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The Crowd: Tales of high, Hollywood-style fashion

April 08, 2011|By B.W. Cook
  • LADIES LUNCH BUNCH: Barbara Eidson, Karen Hardin-Swickard, Mary Roosevelt, Ramona Bernamonti-Morrissey and Pat Allen.
LADIES LUNCH BUNCH: Barbara Eidson, Karen Hardin-Swickard,… (Laure Veitch, Daily…)

It was an afternoon of food, fashion and gossip, as celebrity stylist George Blodwell dropped in at the trendy AnQi Gourmet Bistro & Noodle Bar in South Coast Plaza to dress a few style-conscious local gals and share a little of his life history with some 100 "all ears" and "all eyes" fashionable divas. Sponsored by the Fashionable Women of Chapman University, the afternoon at AnQi was a super success led by co-chairs Donna Calvert and Donna Bunce.

A late-morning champagne reception welcomed Fashionables president Adrienne Brennan, one of O.C.'s most glamorous women. Brennan was also one of Blodwell's makeover subjects. It's tough, even for a celeb stylist to remake an A list-dressed woman. How do you improve on perfection?

In addition to Brennan, George took on Rachel Jackson-Smith, marketing director for Saks Fifth Avenue, Jacqui Penner, design wardrobe consultant in the Nordstrom Collection department, and Kirsten Prosser, owner of On Que Style, Corona del Mar. All of his subjects, shall we say, know fashion, live fashion, and are each stylemakers in his or her own right. The crowd could not wait to see George's results.

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Chit-chatting a little morning dish in the au currant AnQi dining room were many of Newport's best-dressed women. On the top 10 list were the always-tasteful Pat Allen, the classic Fran Cashen, the exquisite Sarah Corrigan, the Old World moviestar glamorous Karen Hardin-Swickard, the alluring Laurie Rodnick, the luxurious Valaree Wahler and the always-fashionable Joan Riach-Gayner, Grace Thelen, Sally Crockett, Leslie Cancellieri and, most especially, Mona Nesseth, a major Fashionables supporter and consummate fashionista at large.

Lunch was served at noon in AnQi's main salon. Ladies and a few gents sat at the long banquet tables, Chinese-style, on the silk upholstered chocolate-brown fabric banquettes. Gracious hostess Elizabeth An, a high-energy, petite porcelain-skinned beauty and businesswoman, welcomed more fashionable guests including Tracey Bowie, Linda Lamitie, Adam Neeley, Jim Murphy, GM of Bloomingdale's, Dorcas Preston, former Mrs. America beauty queen, Mary Norberg, Sue Hook, Mary Pon Sullivan, Carrie von Hemert, Miriam Smith, Sheri Nazaroff, Zee Allred, Ramona Bernamonti-Morrissey, Carol Lee and Newport's classy Irene Mathews.

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