The Valley Line: `April in Paris¿ comes to L.A.
Attending the "April in Paris" benefit fashion show and luncheon are (left to right) Rita Coulter, Barbara Nielsen and Kandi Wopschall. Kandi, a LCF resident, was on the benefit committee. (Photo Courtesy of Luminaries)
All-in-all, May is a delightful month. It is my birthday month and I’ve always been enchanted at the concept of May baskets secretly left on your friends’ doorsteps, and at the concept of dancing around a maypole.
I spent my birthday weekend in Palo Alto with my daughter Heather and her two children — Catherine, age 7, and 4-year-old Ryan. The kids (along with their mom’s help) baked me a birthday cake with their favorite chocolate frosting with lots of colorful sprinkles.
My big birthday surprise was an invitation to escort Catherine to the San Francisco Ballet’s production of “The Little Mermaid.” This was a very adult production with dramatic lighting, costumes, sets and avant-garde dancing.
The production was pure magic for both Catherine and me. She was dressed in her best hot-pink taffeta party dress and her shiny blonde hair was expertly coiffed. She looked absolutely beautiful. What a proud grandmother I was. This is certainly one birthday present I’ll never forget.
It was May in Palo Alto, but it was “April in Paris” recently at a private downtown L.A. club when the Luminaires, a volunteer support group of the Doheny Eye Institute, held a benefit fashion-show luncheon.
The more than $100,000 that was raised during the event will assist the institute in its continuing mission to restore, preserve and improve human eyesight through exceptional vision research.
Lucy Hilands, president of Luminaires, welcomed the guests to an exciting day of shopping in petite Parisian-like boutiques. The ambience of the City of Light was recreated in vignettes like a street flea market. Guests were entertained by a traditional French accordion player and a white-faced mime as they appreciated a beautiful display of art work similar to those that one might find on the winding streets of Montmartre, the Paris district that was the haunt of painters such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh and Auguste Renoir.
The beauty of spring in Paris could be found in the full-blown tulips in hues of orange and red, designed by Dennis Richichi, of Jacob Maarse, that centered each table. Six replicas of the Eiffel Tower, filled with tall clusters of red tulips, were strategically placed in the room.
The show-stopper of this spectacular day was the dramatic fashions of designer Kevan Hall. The models strutted down the catwalk presenting not only Hall’s designs for spring, but also for this coming autumn.
Hall, an award-winning designer, redefines glamour for this new generation of multi-dimensional women of Los Angeles. His fashion philosophy emphasizes purity of style, incomparable tailoring and streamlined silhouettes.
The event was co-chaired by Nancy Hulick and Char Acret. Betsy Ulf served as advisor. The day was dedicated to Ginnie Braun, longtime member of the Doheny Board of Directors, The Luminairs Support Group, and the Leadership Gift Clubs.
Kandi Wopschall of LCF served on the benefit committee. A prominent guest was LCF resident Dr. John Irvine, vice chair for clinical affairs at Doheny. Other special guests included La Cañadans Marian Corbett, Nina Winterbottom and Joyce Lovelace.