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Models Find Fun Is Always in Fashion

March 24, 1993|KATHRYN BOLD

One was barefoot. Another wore green leprechaun slippers left over from St. Patrick's Day. Orange County's top business and civic leaders refused to take themselves seriously when they modeled at the Gentlemen's Haberdashery.

"Our Love Is International" was the theme of the men's fashion show and luncheon that drew 450 people to the Hyatt Regency in Irvine last week. The $100-per-person benefit was expected to raise about $100,000 for the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart.

Stage Fright

The 15th anniversary show featured more than 60 amateur male models, "and they're all scared you-know-what," said Kitty Leslie, fashion coordinator, who narrated the show with Paul Salata.

While some did look nervous, others strode jauntily down the runway giving the thumbs-up signal to the crowd.

First-timer Denny Bean was one of the more apprehensive models. "I'm somewhat shy, so I asked if I could walk down the runway with another model," Bean said. "Then Kitty told me I was the first guy out of the box and I'd be by myself."

Bean need not have worried. He looked as if he was headed to a business meeting when he hurried down the runway in a navy suit.

"He's the best-looking thing I've seen in ages," Leslie said.

Models wore everything from tuxedos to beach wear from stores in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. An appreciative audience whooped, hollered and threw coins.

"Their legs are gorgeous," Gabriella Chung said. She was on a judges' panel that issued awards to the models.

Gary Hunt, the sweepstakes winner, sported a leather jacket and a full Indian headdress "made of gnatcatcher feathers," quipped Leslie. (The line played well in a crowd filled with developers.)

Brian McInerney showed off golfer-printed Bermudas and a beanie.

"We call him Legs McInerney," Leslie said.

Sister Act

Luncheon hosts Orange County Supervisor Thomas Riley--haberdashery chairman--and his wife, Emma Jane--event founder--organized the first show to support the sisters.

The sisters run the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center in Santa Ana, which provides a spiritual oasis for children of all backgrounds. "It's a place to come and get away from everything," said Sister Yolanda Magallanes. "Some of the teens are involved in gangs at home. We tell them, 'This is God's turf.' "

Organizers have no trouble getting volunteers. The men pay $150 to model.

"We used to have to plead with them to model. Now they volunteer," said Anthony Moiso, event vice chairman.

The show has become a family affair, with fathers joining their sons and grandsons on the runway. James McNamara, a veteran model, persuaded son Jim and grandson Rusty to accompany him this year.

"I threatened them," he joked.

Models included Len, Bryan and Todd Miller, Tom and Joe Blum, Bill Phillips, Donald Wynne, Steve Churm, Robert Bien and Bjorn Sedleniek. Other models were Claudio Arena, Antonio Cagnolo, Hal Day, Michael Hayde, Ben and Bill Harris, Roger Hobbs, Thomas Malcolm, George O'Connell, Richard O'Neill, Jack and Wade Perry, Timothy and Michael Stafford and Thomas Wilck.

Among the guests were Sister Jane Stafford--superior general of the community of sisters--and Sister Patricia Jean Brophy, Helen Coffey, Barbara Harris, Harriet Harris, Janice Johnson, Emmy Lou Jolly-Vann, Mary Ann Miller, Debi O'Connell, Susie Plummer, Barbara Roppolo, Kathryn Thompson and Nancy Wynne.

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