation, and attendees of the final performance paid extra for the privilege of attending the late-night reception. (A theater source said that the performances and gala brought the Rep quite close to its fund-raising goal.) Invitations urged guests to wear black tie and sneakers--the jocular uniform favored by some Rep principals--and quite a few did, although given the sartorial standards of Super Week, none of them looked at all out of the ordinary when they marched from the theater to the hotel.