Italian fashion and spring previews hit San Diego’s couture scene
by Diana Cavagnaro
Published - 03/14/12 - 05:31 PM | 3221 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Models show off Mia Bella Couture, Furs by Graff and jewelry by Juelerie at the second annual Fashion Plates lunchion and fashion show on Feb. 16. DIANA CAVAGNARO | La Jolla Village News
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An elegant afternoon in Tuscany

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank presented the second annual Fashion Plates, a luncheon and fashion show at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Produced by the ubiquitous Leonard Simpson and co-produced by Brittany Noelle Simpson, the theme of the show, for which Sally B. Thornton was founding chairwoman and Joe and Lisa Busalacchi were honorary chairs, was an elegant afternoon in Tuscany. Mistress of ceremonies Susan Taylor started the program with a select few community leaders — those who give back to the community in force — making a special appearance on the runway, which delighted the audience.

The show began with one-of-a-kind knit designs by Karise Boutique. Flashbacks Vintage Menswear provided a fun segment with models carrying delicious looking pastries on a plate, while Custo Barcelona showed off colorful styles. Tommy Bahama of La Jolla showed men’s wear ready for vacation before the Venetian-masked finale showcased the glamorous fashions of Mia Bella Couture, Furs by Graff and jewelry by Juelerie.

Proceeds went to the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, which targets hungry children in San Diego County public schools. They currently serve 1,125 children in 29 schools.

For more information, visit

Spring designer preview

The Spring 2012 Designer Preview, presented by Nordstrom, was held at The Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier — one of San Diego’s newest environmentally friendly buildings.

The 52,000-square-foot venue is so huge, it conjures the feeling of being in an airplane hanger. This large space was well suited for an impressive runway — at about 100 feet in length, it gave more guests the opportunity to have a coveted front row seat.

The upscale show was coordinated in part by Tanya McAnear and showcased all the latest trends, one of which was an all-white look. Several designers, like Chanel and Givenchy, used this look on the catwalk. Color blocking was also popular, with pops of color dotting the runway. The most popular colors were lemon yellow and tangerine orange, as seen with Naeem Khan’s soph-isticated designs.

The finale featured the exquisite styles of Oscar de la Renta — with one gown in particular that took audience members’ breath away. The marigold silk taffeta gown was shown with a black floral lace jacket and daffodil-embroidered satin slippers fit for a princess.

Transparent footwear, a new trend in shoes, was showcased with the Lucite and calf Barry lace-up bootie was a big hit on the runway.

After the show, guests were invited to look through racks of clothes seen in the fashion show. Fitting rooms were set up and the crowd stayed for some serious shopping.

The event benefited Promises2Kids, founders of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, an organization that protects abused and neglected children by trying to break the cycle of child abuse. For more information, visit

Upcoming events

• March 17 — San Diego Latino Film Festival closing night gala, 9 p.m., 4th & B, 345 B St., includes a fashion installation with designers Hellen Magni Nitschke, Arturo de Mendez and Jose Maria Ybarra, (619) 231-4343,

• March 25 — Evening fashion show and Senior Presents for the National Charity League San Dieguito chapter, Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, (619) 670-9880

• March 30 — Spring Style Soiree, FLUXX Nightclub, 500 Fourth Ave., 6 p.m., presented by the Junior League, (619) 436-9417

• March 31 — Red Carpet Fashion Night at San Diego Women’s Week, 6:30 p.m., Escondido’s Lexus Centre, 1205 Auto Parkway, recycled materials fashion show followed by a fashion show with Hollywood celebrity couturier Oliver Tolentino, (858) 487-1767, $69

• April 21 — Vocabulary Boutique Fashion Show and Afternoon Tea, 2:30 p.m., Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave.,

• April 26 — Walk on the Wild Side luncheon and fashion show, Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, presented by The Vista Hill Foundation, (858) 854-5152.
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