In praise of an LA student fashion designer, and ready for the Pasadena Playhouse opening – Pasadena Star News

Kudos to HyeRin Lee, a student at LA’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), who has been named the grand prize winner of the inaugural Pierre Cardin Young Designers Contest.

She has been awarded a three-month all-expenses-paid apprenticeship with Pierre Cardin in Paris and will have the opportunity to work directly with Pierre Cardin’s design team.

The announcement was made at a fashion show at the Consulate General of France in New York City.

The Pierre Cardin Young Designers Contest was held in honor of the 100th anniversary of the iconic French designer’s birth.

After reviewing initial submissions, the design house selected 10 finalists who were flown to New York City for a special workshop with the Pierre Cardin board, including Rodrigo Basilicati Cardin, president of Maison Pierre Cardin and a descendant of the designer. HyeRin Lee was eventually selected as the winner from hundreds of applicants.

FIDM President Tonian Hohberg said: “We are honored by the House of Pierre Cardin to have selected our outstanding fashion design student, HyeRin Lee. Upon graduation from FIDM, this will significantly advance her career.”

In addition to the apprenticeship, her award package includes transportation, room and board, and the potential to become a full-time employee. The talented designer will also receive a salary of $1,000 per month and the opportunity to have one of her sketches realized into an actual garment.

“We are so proud of HyeRin Lee for this recognition from the company of Pierre Cardin. The heads of our fashion department, Nick Verreos and David Paul, are beaming with pride,” said Barbara Bundy, Vice President of Education at FIDM.

HyeRin Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, and now lives in Los Angeles. She will graduate in March from the college’s Advanced Fashion Design program.


For fans of the music of Stephen Sondheim, 2023 is going to be a banner year. Not only is the Pasadena Playhouse poised for the most ambitious event in its history, a six-month celebration of the works of the late great American composer, but a revival of his original Broadway production of “Into the Woods” will play a series of exclusive engagements across the US, including Center Theater Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The LA opening is scheduled for June 29, 2023.

The Playhouse season opens in January with Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George” followed by “Little Night Music”.

And in a landmark partnership, the Playhouse is partnering with high schools in the Pasadena Unified School District to present its production of “Into the Woods,” with students and professionals collaborating. The grand finale will be a special concert by Sondheim’s muse, Bernadette Peters.

Playhouse Artistic Director Danny Feldman said, “This celebration has been in the making and has taken on even deeper meaning since the death of Stephen Sondheim last year. After our first season on stage, we knew this year had to be about celebrating American musical theater and the Playhouse community our coming together again.”

It was a splashy opening night (12/22) for INVINCIBLE – THE MUSICAL, featuring the songs of PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO, runs through December 18 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. This inventive new work weaves together the four-time GRAMMY® Award and 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee’s legendary catalog and inspired new songs through a reimagining of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for the 21st century. PICTURED IS: from left, Neil Giraldo and Pat Benatar with Coy Middlebrook, Acting Artistic Director of The Wallis (Photo: Sean Daniels/DVR PRODUCTIONS)


It was a great opening night at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts for “Invincible – the Musical” featuring the songs of this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.

Their new work has incorporated their catalog and some new songs into a jukebox musical with a 21st century spin on an ancient story, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Although the action is a sad plot, there was dancing and cheering in the hallways for Benatar/Giraldo and the 20 members of the cast during the curtain call. Producer Jamie Cesa, choreographers Galen Hooks and Macy Swain, music arranger Jesse Vargas, costume designer Lena Sands and director Tiffany Nichole Greene, with her proud mother and grandmother looking on, also took bows.


TODAY: Pacific Chorale presents “Tis the Season.” Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa, at 19.30

WEDNESDAY: Melodia Mariposa presents a concert of holiday favourites. Altadena Town and Country Club, 2290 Country Club Drive, Altadena, at 7 p.m.

JAN. 11 and 12: The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts presents the Los Angeles premiere of Wise Children’s theatrical production of “Wuthering Heights,” based on Emily Bronte’s classic novel.

JAN. 22: The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presents a baroque concert. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, at 19:30 The

FEB. 4: The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) honors composer/musician Danny Elfman at its 2023 gala celebration with guest conductor Joshua Bell and soprano Larisa Martinez. The Beverly Wilshire, Four Seasons Hotel, at 5 p.m.

*Attending indoor arts and entertainment events during the COVID-19 pandemic carries risks. Remember to follow the rules prescribed by the CDC and local health authorities.

Patt Diroll writes a bi-weekly community column for the Pasadena Star-News. She can be reached at

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