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Fashioned on Exotic Fare

Bowers support group Medellas feasts on dinner and feasts its eyes on attire of Eastern influence on behalf of the museum's Asian educational programs.

May 25, 1999|KATHRYN BOLD

The event: Dinner and informal modeling of Asian-inspired fashions at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana. Saturday's benefit was staged by Medellas (Medical, Dental and Legal Ladies Society of Orange County), a women's philanthropic organization. Members raised funds for the Bowers' Asian educational programs.

Fabric art: More than 250 guests dined on sesame-encrusted chicken breast with ginger glaze and other exotic Asian-Californian fare at the museum's Topaz Cafe.

Between courses, 20 models--Medellas members and museum supporters--wandered among tables sporting wearable art by four designers: Janet Kaneko of Los Angeles and Ana Lisa Hedstrom, Ann Weise-Souza and Pat Tseng of the San Francisco area.

Styles included colorful coats made from vintage fabrics by Kaneko and tunics made from Japanese kimonos by Weise-Souza. "This isn't your ordinary fashion show," said Loretta Lee, co-president of

Medellas. "The clothes are really unique, with an

Asian flair."

Strength in numbers: Medellas was founded in 1967

by Roz Lee and Nori Imagawa to promote fellowship among women associated with the medical, dental or legal professions. "Back then, there weren't many

Asians in Orange County," said Cheri Kadotani, co-president and show co-chairwoman. Members

engage in social and philanthropic activities,

establishing endowment funds for undergraduate scholarships at UC Irvine and arts education at

the Bowers.

Quote: "Since the Medellas got involved with the Bowers, things have been blossoming with our Asian programming," said Peter C. Keller, museum president. "The [endowment fund] will help . . . provide lectures, gallery guides and programs that surround exhibitions of Asian art."

Faces: Denise Dador, emcee; Arthur Nakazato, Katherine Lam, Anne Shih, Janet Baker, Petra Ching, Kiku Goh, Ellyn Iwata, Jayne Klunder, Sue Okuda, Jovie Rosenblatt, Signe Keller, Anne Takeuchi, Linda Tay, Sally Tilsen and Ellies Watanabe.

Bottom line: The fashion show was expected to net $25,000 for the Medellas Endowment Fund.

What's ahead: The Bowers Museum, in cooperation with the Palace Museum in Beijing, next year will host an exhibit of Imperial treasures from the Forbidden City. "Forbidden City: Splendors From China's Imperial Palace, 1644-1911," will open Feb. 5. For information, call (714) 567-3600.

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