Fashion’s Night Out Heats Up Tucson for a Weekend of Style & Giving Back


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While the fashion set jetted off for Lincoln Center, I decided to take fashion show producer Paula Taylor up on her offer to spend a weekend in Tucson, checking out the inaugural Fashion’s Night Out at La Encantada, and Tucson Ladies’ Council’s annual fashion show to benefit Tu Nidito, including a VIP reception at Tiffany’s featuring Morton Myles, the man who designed Jackie O’s iconic robin’s egg dress in 1961. Fashion and a waterfall pool? How could I say no?!

Fashion’s Night Out

La Encantada is true desert luxury – and it’s lit courtyards, sweeping staircases, Spanish-style architecture and of course, shopping (hello enormous Anthropologie!) created a lively atmosphere to enjoy Fashion’s Night Out. In addition to shopping the stores, models wearing a variety of vintage gowns posed atop white seating, and a (shoppable, of course!) area was created to highlight local designers and boutiques.

Morton Myles at Tiffany

One of the most surprising and enjoyable parts of my visit was the chance to hear a real state of the union type address from retired fashion designer Morton Myles. His humor, candor and wit and experience provided context and flavor to what we think of the fashion industry today. He is also an excellent cocktail party conversationalist, if you ever get the chance!
Favorite quotes:

“The truth is, when there so many problems in the world…why would anyone be interested in fashion? The ability to make a woman look lovelier, more beautiful, and a word that’s no longer used, more glamorous…is something akin to magic.”

“A fashion designer is nothing more than a person who can mirror what society wants, and do it at the right time, successfully. And right now, society doesn’t know what it wants, except that it wants to express itself.”

The Cotton Club

More than 15 years ago, Tu Nidito became a non-profit agency dedicated to supporting children impacted by serious medical conditions and death. They are the only agency in Southern Arizona dedicated to providing comprehensive care to children whose lives have been impacted by grief.  Some of you may know that I lost my mom unexpectedly in 2007.  Sitting down to lunch with Tuscon Ladies Council chairs Amy Breck and Laura DiChristofano to learn more about the TLC and Tu Nidito made the fashion show instantly personal for me.

Held on the Westin La Paloma grounds under a bright white tent, the event itself was gorgeous. Despite the relentless pounding of rain (I did not pack for rain in the desert!), local celebrities and business owners generously participated in the live and silent auction. It was also great to have actual Tu Nidito families in attendance, many of whom made their runway debut! It was also refreshing to see a wearable mix of mainstream designer, vintage and local designers (I’m still thinking about those sheer black culottes!) as well as a bit of diversity in the models as well.

Final Thoughts

It’s always thrilling to be a part of the magic that takes place in New York twice a year, it’s also worth taking a look at how the rest of the country takes part, particularly with regard to Fashion’s Night Out, which has grown exponentially and took place in 18 countries this past September 9th. Finally, with the current celebri-spectacle that plagues front row fashion week coverage, it can be refreshing to see close up how local charity runway shows support local designers and and unite residents to raise funds for organizations making a real difference in their local community.

Many thanks to Paula Taylor, Melanie Sutton, Marketing Manager at La Encantada, Amy and Laura and all the Tuscon Ladies Council for showing me such an inspiring side of Tuscon!