St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center’s 39th Haute with Heart embraces much more than fashion

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Now celebrating 50 years of giving a hand up to adults with intellectual disabilities, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center took its 39th Haute with Heart Fashion Show and Luncheon to new heights with an extravaganza of fashion and fundraising. Held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Aug. 11, this event offered a wide variety of ways to help fund the many projects that St. Madeleine has on its agenda.

Now celebrating 50 years of giving a hand up to adults with intellectual disabilities, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center took its 39th Haute with Heart Fashion Show and Luncheon to new heights with an extravaganza of fashion and fundraising. Held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront on Aug. 11, this event offered a wide variety of ways to help fund the many projects that St. Madeleine has on its agenda. With no Morning Glory Brunch this year do to the Center’s ongoing repairs and upgrades needed, this was a cornerstone event to help keep the funds flowing in, all in order to better serve its clients.

It was a morning of fund networking and silent auctions followed by fine dining and an exquisite Theatrical Fashion Show by TV Personality Leonard Simpson – Fashion Forward and Brittany Simpson of Fashion LemonAid. Beginning the fashion show in true St. Madeleine style, staff and clients walked the runway, not only showcasing the latest in Macy’s designs, but reiterating the important relationship between the Center’s clients and staff. Always a crowd favorite, this year was no disappointment as they walked down the runway with confidence that not only showed the latest fashions, but also the relationships built by the Center’s many programs and the staff that supports them.

Nothing held back the Simpsons phenomenal lineup of celebrity Couture Designers, and the various designs from around the world was something that fashion producer Leonard Simpson could pull off without a hitch. Vietnamese fashion designer Vo Viet Chung lit up the stage with a stunning array of elegant gowns that portrayed the history and future of Asian fashion. With details and prints that reflect the history of the Vietnamese culture, the modern designs with high splits and flowing trains shattered the traditional, transforming it to the remarkable. Chung is the recipient of Fashion Forward’s Fashion International Designer of the Year.

Design & Philanthropy Award recipient Andre Soriano, San Diego’s local international acclaimed television personality and fashion designer presented a stunning array of his works of arts. From sheer to glimmer his fashions stunned the audience with the combination of sleek designs and illuminating fabrics.

Hollywood designer Sueko held the audience captive with her interpretations of the timeless kimono, each piece being a wearable work of art. Menswear came on and off the runway with a variety of under/swim/active wear, to casual to dress from Rufskin San Diego, providing a great collection of summer to fall styles. This was a welcomed change to the fashion show along with the creativity of Alex Train Cartoon Characters that brought dragons in evening formal, a sword wielding wolf, and cats, fully costumed from head to toe.

Now becoming a tradition, Costume Designer Debbie Solan of Fushionglass Co. in La Mesa, did the final walk in her creation of The Great Wave dress, inspired by The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai. Breathtakingly beautiful, the dress is made entirely of hand painted silk and recycled plastic. Her designs not only come with fashion, but also with a message.

All of this and more created a splendid fundraiser for a great cause that began 50 years ago. This year’s theme, “Empowerment is Golden” is all about building future innovations for the more than 400 adults with developmental disabilities that rely on St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center’s programs that build confidence and independence. This year’s event honored the Kraemer-Kleinbub family for their lead gift to its 50th Anniversary Capital Campaign.

To find our more about St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center, its mission, its programs and how to become involved visit www.stmc.org.

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