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Visions Take Off on Runway

May 06, 1997|KATHRYN BOLD

The event: Tribal Visions, a fashion show that celebrated cultural diversity through music, dance and dress to benefit the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana. Medellas, a group that promotes and preserves Asian heritage, staged the show and luncheon Saturday at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

Atlas on the runway: Before a sellout crowd of 650 guests, models worked the runway showing off flowing, one-of-a-kind creations from Obiko, a San Francisco boutique. The handmade apparel and accessories represented the work of 75 designers and artists who were inspired by styles and textiles from Africa, India, China, Japan and Mexico.

Among the crowd-pleasers were a Chinese tunic emblazoned with a gold dragon and pants and tops made of hand-painted African textiles. "This is not your typical St. John or other designer fashion show," said Katherine Lam, event chairwoman.

Worldly visions: In keeping with its Tribal Visions theme, the show featured ethnic music and dancers in dress from several cultures. Party-goers watched the performance from tables decorated with ornate Asian paper dolls and enjoyed a "world cuisine" of Chinese salad, breast of chicken chipotle and mango macadamia nut cake.

Strength in numbers: Medellas stands for Medical Dental and Legal Ladies Society of Orange County. Its 75 members work in or have husbands in those fields.

"Our members reflect Orange County's Pan-Asian diversity," Lam said. "We started 29 years ago. It was foresight on our part. Back then there weren't many Asians in Orange County. Now we have many Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysians--you name it, we have it."

Quote: "Medellas reflects the Asian spirit," said Etsuko Price, honorary chairwoman. "We have to do things as a group. One person alone can't do very much."

Faces: Peter Keller, Bowers president, and his wife, Signe Gallagher-Keller; Reiko Kaye and Ana Chu, Medellas co-presidents; Ellyn Iwata-Yamashita, event co-chairwoman; Tricia Takasugi, emcee; Sandra Sakata, owner of Obiko; Sylvia Turner; and Margaret Yasuda.

Bottom line: The $65-per-person fashion show was expected to net about $50,000 for the Medellas Endowment Fund at the Bowers Museum. The fund, established in 1994, promotes Asian cultural awareness by assisting the museum in its exhibits and educational programs.

What's ahead: The Bowers' annual gala will be held Sept. 6 to celebrate the debut of "Jade: Ch'ing Dynasty Treasures," an exhibit of 136 jade objects. Ticket prices: $200 per person. Call (714) 567-3636.

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