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'Evening Opulence' Fashions Shown in Santa Ana Hint at Designs Most Trendy for Fall

October 19, 1989|PAMELA MARIN | Pamela Marin is a regular contributor to Orange County Life.

Four hundred trend seekers attended a morning fashion show at MainPlace/Santa Ana Nordstrom store on Sunday, getting an eyeful of holiday finery and fall casual wear before the store opened for business.

Dressed in everything from shorts and sneakers to silks and pumps, the fashion faithful congregated outside the locked department store more than 30 minutes before its doors swung open for the invitation-only gathering at 9 a.m.

The guests, who paid $10 each, scooped up coffee or tea and a continental breakfast (croissants, fresh fruit, fruit tart) and settled in folding chairs flanking a stage and runway.

Lights out. Booming taped music. Here come the girls--and men, and trim older women with cropped gray hair, and little kids. (From audience reaction to the pink-cheeked cherubs skipping along at the models' sides, it's clear that toddlers will make a fabulous fashion accessory this fall.)

The well-orchestrated show was blessedly devoid of narration--and fast . A clutch of hip-swinging models got in and out of almost a hundred outfits in just 30 minutes.

Daytime duds included animal-print everything, Ralph Lauren's weekend-in-the-country ensembles, Anne Klein cashmeres and St. John knits.

The night--at least at this proximity to Hollywood--belongs to sequins.

"Sequins are a very important holiday statement," said Gail Sekiguchi, Nordstrom fashion director for Southern California, after the show.

This season's sequins come in a variety of tints and are featured on column-silhouettes with dramatic necklines, cut-out backs and slit sides. The statement? "Here I am," said Sekiguchi, with a laugh.

Also notable for night were short, fitted jackets that flare at the hip, fringe trim, gathered waistlines and Gargantuan gold lame accents (flowers the size of mixing bowls, bows bigger than place mats).

The fashion show, dubbed "Evening Opulence," was underwritten by Nordstrom. An estimated $4,000 proceeds will help underwrite The Times Orange County Holiday Parade on Dec. 2 in Santa Ana.

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