Tuesday, October 23, 2018

What to Wear Where: Alzheimer’s Association 35th annual Rita Hayworth Gala

by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick

Fall's Galas are fast upon us so hop on a pony and gallop to the ultra glamorous
Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, which takes place tonight. This year is their 35th, and they are “Blazing Trails” and getting gussied up for a “Denim & Diamond” Black Tie Extravaganza.
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan began this event in honor of her mother, actress Rita Hayworth, who died as a result of Alzheimer's.  With the Princess and Anne Hearst McInerney leading the charge, they have a assembled a powerful posse to pursue this dastardly disease that is robbing us of our friends and loved ones.  
Yasmin and Rita Hayworth in happy days. AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo
Hilary Dick has long been a supporter of the organization as she watched her grandmother, Bunny duPont suffer and succumb from the illness. "Being witness to what this terrible disease can do fueled my passion to help in the fight for a cure. Yazi gave me the opportunity to join her team, and the Gala, to raise important funds needed for research. I am in awe of what Yasi has done in her efforts and this year's Gala is going to be one of the best."
Bunny du Pont and Lesly Ordway.
Hilary with Yaz.
Anne shared the admiration, "I met Yasmin many years ago, and I was so impressed with how devoted she was to her mother, and how involved she was with caring for her when Alzheimer's and dementia struck. When she was asked to participate in the Alzheimer's Association, she founded the Rita Hayworth Gala in her mother's honor, raised both money and awareness, and took care of her mother until the day she died. I was very touched by that."
Anne Hearst McInerney and Yasmin Aga Khan. (Photo by /PMC)
Yaz, with her usual gracious enthusiasm shared, "I am honored that Anne, who has supported Alzheimer's since our first event, is co-chairing with me for our 35th event; and we have a young new artist performing, Jay Allen, with his new hit BLANK STARES. Also the California Cowboys and Patty Smyth. It will be a really fun event.  We are thankful to our committee and attendees who raise important dollars for the Alzheimer's Association. This year we are honoring the Champion Award to The Johnson Family in Memory of Elizabeth Johnson who was taken by this disease at the early age of 66 in 2017."
Libet was a rare individual who gave back more than she received.  She had a natural curiosity and a sense of adventure. Traveling the world far and wide led her to founding Sovann Komar, a non-profit organization for orphaned and abandoned children in Cambodia.  Her children continue to share in her legacy of philanthropy and activism.
John Lansing on The Heroes Project expedition.
To John Lansing, her oldest son, Libet was the inspiration for his love of discovery while serving others.  As Advisory Board member of The Heroes Project, John participates in expeditions that lead to the empowerment of injured war veterans. JL remembers his mother with great vibrancy: "She was a spectacular, generous woman with a love of adventure and a hug so strong it would take your breath away. I will miss her and be grateful for her for the rest of my life."
In high spirit on the sea.
Cece Cord, Libet's dearest friend shared a beautiful memory, "Lib was and will always be my closest friend in the world. I think of her and miss her everyday.  Libet loved life so much and this horrible disease snatched it away so, so much too soon. My heart goes out to each of her wonderful five children and every family dealing with this dreadful disease ... a cure can't come soon enough, I applaud Yasmin for her commitment."
Libet Johnson and Cece Cord.
As a kick-off to the gala, Anne and Jay McInerney generously opened their home in Bridgehampton last summer. Yasmin noted, "At these events we are able to introduce this disease to the younger generation.  Over 35 years, the Rita Hayworth events have raised more than $75 million for the Association. Wonderful news that the Senate and Congress has passed a $425 million increase in funding for the NIH for research."
Hosts with the Most.
Hilary, KK, Amy Hoadley, and Jack Lynch.
Palmer Taipale, Randy Harris, John Barrett McInerney and friends.
And for What to Wear to a kick-up-your -heels event, "Denim and Diamonds,"  we hollered Whoop-de-Doo! As usual, Hilary perfected the look, "I love a party with a theme. And this year's dress code is right on trend. Western style clothing and boots were all over the runway for fall. I shopped at Veronica Beard for my look. They have donated an amazing silent auction item for the Gala and they just happen to be having a Western moment of their own. The velvet dress is a knock out with the big diamond buttons; pair it with an embellished jean jacket and silver booties and you are rocking the theme. For a more dressed down look I like the denim dress, but be sure to wear lots of bling to sparkle it up with earrings or a choker and of course a bit of sheen on the shoe."
What fun to dress up like a rhinestone cowgirls headed out for a night on the town! At Nordstrom I discovered a perfect pick to begin the ensemble, Tadashi Shoji crochet off-shoulder gown which fills my "need for sleeves." I will shorten it to show of the fab boots.  I continued the theme, going more Diamond than denim with dripping, sparkle earrings, a groovy Top Shop fringed bag, and Christian Louboutin killer silver embossed boots — all very much in vogue this fall. To top it off, a purple, jeweled hat — so grab your partner and Do-si-do!
We are grateful that a dedicated group of philanthropists are on the front lines of finding a cure for a heartbreaking disease that is suffered by more than 5 million patients, and 15 million caregivers in this country.   All of us have watched friends and family withdraw then leave us, while their bodies remain behind. It is a torture to both suffer and witness the process.
Under Princess Yasmin Aga Khan's leadership, the 2017 event raised $2 million, and a grand total of over $75 million has been raised through the Rita Hayworth Galas. These funds, combined with other donations, have helped the Alzheimer's Association make significant progress toward their mission to eliminate Alzheimer's disease.
Princess Yasmin, Nina Garcia, and Tim Gunn.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. They welcome participation on many levels. As with many illnesses, early detection is key to treatment. To learn more about the disease, including the 10 Early Signs and Symptoms please go to Alzheimer's Association or call their 24/7 Hotline 800.272.3900.
What2WearWhere helps today’s busy women shop for life’s events, sports, workplace and travel.   The site is a synthesis of the latest looks and trends compiled by Karen Klopp & Hilary Dick: www.what2wearwhere.com