CORONADO — The Globe Guilders, old hands at giving parties but new kids on the block when it comes to mounting fashion luncheons, hoped to entice perhaps 300 members and guests to Le Meridien for last Tuesday's "Fashion Gala '88."
The Old Globe Theatre auxiliary discovered that modesty of expectations can have surprising results. The clamor for invitations to the showing of the Oscar de la Renta fall collection was so intense that, when the echoes subsided, the committee had accepted reservations for 480 and turned another 200 away. Thus, what began as a quiet romp among the frills and furbelows of haute couture spun into a succes fou for the Guilders.
Le Meridien, meanwhile, which has been enjoying its own success in renting out its handsome public rooms, had booked a business luncheon into the part of the ballroom that the Guilders had not expected to require. The Guilders had hoped that the partitions might go the way of Jericho, but the business group balked at moving to another room, and, in the end, 60 Old Globe guests had to be accommodated at tables in the foyer.
Early in the day, event chairman Gerri Fegarsky said she was hoping that the luncheon would take on a "happy, elegant, sophisticated and celebratory" tone. She had her way, particularly with the meal, which drew applause from most corners.
Every time a loudly heralded hostelry opens, San Diegans who regularly accept committee assignments make a wild dash to the new place to discover whether it specializes in the usual, unfortunate chicken, or in something better. The answer in recent years, without exception, has not only been unfortunate chicken, but dreary unfortunate chicken. The consensus that trailed in the wake of Le Meridien's salmon in sauce choron , however, was that finally there is a new hotel that seems to have some standards. The sound made by the contented licking of hundreds of pairs of lips, in fact, was nearly loud enough to drown out complaints about the $5 and $7 parking charges, which one guest termed "immoral."
The Old Globe's Jack O'Brien arrived just as the salmon departed. He confided that he had snatched an hour from rehearsals of "White Linen" (which opens Aug. 13) to make the event, at which he conducted the prize drawing and joined other Globe board members in modeling Revillon furs.
Captain's Ball chairman Don McVay joined Katy Dessent, Bea Epsten, Joseph Jessop Jr., Guilders President LaRayne Penny and Danah Fayman in parading the heavy furs up and down the steps of ramps around the room. The day's joke had been that several directors found the coats so enchanting that they intended to make quick getaways through nearby exits, and apparently a Revillon representative grew rather nervous when a model, having stopped to schmooze with buddies, took her time in returning.
Professional models took to the ramps for the De la Renta showing, presented by Saks Fifth Avenue, and some of the clothes--many sketched in bold primary colors and cut with a glance at the next century--seemed to capture the general fancy. The men in the crowd woke up during the ball gown segment, which featured a number of daring see-through numbers that will definitely turn heads should they turn up on San Diego dance floors.
Among those present were Wendy Ledford, Elaine Smith, Craig Noel, Roxana Makish, Fran Viertel, Donna Kaonis, Leila and Marshall Taylor, Susan and Ron Heller, Kaye Benton, Lois Dechant, Jodi Estep, Annette Ford, Mercedes McCambridge, Dotti Howe, Millicent Froelich, Georgie Leslie, Bobbie Quick, Kay Black, Dolly and Jim Poet, and Sharon Turner.
SAN DIEGO--The San Diego Museum of Art just sent out the news that last December's Le Bal Masque, which was certainly the most exotic entertainment of the season, netted a profit of $152,000, a record for the annual Fine Arts Ball. The even hotter news that the museum is keeping under wraps is that this year's Fine Arts Ball, which will center around the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit, will be chaired by a committee of men.
RANCHO SANTA FE--Models in black velvet gowns topped with floral bodices floated ghostlike Friday through the twilighted gardens of the Alyson and George Goudy estate, following paths down which the ghost of Juan Osuna, original owner of the estancia, has been reported to ride at times.
The nooks and corners of the four gardens--one all white, one English cottage style--were sufficiently populated by sponsors of the upcoming Country Friends "Appearance of Autumn" show to seem safe from the shades of socialites past. The 275 guests turned out to anticipate the 34th annual Country Friends fashion show, which will be given Sept. 13 in its time-honored location, the front lawns of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.