“Collaborating For A Cure” 4th Annual Luncheon

Carolina Herrera pre-fall 2017 fashion
Photos Laurel Marcus – click images for full size views

The world of the lady who lunches elegantly and for a cause was on full display yesterday at the private Upper East Side duplex penthouse of Andrea Stark. “Collaborating For A Cure” which benefits the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation celebrated its fourth annual luncheon and fashion show — this year featuring Carolina Herrera pre-fall 2017 fashions. The event was chaired by Lauren Lawrence, Pamela Morgan, Andrea Stark, Marion Waxman and co-chaired by Erica Linden-Fineberg. Special kudos goes to Lauren Lawrence for bringing in Carolina Herrera this year and who also sold the most tickets.

Marion Waxman

The committee included Sharon Bush, Maria Elena Christiansen, Denise DeLuca, Boo Grace, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Susan Gutfreund, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Michelle-Marie Heinemann, Yaz Hernandez, Michelle Gerber Klein, Patricia Kluge, Jeanne Lawrence, Valerie Lettan, Lauren Day Roberts, Barbara Tober Karen Amster-Young. There were close to 100 women in attendance and less than a handful of men.

From left Chair Pamela Morgan, Chair Lauren Lawrence, committee member
Jeanne Lawrence and Anka Palitz

“Every year, this by-invitation-only and sold-out event has grown in support, doubling in attendance since it debuted in 2014,” said Dr. Samuel Waxman, Founder and CEO of SWCRF. “The Waxman Foundation was founded as a result of the generosity of the fashion industry and it continues to support us with the likes of industry leaders such as Carolina Herrera. We are most grateful to Carolina Herrera for their participation this year.”

Part of the evening wear collection

I kept seeing women descending the central spiral staircase so I decided to explore for myself. Bedrooms were off limits however the main attraction was the fabulous wrap around deck with views for miles and sun for days. Interesting how within the span of one week the weather went from blustery day in March to blazing July heat. Lunch was a wonderful buffet of salads and fish catered by David Burke at Bloomingdale’s.

Believe it or not, the women actually filled their plates and enjoyed. Only clear beverages were allowed (makes sense — Stark Carpets!) — the white wine and Prosecco was donated by Palm Bay International — which I found out when someone asked for coffee. On the bar were pouches of HFactor hydrogenated water however those were thankfully poured into a glass for those who wanted extra H in their H20.

Andrea Stark, Vicky Tiel and Lauren Lawrence
Photo courtesy of Vicky Tiel

After lunch and speeches by Andrea Stark, Lauren Lawrence, and Marion Waxman, as well as a few words from representatives of Carolina Herrera, the models began to descend the dramatic staircase. The fashions ranged from day dresses in a sunny butterfly print (which one guest sported to the event) to evening gowns including a shimmery black and white polka dot creation — Ms. Herrera wore that one herself last December to “An Evening Honoring Carolina Herrera” at Lincoln Center where she accepted the Women’s Leadership Award.

Model on the far right wearing evening gown Ms. Herrera wore accepting
her Women’s Leadership Award

Herrera recently celebrated her 35th anniversary in the fashion business — we were reminded that none other than the legendary Diana Vreeland was at least partially responsible for it. In 1980, when Herrera expressed an interest in designing textiles, Vreeland redirected her towards becoming a fashion designer because textile design is “boring.”

Lauren Lawrence and Judith Miller

Among the notable attendees were a few newswomen including Judith Miller, former New York Times foreign correspondent, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Story” (a book about her time covering the supposed WMD in Iraq and being imprisoned for not divulging her sources), as well as Judge Jeanine Pirro of Fox News. The diminutive powerhouse was accompanied by Gwen Marder, an even more compact Gwen Marder, Fox News’s “wardrobe whisperer” who is responsible for dressing over 200 newsmen and women for the cable news network.

Michael Musto

When I told her that I love how Judge Jeanine dresses she said that she “has her own style” which I guess is somewhat similar to mine. When a model wearing a fit and flare burgundy leather dress walked out, the always outspoken Piro emitted an audible indication that this was for her! Designer Vicky Tiel was also in attendance in her trademark gold necklaces and a long, black and white tweed, crystal embellished jacket. I briefly glimpsed journalist Michael Musto grabbing a bite to eat and then he was gone.

After the fashion show concluded and the raffle (donations included Alice & Olivia sunnies, an Eric Javits straw visor and matching bag, Oscar de la Renta earrings, a Arlotta Cashmere set and a floral needlepoint rug from –you guessed it — Stark Carpet) guests were invited to linger with dessert (little cakes and really rich chocolate cake lollipops) and even catch a few rays on the upstairs sundeck.

Randi Schatz and Maria Fischl

Many departed at this point (me included) with a goody bag which held a Carolina Herrera Figuier Garden scented candle and a coupon for 10% off of all full-price items in the store, and the aforementioned container of HFactor water for the trek home. Shhh don’t tell! While most of the elegant lunching ladies waited in the circular driveway for their chauffeurs or their Ubers, I snuck across the street to catch the M31 bus.

– Laurel Marcus

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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