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BENEFITS O.C.

Making Hay Out of Silk

Chinese American orchestra league turns Armani show into financial support for young musicians.

April 07, 1998|ANN CONWAY

The event: Gala dinner benefit for the Chinese-American League of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. The event Sunday at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa featured a fashion show by Emporio Armani at South Coast.

Celebrating, Italian-style: When Emporio Armani offered to present its spring/summer collection at the event, league members chose to give the dinner an Italian flair. Up for sampling at tables set with white orchid centerpieces: antipasto with balsamic vinaigrette, angel hair pasta with mushrooms and tomato fondue, and veal tenderloin in a pistachio crust. Dessert? Tiramisu flavored with espresso, of course.

Fashion statements: Event chairwoman Arlene Cheng went Chinese classic, choosing a cocoa silk brocade jacket with a flowing skirt for her evening ensemble.

Co-chairwoman Georgiana Wu chose Italian, draping a champagne shawl she bought in Capri over a dark silk gown. "I fell in love with this shawl because it was made by nuns there," she said. Her multicolored pastel silk shoes and bag were from Bottega Veneta.

Armani attitude: Long, lean and simple--that was the fashion statement made by the lithe models who stood, statue-like, on pedestals before 400 guests. Audience favorite: soft, ultra-feminine dresses decorated with shimmering silk embroidery.

Bottom line: Proceeds of about $30,000 will help underwrite the league's annual Showcase of Young Musicians, scheduled for June 14 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. The event will feature musicians selected from statewide competitions performing with the Pacific Symphony, conducted by music director Carl St.Clair. Pianist Derrick Van, 16, and violinist Derek Wu, 14--former showcase winners--performed at Sunday's event.

Quote: "I'm thrilled at the success of this program," said Cheng, showcase founder. "It was my dream to help children with their music educations--further their aspirations."

Guest list: Roger and Janice Johnson; John and Elizabeth Stahr; Vesta Curry; George Cheng; Marcy Mulville; Ruby Au; Rosalind and Milton Chang; Anne and George Schopick; Verna Chow; Anne Shih; Terry Huang; Pat and George Kessinger; Katherine Kong; Christine Eisenberg, Juanita Su; Danni Sun; Phong Tran; Wanda Wong; Nancy and Caleb Zia; and Minli and Samuel Zia.

Mark your calendar: Showcase of Young Musicians on June 14 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. Information: (714) 755-5788.

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