Anton Segerstrom, Audrey Hepburn, Chloe, Debra Gunn Downing, Dior, feeding the hungry of Orange County, Fendi, Ferragamo, Grace Kelly, Gucci, Harvesters Luncheon and Fashion Show, Harvesters of Second Harvest Food Bank, Jaeger LeCoultre, Jennifer Segerstrom, Julia Post, Kathryn Cenci, Lanvin, Lori Anderson, Marni, Max Mara, Patina, Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Roberto Cavalli, Samueli Theater, Second Harvest Food Bank, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, South Coast Plaza, Valentino, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent
I’ve been attending the Harvesters’ Luncheon and Fashion Show benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County for all of its 21 years, and I can’t remember a fashion presentation that showed so many beautiful, engaging fashions as the latest one. Held at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 380 guests enjoyed a jam-packed silent auction champagne reception in a tent alongside the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall followed by the dazzling New York-style runway fashion show in Samueli Theater.
I have to say the fashion extravaganza, presented and underwritten by South Coast Plaza, was overwhelmed by fashions from the French fashion design houses, Dior and Lanvin. Some of the looks took me back to the ’50s and ’60s, when elegance personified by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly reigned supreme. I easily envisioned Hepburn in the classic black strapless Lanvin cocktail dress with its billowing mid-calf skirt as well as the luxury label’s horizontally tiered ivory chiffon blouse and black velvet pencil skirt with three-quarter-length leather gloves (the icing on the cake!). Kelly could easily have worn the Dior ivory satin cape top and asymmetrical black velvet skirt. All three looks took your breath away (see photos)! Other highlights included beautiful neutral prints from Roberto Cavalli, Chloe and Marni as well as showstopper black and white solids with touches of fur from Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara and Fendi. It was left to Versace to show a stunning yellow coat, Gucci, a blue, super-sexy satin dress, and Valentino, with the most elegant evening gown I’ve seen in a long time in red satin.
Event co-chairs Lori Anderson and Julia Post welcomed everyone to the fashion show and thanked their committee, in particular, underwriting chair Melissa Knode, silent auction chairs Kristie Caggiano and Susan Croul, and Joni Brice, who was responsible for the heartwarming Second Harvest Food Bank video. South Coast Plaza’s Director of Community Relations Kathryn Cenci was also acknowledged for her ongoing role as fashion show liaison, as was the entire Segerstrom family for their continuing support. James Cueva of Jaeger-LeCoultre was given a nod for sponsoring the Roederer Champagne reception and silent auction, as well as featuring their luxury timepieces on professional models wearing Brioni and Wolford fashions.
Following the fashion presentation, guests retired to the concert hall’s foyer for a tasty lunch catered by Patina and a much-anticipated opportunity prize drawing. The prizes included a Jaeger-LeCoultre Ladies Grand Reverso timepiece, a Saint Laurent Small Sac de Jour Carryall (see photo) and a South Coast Plaza $1,000 gift certificate, one-year valet parking pass and five-course chef’s tasting dinner with wine pairings for six guests at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s. Guests were delighted with the guest favor, a fabulous black, quilted tote, courtesy of South Coast Plaza.
The festive fundraiser brought in impressive net proceeds of $455,000, which were targeted for the nonprofit’s mission of eliminating hunger in Orange County. The Food Bank feeds more than 240,000 people per month through 470 member agencies.
Selected photos by Carla Rhea and fashion photos by Donato Sardella