Fashion and philanthropy come together in San Diego
by Diana Cavagnaro
Dec 19, 2012 | 4546 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fashions from Nordstrom were on display at the event’s fashion show.  DIANA CAVAGNARO | Village News
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Westfield UTC shines

UTC’s Westfield Mall celebrated the unveiling of its resort-inspired, $180 million makeover in style on Nov. 15, with celebrities, fashion and philanthropy all coming together for a star-studded evening. From the shopping center’s Palm Plaza, Guiliana Rancic — co-hose of “E! News” — emceed the event before a fashion show highlighted stores from Ann Taylor to Nordstrom, with models strutting a catwalk that ran around the plaza’s gorgeous fountain, showing off eye-popping colors like cobalt blue, lemon yellow and tangerine. Holiday fashions — with shiny styles and sequin trends — put the crowd in the festive spirit, while men’s fashions showed preppie and conservative trends.

Greg Miles, Westfield’s U.S. chief operating officer gave back to the community by awarding a check for $10,000 to the Surfrider Foundation for its dedication to preserving the oceans and beaches. British pop singer Natasha Bedingfield wowed the crowd, and DJ Sid Vicious spun tunes to close the celebration.

Westfield UTC’s revitalization brings Tiffany & Co., Tesla Motors and Arc-Light Cinemas to the community, as well as a children’s play space and a dog park.

San Diego’s best dressed

Each year in San Diego, 10 fashionable women and 10 fashionable men are honored by their peers at the 10 Best Dressed Awards, which celebrated its fifth annual gala on Nov. 30 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina Pavilion. The winners are presented the Best Dressed Awards because they are those who get dressed each day with the gloves of compassion and a coat of courage to help others in life.

At this year’s event, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) graduate Paul Hernandez was on hand during the social hour draping beautiful creations on three mannequins, while Mary Murphy from Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” served as honorary chair and La Jollan Sally B. Thornton was on hand as the founding member.

A true crowd-pleaser, pomeranian Gentleman Norman provided a highlight of the evening’s live auction by modeling a necklace of semi-precious stones and pearls.

The evening included a fabulous dinner followed by a fashion show produced by Fashion Forward and themed “Style Land.” Singing and dancing entertained between the fashions, and the runway rocked the audience with the latest from GSB Men’s Clothier, Mia Bella Boutique, Better Deal Tuxedos and Furs by Graf. The finale thrilled the audience, with a showcase of the dramatic Couture Collection by FIDM designer Kenneth Barlis.

Proceeds from the evening benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, PAWS, The Arc of San Diego and San Diego Police Historical Association. For more information, visit leonardsimpson10bestdressed.com.

– Diana Cavagnaro is a nationally recognized hat designer and milliner with a fashion business in downtown San Diego. She has been teaching in the fashion department at San Diego Mesa College for 20 years.

Upcoming events

• Jan. 20 — Winter Bridal Bazaar with fashion shows presented by Gretchen Productions at the San Diego Convention Center. Three shows presented throughout the day. (760) 334-5500

• Feb. 8 — Go Red fashion show and luncheon at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines Hotel. Expo and silent auction begins at 10:30 a.m. with a fashion show by Zandra Rhodes at noon. Proceeds go to fight heart disease in women. (858) 410-3834
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