Fashion Files: July 2010
by Diana Cavagnaro
Published - 07/01/10 - 10:24 AM | 5178 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Models are wearing Ximena Valero & Alvarez, Miriam Jewels and Designer Millinery. Photo by Diana Cavagnaro
Models are wearing Ximena Valero & Alvarez, Miriam Jewels and Designer Millinery. Photo by Diana Cavagnaro
Lizz Russell at the Westgate

Celebrity Fashion designer Lizz Russell hosted a fashion tea at the Westgate Hotel on May 21. The elegant hotel was the setting for this delightful afternoon tea accompanied by beautiful harp music.

Russell showcased her signature collection, jewelry and handbags. The models came down the spectacular spiral staircase showing off her sophisticated designs — her signature handbags are designed with roses.

A portion of the proceeds for the afternoon event benefited the GBS/CIDP Foundation International(Guillain-Barre Syndrome/Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy). Patients vary from mild cases to being completely paralyzed. Russell has had this debilitating disease and is dedicated to raising proceeds to help others.

Two more teas are lined up at the Westgate Hotel — one on July 9 and another Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m. in the Grand Lobby. If you would like to see Lizz Russell Designs or would like more information call (619) 557-3655.

Urban Garden

The Art Institute of California showcased designs from its fashion students at the San Diego Convention Center on June 4. This stellar evening began with a VIP reception and culminated with an upbeat fashion show. The theme of the show was Urban Garden. The students interpreted the essence of city life to be “where hard and soft elements intertwine.”

Awards were given to two marketing student, Rhocelli Pascual and Leslie Ainza, for their exemplary work. The student winners for the design contest were Tea Ninkovic (Atelier Winner), Jasmine Hampton (Trendsetter Winner), Annalynn Luu (Innovative Winner), and Elina Sheripova (IT Winner).

Proceeds from the evening went to three different nonprofits: the Education Foundation, City of Hope, and Surf Aid International. For more information visit:

A Night in Paradise

Rendezvous In The Zoo (R•I•T•Z) was the 27th annual San Diego Zoo’s black tie event on June 19. This fundraising gala brought the most fashionable San Diegans out in full force. These fashionistas entered the zoo on a red carpet surrounded by the look of the tropics. Guests were greeted with Hawaiian leis and Polynesian dancers. They were truly transported into “A Night in Paradise.”

The attendees arrived decked out in designer apparel. One of my favorite designers is Jordan. Jordan Art Couture creates gorgeous hand painted animals on four-ply silk. The animal art fit in with the evening and was seen on many of the guests. The co-chairs for the evening were Jessie Knight and Joye Blount. Blount was also wearing one of Jordan’s fabulous designs.

Joan Embery, the San Diego Zoo’s conservation ambassador, captivated the guests with her knowledge about a variety of animals such as a condor, porcupine, aardvark, toucan, and a macaw. Proceeds from the R•I•T•Z event benefit the zoo’s conservation programs in Hawaii and the Caribbean. For more information visit:

Ladies Summer Shopping Soiree 2010

The Andaz Hotel Rooftop, formerly the Ivy Hotel San Diego, was the location for the Ladies Summer Shopping Soiree on June 23. A variety of vendors set up to make everyone’s shopping experience enjoyable. Models were on hand to showcase all the fashionable merchandise. The booths included fabulous products such as jewelry, clothes by Ximena Valero & Alvarez, millinery, cosmetics, skin care and chocolates. One of my favorites was Miriam Jewels who creates incredible pieces of jewelry. She went to Peru to learn how to crochet gold and silver wire and is the only person in the U.S. to make jewelry using this method.

The guests enjoyed sipping cocktails and shopping for great deals while listening to tunes from DJ Playgirl. Proceeds benefit Invisible Children featuring MEND. This program teaches women how to sew handbags in northern Uganda and puts them back “on the MEND.” For more information visit

Upcoming events

July 9: Lizz Russell Fashion Tea at the Westgate Hotel, 2:30 p.m. Tea modeling will feature Lizz Russell’s signature collection. Proceeds benefit GBS/CIDP. For information call (619) 557-3655.

June 30-July 4: Bikini Week will feature fashion shows all week — June 30, the Fluxx Night Club; July 1, Stingaree Roof; July 2, Ivy Roof Top; July 3, Float at Hard Rock Hotel; July 4, Culy Warehouse.

Aug. 8: Summer Bridal Bazaar with three fashion shows at the San Diego Convention Center. Call (760) 334-5500. 

— Diana Cavagnaro is a nationally-recognized hat designer and milliner. Diana has been operating a fashion business for 28 years, the last 18 years in the Gaslamp Quarter. She has taught in the Fashion Department at San Diego Mesa College for 18 years. Diana is an active member of the Gaslamp Quarter Association, the American Sewing Guild, the San Diego Costume Council and the Fashion Group International.
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