Fall for Fashion For a Cause: Jeffrey Atlanta Fashion Cares 2015

Last night, Atlanta’s fashion and philanthropic set descended, in full regalia,  upon Buckhead’s Phipp’s Plaza, home of high-end, fashion-forward boutique, Jeffrey, for this year’s (and the 22nd annual) iteration of Jeffrey Fashion Cares, the charity fashion show organized by Jeffrey Kalinsky and his fashionable friends, in aid of  local charties, Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta.  I attended the event in (let’s call it mid-regalia) a deep moss green, self-designed, Valentino- inspired piece, which was also my choice last year for a moment with Mozart.

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The event is said to be one of the Atlanta areas greater philanthropic pursuits. Having raised over $700,000 for both charities at 2014’s sold out show, Jeffrey Fashion Cares boasts having grown into one of the nation’s largest combined AIDs and Breast Cancer benefits. The night kicked off with a reception cocktail teeming with Atlantans serving sartorial gustatory delights of all flavours:

 

DSC_0257Orchids and cocktails

DSC_0367Black, white, red lip (and unfussy hair). This guest was serving Ecstatic spirit animal

DSC_0504A gorgeous pair of earrings and a sunburst of a smile to brighten up the classical appeal of this guest’s LBD

DSC_0290The Art Institutes of Atlanta’s, Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, attends in his usual unusual and unabashedly joyful medley of colours

Jeff and keriKalinsky with special guest of the evening, Keri Hilson in Vera Wang

DSC_0801Raining periwinkle tulle on event co-chair, Turner Broadcasting Systyem’s Louise Sams, in Christopher Kane

DSC_0324Keisha Knight-Pulliam accented her clean black shirt with sparkly hoops and a fushcia lip

DSC_0564I won’t go full on red-carpet hymnal with you as I do during award show season and on Met Gala nights, but suffice it say, this was my favourite look of the evening. This guest’s bejeweled, blush Prada dress hit all the right notes, with her deliberately messy fiery mane delivering the crescendo. I rarely see Atlantan’s go avant-garde avec success. Bravo, madam, you served the front row well. 

DSC_0781He really really cares (about fashion)

 

All the guests seated, event co-chairs Jeffrey McQuithy,  Lila Hertz and Louise Sams introduced of the evenings’s two honourees: Sandy Thurman, a leader and advocate for people infected with AIDS, who has served on numerous AIDS organizational boards and is the current executive director of AID Atlanta, and Janice McKenzie Crayton, President of Big Brothers and Sisters of Atlanta and three-time breast cancer survivor.

DSC_0543Jeffrey Kalinsky, founder of Jeffrey Fashion Cares welcomes the audience to the show

With a “passion for fashion [connected] with the purpose of the evening”,  as Thurman, charged, the music pulsated through the tent in the belly of Phipps and the models stormed the alabaster stage in a flurry of Autumn/Winter colour, texture and playful gravitas curated by Kalinsky himself from collections ranging from as far and wide as London’s Ashish Gupta to Spain’s Delpozo.

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A look from Dries Van Noten’s AW15 collection: the bold razzle dazzle and oriental whisperings of the loose top pairs perfectly with the unassuming khaki drop-waist skirt, that quitely goads you not to underestimate it given its billowing train.

DSC_0605Floral feather garlands from Dries Van Noten AW15

DSC_0608Black velvet and brown leather: textural play à la Lanvin AW 15

DSC_0615An encore in brown and black: a suede brocade trapeze coat

DSC_0672Midnight blue sequins scintillate from under an austere navy pinafore

 

DSC_0681 A camouflage coat for those who wish to stand out: Ashish Gupta’s sequin-embroidered  camouflage dress and parka are probably creatures of Rihanna’s stylist’s dreams.

DSC_0685 The shimmering fabric adds editonal dimesnion to these emerald pleats Christopher Kane

DSC_0590Ring the alarm! A new definition of the bell sleeve by Céline matched with quilted skirt 

bwLinear levitation: colour-blocked perfection in black and white

DSC_0639 DSC_0637Oh winged glory! Spanish house, Delpozo’s Josep Font is in the business of clothing women in fairytales and hotly-hued hallucinations that are pure poetry. This powder blue coat from his AW15 collection is a bird that preyed on my heart when it first glided down the catwalks of New York in the spring. Last night it swooped down again like an albatross I would be ever so thankful to be tasked with carrying around my neck for eternity.

Fashion is infectious; it truly was a joy to witness its beauty being the puissant factor for raising awareness and funds for local charities.  But, perhaps my favourite part of the evening was  experiencing my photographer, Kennyatta Collins, experience his first fashion event. Kennyatta is a 23 year old Brooklyn-born, Georgia transplant who fell in love with photographing fashion because, in his words, “clothes tell a story”. He saved up $50 per paycheck for a year, working part time at Best Buy until he was able to buy himself equipment and thus began his artistic journey. To see his eyes light up  like they did as we walked through the tent, to hear the quivering of his voice in anticipation as we spoke the night before, to be a block in this young man’s step stone towards his hearts desires, to feel how much he truly does care: what a gift to a jaded old (drag) queen such as myself, to witness his utter presence of mind and spirit and find the joy of new eyes through him.

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About Natasha

Word- and dough-smith. Girl in search of "the illumination, that ecstatic flash, from which truth emerges".

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