All photo credit (with thanks) to Andrew Herrold Photography
So many things about the night were beautiful. There was an empowering purpose in turning the red carpet pink. It was my first pink carpet, certainly – red carpets I generally avoid. Just as well. There was something very meaningful about combining cancer cure advocacy and a Diane von Furstenberg ’09-’10 Cruise/Pre-Spring show. And let’s face it: I love fashion shows and I love Diane von Furstenberg.
The night at Smashbox Studios was not without its celeb factor. The beauties filed in one-by-one, and as far as event images I was content for the first time to have a certain 6’2″ frame behind the lens, battling it out on behalf of my own, at 5’4″. For one, I would’ve lost on equipment alone, much less skill, much less height (and what a wonderful job he did!). I could get used to this sweet arrangement.
Some notables on that pink carpet were Denise Richards, Mya and Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) – who also was the event host and arrived with Rick Fox (now I know). And there was someone for everyone. For the Entourage fans, there was Caroline D’Amore. For beer fans, there was the Dos Equis guy, whose name is actually Jonathan Goldsmith. (So the next time you want to ask, “Who is that guy?” when you see The Most Interesting Man in the World do his monologue on TV, you know he’s a Goldsmith. Like some sort of apple hybrid. Ohh…mystique does him so much good.) For Twilight fans, there was Christian Serratos and the Full House ones, think DJ Tanner – Candace Cameron – despite your inclination to think Michelle. But my personal favorite was certainly Tia Carrera, looking as great as ever for a woman who started it all…
Guests – who comprised a mostly ladies night out – enjoyed Jamba Juice, Famous Cupcakes, Partida Tequila (yay), and of course Ford models throughout the night thanks to generous sponsorship. Silent auctions were bidding on long tables outdoors leading up to the fashion show.
Eliza Dushku kicked off the ceremony. Dr. V. Krishnan Ramanujan, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai, was on hand to speak as a researcher whose work in flourescence imaging and early detection has directly benefited from grants by the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Remarkably, Dr. Ramanujan was studying Physics before he lost his aunt to cancer – an event which caused him to change course in his studies. Important points I took away were that early detection – the first and most important thing which prevents recurrences – doesn’t necessarily lead to terminating the cancer cells. Rather, it’s possible to reprogram these cells so they stop behaving destructively.
Then came the fashion show. I admit, depending on the designer, I will emit a squee here and there – but especially for Diane von Furstenberg. It was a treat to get a peek of her ’09-’10 Cruise/Pre-Spring line, which included some cheery-yet-sophisticated dresses and fabulous, high-waisted swimwear. Interspersed in the show were celebrity models and adorable, front-side and oversized head bows.
But the real crowning point of the show and night wasn’t the professional models nor was it the celebrity models. After a pause, the lights came back on and real-life cancer survivors modeled more designs.
With the audience visibly emotional, there were standing ovations all around. It was at the very minimum a moving sight to see the kind of beauty that comes from strength of character walk down the runway. Although I haven’t lost anyone close to cancer, I still found myself incredibly touched, complete with lump in the throat! The overall feeling of the night, though, seemed to be one of hope and even gratitude of progress that has been achieved – but also of determination. Much work is still left to be done.
Auction winners were instructed to claim their impressive prizes and all were bade a good night. Most of the proceeds from the event (ticket prices began at $100 and capped out at $350 for VIP plus money raised from silent auction) went towards cancer patient services in the Los Angeles area (75%) while the remainder (25%) was directed towards cancer research like Dr. Ramanujan’s. Now, I wonder who won that Roosevelt Hotel Escape Package and Dinner for 10 at Mastro’s…!!