Josie Natori and Doris Magsaysay Ho, trustees of the Asia Society, hosted a champagne reception and exhibition Feb. 22 at the Grey Art Gallery of New York University titled, “Sheer Realities: Power and Clothing in 19th Century Philippines.” Many of the displays featured fashion specialties of the Philippines — intricate and elaborate laces, beautiful embroideries, intricate beaded handbags, and gold and silver jewelry.
The guest of honor was the first lady of the Republic of the Philippines, Luisa P. Ejercito Estrada.
The reception was followed by a gala dinner at the Puck Building in what was described as “grand Philippine style.” The menu included grilled prawns, beef tenderloin in papaya seed sauce, black rice, sesame sauteed bell peppers and coconut cream flan caramel. “This event was expected to be spectacular, and it truly was,” said Natori, who also is chairman of Natori Co. More than 400 partygoers attended the dinner, and the Asia Society raised about $600,000 for the Philippine project, which will include an exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
New York City first lady Donna Hanover, who attended the reception, said she was there because “I spent time growing up in the Pacific, in Hawaii and the Philippines. I also know Josie, who’s a good friend.”
Commenting on her acting career, Hanover said her latest role was as Dr. Elyse Hanson on daytime TV’s “One Life to Live.”
“I’m an internist and a GYN at the same time,” she said. “I’ve just given one of my patients [Vicki] some really bad news.”
Mary McFadden was seen pondering the displays of “pina” garments of sheer cloth made of pineapple fiber, a special process indigenous to the Philippines.
“I find this most interesting and I plan to order some of this wonderful pineapple cloth to work with,” said McFadden.
The following evening, Natori hosted with the Asia Society a Meet the Filipino Wedding Designers cocktail reception and informal fashion show at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship. One-of-a-kind gowns — many in elaborate laces — were presented by Filipino designers Rajo Laurel, Noli Hans, Ben Farales, Pitoy Moreno, Bobby Novenario, Joe Salazar, Inno Soto and Patis Tesoro.
HUG HONOREES: Two executives will receive the 2000 HUG Award from the Intimate Apparel Square Club: Hal Upbin, chairman of Kellwood Co., and Stephanie George, president of Women’s Wear Daily Worldwide. The award, which is an acronym for Help Us Give, is given to individuals for their community service.
The IASC will also present Matthew Lee with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Lee, who has been active with the organization for many years, is among the directing physicians at the Pediatric Unit of the Rusk Institute at NYU Medical Center. The IASC is among the chief contributors to raise money for a new Rusk pediatric unit.
The honorees will be feted May 7 at a cocktail party and dinner at the New York Hilton. There also will be a Meet the Honorees party Feb. 20 at The Water Club in Manhattan.
FASHION ER: Liz Claiborne Intimates hosted a fashion show last week at the flagship Liz Claiborne store on Fifth Avenue, where the spring collection of shapers, bras and coordinating panties were showcased.
Some 200 shoppers and tourists — lured into the store by asphalt-shaking disco music — came in to see the lingerie; Leon Hall, the host of E! Fashion Emergency on E! Entertainment TV, and E! Entertainment Television Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe Fashion Reviews with Joan and Melissa Rivers.
Hall, who jokingly volunteered during the middle of the show to reveal his own underwear to spectators — “but for a lot more money than the models were getting” — introduced about two dozen innerwear styles on six models.
Meanwhile, Jockey’s launch of Formfits Intimates — which had been postponed in late January due to a snowstorm — has been rescheduled March 2 at Gilda’s Club of New York, at 195 Houston Street. The cocktail reception will feature informal modeling of Formfit bras and related items, as well as vintage undergarments by Jockey. Jockey will also unveil its new ad campaign for Formfit.