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The Country Friends presents popular Art of Fashion benefit event

Fall fashion from top international designers and luxury retailers will take to the runway at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe on Sept. 16 when The Country Friends (TCF) presents the annual Art of Fashion (AOF) in partnership with South Coast Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The all-outdoor event includes a champagne reception, luncheon on The Inn’s lawn, boutique shopping, an opportunity drawing and live auction of designer handbags, jewelry, clothing, getaways and more.

Honorary chairs Les and Deborah Cross
Honorary chairs Les and Deborah Cross
(Courtesy)

Honorary chairs are Deborah and Les Cross, recognized for their long commitment to the organization. Deborah also co-chairs the event with TCF President Suzanne M. Newman and Director of Operations Yvette Letourneau. Awarding-winning ABC 10News Anchor Kimberly Hunt will emcee.

Held outdoors beneath a vast tent, the runway show features the latest looks from Bally, Camilla, Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Max Mara, Monique Lhuillier, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Versace, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Throughout the day, guests can shop South Coast Plaza’s eight mini-boutiques with 10 percent of proceeds benefiting The Country Friends’ charities. Boutiques include Camilla, Diptyque, Max Mara, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, and Vitra Eyewear.

The Art of Fashion begins with a champagne reception on The Inn’s lawn sponsored by Nani Pua Skin Care, a photo lounge, and light bites from The French Gourmet. After the runway show, guests will enjoy a luncheon especially created and prepared by The Inn’s culinary team headed by Executive Chef Jessie Lee Williams. First course is brie and apricot jam with almond brittle, date and cherry crisp, or ahi poke with wonton cup, seaweed salad and wasabi cream. Second course is chilled yellow heirloom tomato soup. Third course is chicken saltimbocca, a prosciutto and sage crusted chicken breast with faro pilaf, seasonal vegetables, and a mushroom sauce, or roasted wild mushroom and polenta with seasonal vegetables. Dessert is blueberry upside down cake with lemon curd, lavender-scented blueberry compote and confetti flowers from Pastry Chef Elizabeth Woesle.

Event Co-Chairs Yvette Letourneau, Suzanne Newman and Deborah Cross
Event Co-Chairs Yvette Letourneau, Suzanne Newman and Deborah Cross
(Courtesy)

A lively luxury auction follows featuring a $15,790 nine-day adventure through Peru which includes a two-night stay in Lima, a five-day Amazon riverboat cruise, and a two-night stay in Cuzco donated by Scott Dunn Travel, Belmond Hotels and Aqua Expeditions. John Matty Co. is donating a pair of gold, diamond and iolite flower earrings valued at $4,000. Two first-class tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies, coupled with a $2,000 voucher from Suzanne Newman, will help plan a dream trip. Shop and dine at South Coast Plaza with a $2,000 gift card and $300 for lunch or dinner at the acclaimed Knife Pleat restaurant.

The Country Friends also raises funds at the event with an exciting opportunity drawing featuring designer handbags, clothing and accessories from South Coast Plaza retailers including a $2,000 gift certificate from Monique Lhuillier, a Max Mara tote bag and $1,000 gift card, an iconic Isabel Marant Oskan hobo bag, Versace’s white cross body camera bag and more.

Emcee Kimberly Hunt
Emcee Kimberly Hunt
(Courtesy)

There are also getaways to the Turf Club, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla’s Grande Colonial Hotel, the Montage Laguna Beach and a Rancho Valencia Spa Day for two. Hair care products and services from Studio Savvy and a Dr. D. Schwab skin care basket will also be available.

The TCF Board of Directors selects charities each fall after careful review. Since its founding in 1954, The Country Friends has donated nearly $14 million to those in need with special emphasis on women, children, the elderly, the military, and disabled.

For tickets and more information, visit thecountryfriends.org/events/art-of-fashion/

For questions, contact: The Country Friends at (858) 756-1192, extension 4, or events@thecountryfriends.org. Also visit thecountryfriends.org and southcoastplaza.com.


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