Renew & redux
Bargain hunters go bonkers at The Women's Home fashion pop-up shop & runway show
Sexy Manolo Blahnik pumps, an elegant Oscar de la Renta bolero and a Diane von Fürstenberg wrap dress to die for. Some serious retail therapy was going down moments after fashionistas ascended to Wortham Theater Center's Grand Foyer for The Women's Home's yearly "reNew and reDux" fundraiser on Wednesday.
And you wouldn't believe the asking prices. Tory Burch wedges, $50. A Nicole Miller evening gown straight from the runway, $75. A Gucci blouse, $60.
Champagne? Sure, bubbly was complimentary, which bargain hunters tippled without restraint, nearly depleting the bar's reserve.
An hour just wasn't enough for au courant shoppers to peruse rack after rack of on-trend garments at the pop-up boutique. The collection of wearables donated by À bientôt, Cheeky Vintage, Designer Exchange, Langford Market and other local retailers in addition to individual contributions roused quite the shopping frenzy at this fourth annual event, which moved to this larger venue to accommodate its growing following — it sold out 280 seats and 120 standing-room-only spots.
Items that weren't spoken for will return to The Women's Home's thrift store, The Cottage Shop.
The soirée continued with a runway show introduced by FOX 26's morning anchor Natalie Bomke, who welcomed volunteers who served as the models du jour. Some, like Sparrow Bar + Cookshop sous chef Hilmi Ahmad, father and daughter Scott and Jordyn Ensell,Sarah Golshadi, Janice Hall, Donna McKenzie, Sophia Macris and Zoe Patterson, swaggered a tad more coquettishly, earning shout-outs from spectators fringing the catwalk.
The fetching models can thank Lenny Matuszewski for expertly styling them in couture that complemented their physiques and complexions. Designs by Giorgio Armani, Lafayette 148, Burberry, Escada, Andrew Gn, Kade Spade, Alberta Feretti, Vera Wang, Versace and Tadashi were organized into eight scenes that switched from classic looks to sophisticated formal wear to funky duds.
After the fashion parade, back to shopping it was for Nena Brackett and Kay Brown, who were on the prowl for cold weather clothes for an upcoming cruise down the Rhine. Mother-to-be Christina Wilkerson found items that will work as maternity clothes plus a hot red number for after the bundle of joy arrives. But no one was smiling more than Karyn Guerrero, who scored a yummy Vanessa Riley coat.
Items that weren't spoken for will return to The Women's Home's thrift store, The Cottage Shop, which is open Monday through Saturday and brings in roughly 15 percent of the nonprofit's total revenue.
Joining top sponsors that included the John P. McGovern Foundation, West University Rotary Club and Briggs & Vesalka Co. alongside host committee members Nicole Brende, Christy Brown, Joyce Echols, Sarah Pollard and a bevy of others were Susanna Kise, Karina Barbieri, Gabriela Dror, Lauren and Michael Reeder, Kristen McDaniel, Joanna Podsiadlik, Arienne Brint, Valerie Dieterich, Ashley and Jonathan Brown, Carol Gradziel, Marcia Tapp, Kathy Kokas and Lora Clemmons.