Haute Event: Cotton Couture at AnQi

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When you think graduation, pomp and circumstance and walking on stage to get a diploma come to mind first, not walking down a runway. But for seniors and graduate students of the Art Institute of California Orange County, graduation meant a fashion show at Orange County’s hot spot AnQi. With celebrity judges restaurateur Elizabeth An, Gretchen Christine Rossi of the Real Housewives of Orange County and designer Jenni Lee, the night was anything but your average graduation ceremony.

Sixteen students showcased looks on AnQi’s glass runway during the sold-out event. Using cotton (the night’s theme was Cotton Couture), the designs ranged from lingerie-inspired evening wear to a long maxi gown that included a faux-baby bump. Popular DJ DemiClune provided the mix that accompanied the models — and made sure the after party rivaled some of fashion’s biggest fetes. Coordinated my AiCA-OC’s Mary Ann Gale, the judges awarded the winning students with dress forms, a bevvy of sewing notions and the prestige of winning the year’s Cotton Couture competition.

The graduate winners included best in show Roxanne Phillips; first place winner Jessica Pinney; second place Alyssa Garcia; and third place Daniel Magana. Current students Adriana Diaz, Coral Castillo and Crystalle Perez won first, second and third place respectively in their category.

Nearly 400 attendees enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from AnQi’s famed menu, including Lavender Nojitos, Peartinis and Vietjitos. From the pre-runway party to the after-show revelry, there was no shortage of glamour and glitz, especially with the well-heeled crowd dancing and enjoying the Asian fusion cuisine that’s made AnQi one of the county’s most popular restaurants.

AnQi is located at 3333 Bristol St., at South Coast Plaza inside Bloomingdale’s. For more information on the restaurant, visit their official web site at www.anqibistro.com.

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