As a season wears away, so does the excitement of that season’s fashion. By the time August has come and gone—if we’ve managed not to melt—we begin the countdown to the first autumn chill. We’re done with summer looks. We can’t wait to dive past the slinky tops and strappy shoes to the crevices of our closet where we’ve buried the cozy and the sophisticated, the classy cashmere and the kick-ass leather. To say nothing of those beloved boots!
This fall, fashion watchers are eagerly awaiting Thursday, September 23, when the models hit the runway at Tchefuncta Country Club for the second annual Heart of Fashion show, which benefits the pediatric initiatives of St. Tammany Parish Hospital.
Saks Fifth Avenue and Inside Northside have teamed up once again to bring a true New York-style fashion show to the northshore. The Heart of Fashion coordinators, Sue Lavin and Allyson Sanderson, faced a tremendous challenge when putting together this year’s event: to top themselves. To say last year’s show exceeded expectations would be an understatement. When presented with a goal to raise $30,000, Lavin and Sanderson went at it with a “we’ll show them” attitude. And show them they did. Last year’s first annual Heart of Fashion raised a tremendous $113,000 to support the hospital’s community outreach programs.
This event blows everyone away with more than just its philanthropic success. The ballroom of Tchefuncta Country Club is transformed into a pulsating mecca of glamour and high style. The music. The lights. The champagne. The martinis. The procession of towering beauties, each looking like seven feet of designer-clad confidence. The fashion—Saks style. And the “over-the-top Oprah” bags! Last year’s giveaways included a weekend with a Mercedes Benz, a gift certificate to H2O Salon & Spa, a David Yurman bracelet and Saks gift baskets. This year, look for more surprising goodies.
To allow more people to support the hospital’s programs, the long-sold-out Heart of Fashion is spinning off two events that each stand out enough to stand alone. On Saturday, September 11, the Soul of Fashion cocktail reception will be held at the riverfront home of Michael and Allyson Sanderson. A gallery of Michelle Y Williams work will be on sale to benefit the cause, and a donated masterpiece will be auctioned off. The soulful sounds of Anais St. John and her bluesy trio, often heard at the Polo Club Lounge in New Orleans’ Windsor Court Hotel, will set the mood for elegant food, coveted auction items, giveaways and a personal appearance by jewelry designer Katy Briscoe. Saks models are expected to be on-hand, mixing, mingling and giving a sneak peek of the fashion to be featured at the runway show.
The Look of Fashion on Monday, September 13, will be hosted by H2O Salon & Spa at its Mandeville location. This “Hairathon” has all the ingredients of a posh pamper party—food, champagne, massage (hand, foot and scalp) and a new do. H2O will donate 50 percent of the proceeds to the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation. Appointments can be booked through H2O’s Mandeville salon and are sure to go fast—Sue and Ally have been busy recruiting those who feel the need for re-beautification before the big day.
The money raised from this year’s Heart, Soul and Look of Fashion events has been earmarked for the advancement of the hospital’s pediatric services. Sue and Ally, longtime friends active in their community and in parenthood, are predictably passionate about care for children. They each express the belief that an area such as ours, one populated primarily by young families, should have the capabilities to meet all of the health care needs of its children—that no parents should be made to drive long distances to specialty hospitals to have the needs of their children met. They feed off each other’s enthusiasm, making this duo dynamic and skillful as promoters for the events and advocates for the cause. “It’s a really good marriage,” Sue says, as they look at each other with a lighthearted laugh. Jeanine Riecke and Katherine Greiner—another powerful pair—have agreed to co-chair the 2011 Heart of Fashion.
It’s no secret that the northshore craves more events with the grandeur of Heart of Fashion. If you didn’t get tickets this year, join the crowd. Tables were sold out in less than three weeks. But take heart. Heart of Fashion tickets for 2011 will go on sale in February. As for this year—if you can’t have Heart, you can still have the Look and the Soul.Filed under: Fashion and Beauty, September-October 2010, Shop, St. Tammany Life