The Crowd:

Fashion show raises $500,000

October 29, 2008|By B.W. COOK

It is arguably the most sophisticated fashion show on the fall social calendar.

The 16th annual Harvesters fashion extravaganza produced in conjunction with South Coast Plaza, attracted more than 350 glamorous women and a few fashionable gentlemen to a phenomenal fashion show produced in a white tent erected adjacent to the Island Hotel, Newport Beach.

Slinky models paraded the catwalk showing off the fall/winter and holiday/cruise lines from some of the world’s most iconic houses of design. Chanel, Chloé, Christian Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Marmi, Oscar de la Renta, Roberto Cavalli, Saks Fifth Avenue, Valentino, Versace and Yves St. Laurent were well-represented in the show that raised a net amount exceeding $500,000.


The proceeds will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County supporting programs that include feeding children, the elderly and the working poor of the region through some 400 affiliated charities that are responsible for feeding some 466,000 residents of this community.

Statistics report that 42% of these people are children and 20% are seniors. The Harvesters donate 100% of all underwriting dollars directly to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

This year’s massive event was chaired by Suzan Paek with support from co-chairwomen Connie Dinsmore and Jennifer Condas. Past chairwoman Robin McMonigle was very involved planning the luncheon that followed the fashion show as well as helping to raise the substantial amount of underwriting dollars that enabled the Harvesters to raise a six-figure sum for the food bank.

Also making a difference was corporate sponsor Cartier led by the lovely Caroline Jones. Cartier underwrote the champagne reception, which was the kickoff of the event and was also the staging of the silent auction that featured more than 150 gifts.

The Newport Coast’s beautiful duo Jackie Melby and Lauren Pronger co-chaired the silent auction effort. Spotted in the champagne crowd were Janice Agopian, Laura Choumas, Caroline Davenport, Pat Hancock, Liz Hurley, Jill Johnson Tucker, Holly Kerslake, Irene Martino, Sharon McKinnon, and Gretchen Mulville.

Also supporting the Harvesters were Allison Olmstead, Saks Fifth Avenue’s dynamic leader Gretchen Pace, Marion Palley, Mary Pon Sullivan, Lucy Rawlins, Joan Riach, and Harbor Island’s glamorous hostess Debbie Simon.

Luncheon was served in the Palm Garden at the Island Hotel featuring a crunchy Asian salad accompanied by miso marinated sea bass. Opportunity drawings during lunch provided extravagant gifts to donors courtesy of Louis Vuitton, Mikimoto, Saks Fifth Avenue, and South Coast Plaza. Major donors in the crowd were Heidi and Miland Ambe, Julia Post, Tamara and Jeffrey Deckey, Teddie Rae, and Harvesters cofounders Jill Johnson Tucker and Jennifer Van Bergh to name only a few.

South Coast Plaza support came from the super-dedicated Debra Gunn Downing and Kathryn Glassmyer.

Social standouts included Grace Thelen, Judy Steele, Suzanne Werden, and Marsha Anderson.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays.

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