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Beaux Arts, Glad Hearts at Benefit

May 05, 1988|BEVERLY BUSH SMITH | Beverly Bush Smith covers society events for Orange County Life.

Ah, Paris in the springtime! Ah, les artes ! They came together for "Rite of Spring," the first annual Beaux Arts Ball to be presented by the Applause Chapter of the Irvine Guilds of the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

With Design Center South in Laguna Niguel playing host Saturday night, the French carnivale featured--among other entertainment--jugglers, mimes and magicians. Their performances unfolded before 300 guests, who paid $75 each to attend. Mary Kunz, chapter chairwoman, estimated net proceeds at about $7,500.

While some of the guests clustered around gaming tables in a "Monte Carlo" casino, others danced to the Stewart Undem Orchestra in a tented ballroom. And many, enjoying their first trip to Design Center South--a resource center for the design trade--window-shopped as they strolled about the landscaped mall.

Invited to come in "black-tie, fabulous disguise, or as you are," ball-goers did a little of each. Standouts in disguise were sheik Don Loewe, whose wife, Patti--in a bangled and beaded gown--served as ways and means co-chairwoman with Marilyn Winter. Winter chose a delicate pastel ensemble, embellished with translucent butterflies.

Rococo caterers of Van Nuys served international fare that included a caviar bar with blinis and baby new potatoes. At a "Vienna Coffee House," an elaborate dessert display was laid with tiered chocolate cake, fresh fruit tarts and strawberries with chocolate fondue.

Marty Swenholt, executive director of Design Center South--who helped coordinate the benefit--noted that many of the Design Center's tenants helped execute the event--"all working after work!"

Michael Kuski masterminded the party concept and the decor.

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