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The third floor of the Chanel boutique on Madison Avenue was transformed on Monday afternoon for a luncheon hosted by Cristina Cuomo, Erica Karsch, Emily Mortimer, Wendi Murdoch and Alexandra Shiva to preview the brand’s latest cruise collection in honor of Turnaround for Children.


This story first appeared in the September 27, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

It may have been a muggy, overcast September day in New York, but guests were beseeched to “imagine that you’re under the pines at the famous Eden Roc hotel,” one of the Chanel representatives intoned, referencing the location of the collection’s debut in May.


Later, Dr. Pamela Cantor, from Turnaround for Children, took a similar, if starkly contrasting tack.
“Imagine that we’re a high school class in an inner city neighborhood,” Cantor asked, offering the dire statistics for children in that situation. “Poverty does not excuse poor education…education is the only answer. That’s what we do.”


Two long banquet tables were laid for the seated lunch, topped with blue-and-white-striped napkins, white gardenias, camelias and Provence roses, some woven into the open white wicker structure in the adjoining space.


“It looks like a wedding,” a pregnant Shirin von Wulffen commented on the decor. “Are we getting married…? Though I suppose the camelias are very French.”


Cuomo accepted praise for her black strappy dress, adorned with several small bows along the bodice.
“It’s Chanel, of course,” Cuomo said. “I couldn’t think of what shoes to wear with it, actually, but here we are.”


The confusing weather had thrown most for a loop. Emily Mortimer sighed: “I don’t know. Is it fall? It still feels like summer.”


Lauren Santo Domingo was resplendent in a marigold-colored woven Chanel dress with a feathered skirt.
“I thought you said you were over sequins and feathers this season?” a nearby friend teased.


“Never,” Santo Domingo laughed, feigning shock. “Sequins and feathers are my two favorite food groups.”

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