Monday, April 17, 2017

What2WearWhere: NYSPCC's annual luncheon

The dress worn by Mary Ellen, the first child abuse victim rescued by the founders of the NYSPCC.
by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick

The New York Society of for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's annual luncheon
is a noteworthy and newsworthy event in the spring season, tackling the toughest topic — the abuse of children. The event and organization has a fantastic support system among this city's well heeled, philanthropic woman, many of whom are mothers. The luncheon speaker is renowned attorney Eric MacLeish, who has handled some of the most important abuse cases in the country and who was portrayed in the award-winning film, Spotlight.
Boston attorney Eric MacLeish was portrayed by Billy Crudup in Spotlight.
The organization is on the cutting edge of keeping children safe from all forms of abuse, even as it retains its historical significance as the first of its kind in the nation. It is difficult to imagine a world where children's safety is not a priority. But that was the reailty for many children in New York until the creation of the NYSPCC in 1875, which was founded on the heels of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

NYSPCC President David Stack observes, "We couldn't be more pleased at how The NYSPCC Luncheon has grown over the years, despite the fact that we are frequently raising some of the most difficult and uncomfortable topics. I believe that growth reflects the importance of our message about child abuse, the power of the speakers we present, and the valuable information we provide on how everyone can help."
Frank Sommerfield, Tania Higgins, Elizabeth Mayhew, Connie Newberry, Drew Barrymore, Dr. Mary Pulido, Valesca Guerrand-Hermes, Dr. Penny Grant, Maarit Glocer, David Stack, and Holly Kelly at last year's NYSPCC Spring Luncheon.
Board Member and Contributing Editor on NBC's Today Show Elizabeth Mayhew, agrees, "Now in its sixth year, the lunch to benefit the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was started to educate our community about child abuse. Yes, the lunch brings together smart, stylish, well-dressed women and men, but this event focuses on powerful speakers with moving messages — all of hope, but also of struggle. Everyone leaves the lunch better informed and more committed to making our city — and beyond — safer for children."

Valesca Guerrand Hermes added, "Awareness is vital to stopping the abuse of children. NYSPCC Spring Luncheon is a growing family that I am very proud to be a part of."
Last year's luncheon at The Pierre.
On a much lighter note, we turn our focus to fashion. Karen and I are clearly feeling florals for this event. Now that spring is finally here and floral patterns are big this season, we too are jumping on the trend. I love this dress by Rhode Resort with its bold print and cold shoulder cutouts. It is also a silhouette that would be flattering on most figures. And showing a bit of shoulder is sexy. Typically women, myself included, wear dresses to a spring lunch like this. But if you have the legs for it, a great high waisted pair of pants is also an option. Pair it with a feminine blouse like this one and you have a fresh and chic outfit. As always I like to keep my accessories simple during the day. A classic black handbag goes well with any look. And if you want to give nod to another trend this season, polka dots, these black sandals do the trick.
Clockwise from above: Rhode Resort Suzani Cold Shoulder Floral Maxi Dress, $295; ​Dolce & Gabana Gold-Tone Clip Earrings, $455​; ​Stella Mccartney Falabella Faux Brushed-Leather Shoulder Bag, $925​; Jimmy Choo Lanta Metallic Leather-Trimmed Suede Mules, $795.
Clockwise from above: Alexis Sienna Floral Peplum Top, $495, paired with Derek Lam Crosby Lace-Tie Flare Pants, $395; ​Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Foux Pearl Earrings, $75​; Charlotte Olympia Emma Polka Dot Sandals, $595.
Karen: sophisticated florals like these by Erdem are a must-have for this transition season. I just couldn't decide so picked the whole bouquet to showcase. These are timeless sheaths that are a good example of investment dressing — they will never go out of style and can be worn from morning meetings to a night on the town. A bit tired of winter's black footwear, I chose neutrals that will brighten up your seasonal style. If you go with an ankle strap, a fixture on the fashion scene this spring, a neutral shade will elongate your leg, rather than cut it off at the ankle. Being on the shorter side, this is important to me. Mansur Gavriel and Derick Lam purses are in the pink, and perfect for now and right through summer. The lighter shades of shades reflect the lengthening hours of daylight in this most optimistic of seasons.
Erdem Emma Half-Sleeve Floral Shift Dress, White, $975.   Erdem Marion Short-Sleeve Sheath Dress, $1210   Erdem Emma 3/4-Sleeve Floral-Print Dress, White/Red, $1,095.
Clockwise from top left: Le Specs Luxe Nefertiti Two-Tone Cat Eye Sunglasses, $119; Miu Miu Mirrored Inlay Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $385; Derek Lam 10 Crosby Houston Mini Leather Crossbody Bag, $550; Vince Suede Ankle-Strap City Sandal, $325; Alexandre Birman Bow-Tie Leather d'Orsay Sandal, $595; Mansur Gavriel Mini Suede Sun Tote Bag, $695.
Poignant insight from NYSPCC Board Member, retired child abuse pediatrician Dr. Penny Grant: "The dress worn by Mary Ellen, who is the first child abuse victim rescued in New York City by the founders of the NYSPCC, is permanently displayed at the NYSPCC and serves as a testament to work well done. Her photo after her rescue shows her in a lovely new dress. I like to think we honor her memory and the ongoing tireless work the NYSPCC does in helping heal children from abuse as we don our luncheon outfits in support of its legacy."
Mary Ellen before. Mary Ellen after.
For inquiries, contact Special Events Manager Ianna Angelo at 212.233.5500, ext. 240 or