The Country Friends’ Art of Fashion 2014
Designs by Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Lanvin, and Versace took to the runway at The Country Friends Art of Fashion on September 18 at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Presented in partnership with South Coast Plaza for the tenth consecutive year, the event featured a sparkling wine tasting and photo lounge prior to the dazzling runway show, followed by luncheon on The Inn’s lawn with centerpieces by renowned floral designer Rene van Rems. Throughout the day, guests shopped South Coast Plaza mini-boutiques, offering the latest in clothing, handbags, jewelry, eyewear and accessories. The event concluded with “Après Affaire,” a wine, cheese and dessert tasting.
Proceeds totaling approximately $150,000 from the Art of Fashion will benefit more than 30 charities, including Angel’s Depot, the Armed Services YMCA, Burn Institute, Canine Companions for Independence, Casa de Amparo, Community Resource Center, REINS Therapeutic Riding, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and many more.
“We were thrilled with the response to this year’s event,” states Andrea Naversen, Art of Fashion chair and editor-at-large of Ranch & Coast Magazine. “It was a festive day of philanthropy and fashion, made even more special because we celebrated The Country Friends’ 60th Diamond Anniversary.”
To mark the occasion, the Art of Fashion honored the 28 women who have served as president of The Country Friends since its founding in 1954. The late Dorothy Patton was the organization’s first president; Rhonda Tryon is the current leader. Tryon paid tribute to the past presidents in attendance, including Marci Cavanaugh, Jeanne Lucia, Jan Fitzpatrick, Karen Moller, Nell Herzer, Joyce Glazer, Pat Wood, Karen Weseloh, Mary Ann Fitch and Joanne Warren, who was also one of the event’s major sponsors. Each received orchids donated by Cal Pacific Orchids.
Trees will be planted in Rancho Santa Fe in memory of the 13 Country Friends presidents who have passed away, including the late Jean S. Newman, who was the longtime manager of The Country Friends Consignment shop. Mia McCarville of Cedros Nursery is donating the trees.
The Grand Prize in the opportunity drawing was a $25,000 diamond necklace, with 60 diamonds in all, specially designed by the John Matty Company to mark The Country Friends 60th diamond anniversary. The other top prize was a one-week stay in a luxury ocean-view villa in Maui, donated by Deb and Les Cross, with roundtrip airfare from Alaska Airlines. South Coast Plaza designers and retailers offered a $1,000 shopping spree and valet parking, as well as fabulous designer clothing, handbags, jewelry and accessories. In addition, 10 percent of boutique sales benefit The Country Friends charities.
Other prizes included a year’s membership in Garde Robe Luxury Wardrobe Storage & Valet Service, a two-night getaway at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, and a golf-and-dine package from the Del Mar Country Club. A “Diva” package included wardrobe styling from Monica Avakian, makeup and hair styling from Deena Von Yokes of Studio Savvy, and a photo shoot with Jody Lynn Photography.
This year’s Art of Fashion emcee was Sandra Maas, an award- winning journalist who is the co-anchor of the KUSI News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Silver Sponsors included DJO Global, Grand Pacific Palisades Resort, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, Hélène and George Gould, Hoehn Jaguar Land Rover, and the Warren Family Foundation.
Bronze Sponsors included Chase Bank, Joan Waitt, Pangaea Group Foundation, The John and Mary Rainsford Charitable Foundation, Torrey Pines Bank and Virginia Napierskie. Dr. Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD was the Copper Sponsor. Pewter Sponsors were Alphatec Spine, Debbie Turner and Conrad Prebys, and Mitchell’s Floor Coverings.
The 2014 Art of Fashion Honorary Committee included: Maggie Bobileff, John Cavanaugh, Ellise G. Coit, Gigi Cramer, Les and Deborah Cross, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry F. Englert, The John H. Foster Foundation, Arline Genis, Drs. Shakha and Scott Gillin, Lola Green, Stephanie Gruenert, Denise Hug, Laurie McKellar Joseph, Lynda Kerr and the Kerr Family Foundation, Jo Ann Kilty, Bess Lambron, Jeanne Lucia, Karina Lion, Gayle Gillies Mize, Catherine Nicholas, Tina Rappaport, Esther Rodriguez, Dr. Jeffry and Sandra Schafer, Karen Lee Tanz, the John M. and Sally B. Thornton Foundation and Anna Waite.
The Art of Fashion Committee included President Rhonda Tryon, Chair Andrea Naversen, Donna Ahlstrom, Tamara Banks, Betty Jo Billick, Maggie Bobileff, Sabrina Cadini, Marci Cavanaugh, Terri Chivetta, Deb Cross, Pam Devaney, Chris Epstein, Sharon Ferges, Rebecca Franks, Joon Fuller, Arline Genis, Meghan Hansen, Amber Hodges, Betsy Jones, Erin Regan Kaminksi, Jo Ann Kilty, Elaine Leach, Jana Leibo, Yvette Letourneau, Jeanne Lucia, Ana Maria McBrayer, Patricia Mogul, Ellen Nakamura, Pearl Padovano, Mia S. Park, Tina Rappaport, Esther Rodriguez, Cheri Salyers, JoLynn Shapiro, Diane Sutherland, Anna Waite, Jean Waters, Laura White, Laura Wireman, Shana Witkin, and Bonnie Wright.
Gen7 Wines provided a sparkling wine tasting prior to the runway show with sweets by Mes Petites Pastries. Cardiff Classics underwrote the photo lounge by Pro Motion Entertainment. Apres Affaire concluded the event, with wine from Gen7, B Cellars, Mirror Wines, Falkner Winery, and specialty cocktails from the Gingered Pear. Cheese and desserts were provided by La Reine de Macarons, Lemon Twist, Specialty Produce, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and Yummy Cupcakes.
Underwriters included Classic Party Rentals, Drop Dead Design, Kaleidoscope Printing, La Dolce Idea, Resonate Public Relations, TAG Family CFO, and the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe with a special thank you to Denise and Bertrand Hug of Mille Fleurs for hosting the Art of Fashion Patron Party.
The Country Friends®, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, formed in 1954 with the mission of “Helping San Diegans… One Hand at a Time.” It raises funds for San Diego County charities through such events as the Art of Fashion, and proceeds from its consignment shop in Rancho Santa Fe. The shop specializes in exquisite furniture, antiques, rugs, silver, china, and objects d’art.
Photography by Jennifer Nelson & Bob Stefanko