Monday, October 25, 2010

Fashionable Event: Fashion's Fight Against MS

Last Tuesday night, I Heart Heels sent me to cover Fashion's Fight Against MS, a charity fashion event in our very own Washington, DC.

The event, which took place at the swanky Washington Club in Dupont Circle, was advertised as a runway show the likes of which have never been seen before in DC. And in a way, it's true. The caliber of the designers featured in last night's show - Tommy Hilfiger, Sir by Joanna Baum, Hilton Hollis - isn't often seen on runways in DC.

The final pass, featuring model Shannon Rusbuldt, the event's host, in a gorgeous red frock (with mismatched booties).

And yet, there was nothing about the event that was truly extraordinary. We can all see DC striving to break into the world of fashion, hoping to join the ranks of NYC, LA and maybe even Chicago as a bastion of US fashion, but this event wasn't the one to take the city to the next level.

The event had its moments - mostly on the runway. But true to DC form, the night was not without a little bit of pomp and circumstance.

The stars of the night, excluding, of course, Mr. Hilfiger, were really of the "famous for DC" variety. Michaele Salahi, who recently revealed that she suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, opened the show as a "surprise celebrity" guest, while Tareq, her husband, chatted up the crowd. And Katherine Kennedy, star of MTV UK's "Blonde Charity Mafia," graced the orange carpet before the show. Other "confirmed notables," including Redskins running back Clinton Portis and Capitals/Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, were nowhere to be found, Yeas and Nays reported. 

Michaele Salahi, one of the stars of Bravo's "Real Housewives of DC," looked like she took Linda Erkiletian's advice and ate a sandwich... in a good way.
Tareq Salahi schmoozes with K Street Kate Michael before the show begins.

The night did boast a selection of New York "socialites," but the significance of this was mostly lost on DC's crowd. I, for one, did get excited to see Bianca from America's Next Top Model (who apparently now goes by BiancaChardei and splits her time between NY, DC and Miami). Though Bianca is in fact a model, instead of walking in the show, she just watched from a cushy seat (seating was limited to only VIPs and notable guests. Plebes and press were forced to stand).

But petty gossip aside, what was most important about the night was the cause. The charitable event benefited the National Capital Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a cause near and dear to Hilfiger's heart, as his sister battles the disease. Hilfiger even stated that a charitable show like this one is more important than any Fashion Week show he could put on in any city in the world (Oh, hush, you'll give us big heads, Tommy). 

Tommy Hilfiger chats it up on the orange carpet. (Orange is the MS Society's signature color)

And DC's philanthropic and social elite were treated to a great show. Tommy Hilfiger's fun, preppy look took center stage, and the audience ate it up. Tweeds and trenches ruled the runway in his looks, accented by cute booties and over-the-knee duck boots. I loved his strategic leather accents, artful turtlenecks and pretty evening outfits.

Tommy Hilfiger's preppy, poppy Fall 2010 collection shown through in his capsule display on Tuesday night. Think you'd venture to try his over-the-knee duck boots?

Cute hat, cute coat, crazy OTK duck boots. (Sorry for the blurry photos!)

Hello, sir.

The other three designers who showed collections on Tuesday - Hilton Hollis, Nary Manivong and Sir by Joanna Baum - had some hits and misses. Manivong had some cool offerings but no piece really stuck out to me. Hilton Hollis showed some bad pants, though had some cute fun sequined tanks and party frocks. But it was the Sir by Joanna Baum collection, which featured fabulous cocktail dresses, that really got the DC ladies excited.

This photo doesn't do justice to this Sir by Joanna Baum champagne and dusty rose silky gown.

A beautiful burnt orange dress from Sir by Joanna Baum

Hilton Hollis geometric print dress with a wicked side pony.

Hilton Hollis' fun and fab belted jacket

More photos from the show are featured after the jump!

See more of my coverage on the event - including more shots of some of the fabulous pieces in Hilfiger's capsule collection - head over to I Heart Heels.

To see more pictures from the show, check out SnarkInfested. And read more from Women's Wear Daily on the event, including why Tommy Hilfiger thinks Michelle Obama has yet to explore his evening wear.

All photos by Marta Dehmlow.

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