What: A fabulous fashion show/auction/charity benefit
When: Saturday, April 26
Where: Acadamy of Art University, San Francisco
Why: To support a local non-profit (and see some pretty clothes, too)
The Scoop: It was one of those rare, gorgeous, hot spring days in San Francisco, and after a steamy afternoon gallery hopping downtown, what better way to cool off than to sip cocktails and munch (hopefully) vegan hors d'oeuvres at a fashion-focused South of Market soirée? As the afternoon winds picked up, I climbed aboard my trusty bicycle and followed the breeze toward the Academy of Art University to see what the Discarded to Divine event was all about.
Pulling a pair of high heels out of my bag, I did a ninja footwear change before heading toward the big tent with the mile-long line of dressed-to-the-nines urbanites snaking out of it. Standing in line, I met Bay Area designer Cari Borja, an amazingly talented artist who's "Cotton Candy Kelp" dress was one of many gorgeous creations up for auction. (That's her, above, with her daughter, Royal.)
Inside, it was a non-stop fashion extravaganza: One-of-a-kind dresses in every shape and hue filled the main room, while stylistas cruised the floor looking for that perfect oufit to bid on. Everything on display was created by local designers and design students from throw-away clothing donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, whose mission is to help the poor and homeless through a variety of programs. The event was a dazzling allegory for how lives, like clothing, can be utterly and completely transformed with the right resources and a bit of creativity.
My stomach really started rumbling just as the announcement was made that the fashion show was about to begin, so I, and several hundred others, shuffled over to the big tent to see the spectacle. It was straight out of a "Project Runway" episode, and I loved every second of it—even if I was a little preoccupied by the idea of eating. Thank goodness for Indian restaurants that stay open late. Chana masala never tasted so good!
A model struts her stuff wearing the "Shadow Box" dress by student designer Nancy DeLos Reyes.