There was an absence of the usual honorees and the crowd appeared a bit sparse, but the recent March of Dimes Beauty Ball, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, was not without celebrity presence.
Organizers had decided that the best way to celebrate the organization’s 75th anniversary was to scrap the traditional honoree format and have a dance party instead — with plenty of music pounding through the sound system from the turntables of DJ Cassidy.
There were more than 300 people at the March 12 event, compared with last year’s 350 to 375 attendees, and a large number of them ended up on the dance floor, leaving the dinner tables empty by 8:45 p.m.
An auction conducted by CK Swett of Phillips de Pury and sponsored by March of Dimes’ “partners” — Coty, Givaudan, Avon Products, Shiseido, L’Oréal USA, Condé Nast and International Flavors & Fragrances — augmented the fund-raising.
According to a spokeswoman for the March of Dimes, more than $700,000 was raised. That compares to last year’s more than $1.3 million.
Bill Boraczek, senior vice president of marketing at Coty Beauty, saluted “the extraordinary accomplishments of March of Dimes over the past 75 years.
“It is a true honor to be here tonight to celebrate not only the March of Dimes’ rich history, but also to celebrate the future everyone here tonight is helping to create — a healthier and happier tomorrow for millions of babies,” he concluded. “That is what the March of Dimes is fighting for, and what all of us tonight are here to support.”
The need for the organization’s work was driven home by the real headliners of the evening: three families that have struggled in the aftermath of premature births. The personal stories of the families culminated in the on-stage appearance of twin sisters Hannah and Alexa Freede, both in fifth grade. Their birth was premature by two months, leaving them both severely underweight. Hannah, who weighed 3.3 pounds at birth, spent a month in the hospital before going home to begin years of physical therapy to strengthen her underdeveloped muscles.
But she was luckier than her sister, Alexa, who weighed only 2.9 pounds. Alexa was born with six holes in her heart and developed breathing problems. After three-and-a-half months in the hospital, open-heart surgery led to a second operation. She also had difficulties eating properly and required a feeding tube until age eight, when the device was removed for good. “That was one the happiest days of my life,” the little girl said, standing next to her bigger sister. “It has been a tough road for me but today I am your typical fifth-grader. My mom always calls me, ‘Sweet and Petite,’” she proudly declared.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)