In a grand white tent, complete with lemon chiffon draped tables and long stemmed orchid centerpieces, nearly 250 guests at the Catwalk for Kids charity luncheon at Rockett’s Landing gathered to take part in bringing awareness to children in need.
It was one of many events held during RVA Fashion Week in Richmond, Va. and certainly the most enriching. Attendees dined on seared tuna and almond cake with fresh berries and Meyer lemon custard as they were treated to a video presentation capturing the prior day’s event held at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond.
National and local celebrities had showed up to lend a hand, heart and their best craft skills. Charity founder and handbag designer, Mary Norton, Tibi designer Amy Smilovic, New York socialite, reality star and fashion entrepreneur, Tinsley Mortimer and this season’s American Idol contestant, Zak Resnick, among others, each teamed up with a patient to design handbags that would later be auctioned off during the luncheon.
Mortimer, a former Richmond native, who is known for her “girly girl” style was thrilled to be back in town and working with the charity’s first national event. “One of the little girls, Tiffany, was so sweet. I went over to her and found out she liked pink, just like me, so we helped make her a really pink frilly bag, “ said Mortimer.
The video was followed by a recreation of Tibi’s New York Fashion Week runway production showcasing the fun, flirty looks of her 2011 spring collection. Girls strutted down the runway in yellow ruffled dresses, a maxi dress or two, purple ruffled tops and an evening gown that was recently worn by @TibiPR to a black tie event at the Mandarin Oriental.
But the real stars of the afternoon were the current and former patients who shared their inspirational stories, including one from a little girl who later won the bid for two tickets to Tibi’s fall runway show, a custom fitted dress, 3-night stay at the historic Plaza Hotel, Broadway tickets, and more.
Next up, a musical performance given by Resnick, who was also a former native of the River City. He crooned out songs by The Script, Michael Bublé and Cee Lo’s infamous doo-wop single “Forget You.” He even got into the model mentality as he catwalked down the runway, putting quite a few smiles on womens’ faces as they clapped along. “I just wanted them to have fun,” said Resnick.
Afterwards, the guests engaged in a spirited auction for the charitable foundation that addresses specific areas of critical need for children nationally and raised a little over $50,000.
Once the event was finished and the swag bags were handed out, attendants were invited to the nearby Saks Fifth Avenue store to meet the Tibi designer and receive personal attention as they tried on clothes seen earlier on the runway.
Overall, it was a sensational event that RVA Fashion Week hopes will continue to expand annually. Catwalk for Kids, which originally started in Charleston, already has plans to expand their growing charity to cities like New York and Boston in the upcoming months.
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