Looking like characters out of a Victorian storybook, more than 400 mothers and daughters turned out in spring dresses and hats decorated with every flower of spring for the first annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

The Mother’s Day tea and fashion show showcased fashion from Laura Ashley and two Buckhead retailers — Natalie B’s, a women’s specialty boutique, and the Baby Boomers children’s store. The show was even more of a family affair for Natalie B owner Natalie Brown and her sister Cheryl Echols, who owns Baby Boomers.

Highlights from Natalie B’s segment of the show included natural gauze and linen palazzo pants and a bustier festooned with AIDS ribbons. Baby Boomers showcased traditional children’s clothing as well as more fashion forward California lines. “Parents are buying women’s looks that have filtered down to children sizes,” said Echols.

Elyse Ranart, designer for Laura Ashley, which has three stores in Atlanta, noted that the abundance of watercolor florals was “inspired by Welsh gardens.” She also predicted a resurgence in the petticoats Laura Ashley was known for in the Eighties.

The event raised $25,000 for The Foundation for Medically Fragile Children, which helps kids like Cameron, a four-year-old with ischemic encephalopathy, who attended the show. Recently the foundation purchased a computer that enables him to communicate and attend school.

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