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A Colorful Evening in Black and White

July 21, 1993|KATHRYN BOLD

More than 600 party-goers acted colorblind Saturday, wearing only black and white attire to the Newport Harbor Art Museum's third annual Black and White Bash.

The crowd--all following the gala's "creative black and white" dress code, with the exception of one or two fashion rebels--turned up at Fashion Island Newport Beach for the evening of fashion, food, music and dance. The $50-per-person gala, staged by Fashion Island and the museum, raised $45,000 for the museum's education and exhibition programs.

Artistic Attire

Guests could wear anything--and they did--as long as it was black and white. Styles ranged from shorts and T-shirts to beaded evening dresses and tuxedos.

"People get crazier each year," said Joan Beall, museum board president, who sported a black ethnic vest.

One outrageous dresser, who became known among party-goers as "the girl with the mysterious Band-Aid on her back," turned heads with an impossibly short black miniskirt and a skimpy bandeau top.

"This is the best people-watching in the world," said Susan Porter, event chairwoman. "You see more strange outfits. No matter what you wear here, you're fine."

Jim Henry wore a black tuxedo with "Irish knickers," while his date, Betty Mower, showed off a flowing white chiffon dress.

"It reminds me of the one Mother Nature wore on those margarine commercials," she said.

Harmon Weston wore the same outfit he has worn to all three bashes: a black top hat, bow tie and shirt in clashing black and white prints and black pants. A sign pinned on his back advertised his perfect attendance at the museum benefits.

"I love hats, and I like to have fun," said Weston, a museum docent.

Colorful Atmosphere

Set up in the center's Neiman Marcus courtyard, the party had the atmosphere of an outdoor street fair.

Jugglers and mimes wandered around entertaining the crowd. Models from I. Magnin sported the latest black and white fashions, from bathing suits to evening wear. The Stonebridge band played '70s music, and people danced all night under strands of white mini-lights.

Party-goers grazed throughout the night at food stations set up in the courtyard. Among the eclectic fare: black and white pasta with scallops from Tutto Mare Ristorante, black bean sirloin chili tostada from the Golden Truffle, blackened calamari tacos from Five Feet Too, hot and spicy shrimp from the Arches, roast duck wrapped in rice paper from Antoine at Le Meridien and creme brulee with fresh raspberries from Five Crowns.

Faces in the crowd included Michael Botwinick, museum director; Gerald Ishibashi, master of ceremonies; Michael Kang, food coordinator; Maura and Mary Dell Barkouras, Amy Baumgartner, Chris Collett, Janice Fuchs, Bill Griffin, Burt and Carol Horowitz, Zane Leshner, Amy Nott, Tracy Richard, Betsy Ross, Catherine Thyen, Steve and Barbara Vernon, Billur Wallerich, Noddie Weltner and Gene White.

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