All images by Audrey Dempsey

Throwing tradition to the wind, the co-chairs of the Nathan Adelson Hospices’ annual “A Flair for Care” fashion presentation and luncheon (Dena duBoef-Roth, Tami Hance, and Nicole Parry) decided to change things up; and while keeping the event – the doyenne of Las Vegas’ daytime philanthropic functions – at Wynn Las Vegas; presented it as a two-part affair.  And it was kinda great.

Guests gathered in the lobby of the Wynn Theater (home of Le Rêve - The Dream), for a dose of Champagne-fueled, mid-morning jive-talkin', before descending into the theater and taking their seats, for the show – in this case, a series of vignettes by ten of the designers of Wynn Las Vegas, curated once again, by Wynn’s Senior Retail Buyer, Alexandra Vasquez, and produced by Destinations By Design Las Vegas, presented in the round, to a live three-piece band (the ST Trio), on a stage surrounded by fire and water – was about to begin.

I think the new venue was used to marvelous effect.  It allowed for a level of drama not common in these sorts of functions, not to mention the incredible décor and props (the aforementioned water, in which floated rafts strewn with candles, as the water changed color) and sound and lighting that really made things lovely, in addition to adding a bit of narrative.

So, let’s look at what was shown, shall we?  First came Jason Wu Collection’s Spring 2019 RTW, full of flirty frills and highlighted by a lovely floral embroidered organza gown and a great, girly asymmetrical patchwork dress made of assorted lace.

Giambattista Valli – one of the great contemporary couturiers – was next with a series of looks from his Resort 2019 RTW and Spring 2019 RTW collections, that abounded with the talented Roman’s signature florals and flounces, with a clever nod to the bohemian and beachy in some cases, while a fabulous sequined evening suit embellished with light pink lips was so fierce it’s still giving me life!

Serving as a clever counter to Giamba’s Romanticism, the luxe, sleek, stretch-leather and -suede looks from Jitrois’s SS19 and FW19 included a metallic lambskin cocktail dress, an embroidered floral top paired with slightly flared black suede pants, and a pair of denim-blue bell-sleeved dresses – one cocktail length in stretch-suede, and the other floor-length, slit to the knee, in stretch-suede and tulle.

The looks from Nicole Miller’s Spring 2019 RTW and Fall 2019 RTW collections offered a glimpse into New York designer’s thoughts on club wear for street kids (or maybe it was streetwear for club kids, though I think it’s splitting well-styled hairs), and was a touching tribute to the late Bud Konheim, who’d passed ten days prior.

Girl-power with a heavy dose of glam was being served by Parisian designer Barbara Bui for Spring Summer 2019 RTW, including a fab dusty-rose lamé pantsuit, a great metallic blue blouse worn with slim black cargo pants, and a sensationally vivid flowing muslin dress, with a deep V-neck embellished with braided lacing, long sleeves and low armholes, patchwork yokes, featuring an arresting tiger print.  If you’ll allow for a bit of alliterative whimsy, Barbara Bui brought it, beautifully.

And, speaking of fabulous flowy frocks, the offerings from Hong Kong’s Marie France Van Damme were seemingly light as gossamer and inherently wearable.  Now, MFVD doesn’t believe in seasons, so much as moods; and as the delightfully droll designer explained to me recently, over lunch at Cipriani, designs for the latter-day jetsetter, with an eye toward elegant, timeless resort-wear – as exemplified by breezy metallic knits, a fun Duchesse satin jacket, and pieces that you’ll want to wear after you’re home from the resort – whether that resort is in Marrakech or the Maldives or now, Las Vegas, where the Canadian expat has opened one of her eponymous boutiques in the Wynn Plaza Shops

Kelly Gray and her mother Marie also eschew seasons for their Grayse collection, instead choosing to release pieces in a steady stream for their customer; and the Grayse looks provided some sparkling razzle-dazzle in the form of a sensational bias-cut gown of black metallic pave paired with a fur, a flesh-toned metallic “stingray” jumpsuit with flared legs paired with a fur coat with two-toned chevron pattern, and a high-necked sleeveless silver gown covered in crystal fringe.

Vicedomini’s Italian knitwear followed, with signature looks from an assortment of seasons, including a dramatic ivory bustier gown with a plunging neckline and strategic use of nude tulle from SS17, a long strapless multipaneled gown in blush with interspersed panels of tulle and sequins from FW17, and a sequin jumpsuit that may well have been inspired by Daphne Guinness, Sade, and the late Selena.

Another counter, this time to the cool classicism of the Carolina Herrera Spring 2019 RTW, à la Creative Director Wes Gordon, who for his first solo showing served a playful double-breasted cotton pant-suit in sherbet-hued plaid run through with black, covered with crystal embellishments, and (in a tip of the cap to a Herrera classic) a stately two-tone silk front-button gown in black and white with a bow at the waist.

Heading into the homestretch, came a quartet of dresses from Pamella Roland Spring 2019 RTW, inspired by the New York designer’s love of Bali (and her customers’ love for exquisitely executed eveningwear).  Presented for our viewing pleasure were a Grecian-style draped silk organza gown in a vibrant Pantone Yellow with matching pearl trim, a deep V neckline, and a train; a strapless tulle cocktail dress with micro-pleated tulle in black with dégradé metallic foil detail; an strapless silver sequin cocktail-length column dress with off-the-shoulder fringed sleeves; and a tiered sequin-and-feather gown with an illusion bodice, drape detail, embellished with matte ostrich feathers.

And as the last stop on this sartorial hit parade, Oscar de la Renta Fall 2019 RTW, for which co-creative directors Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia gave us a form-fitting asymmetrical floral brocade minidress that’s exquisitely draped; a floral brocade pointed-collar coat with matching bralette, worn as a post-modern twin-set, and paired with straight-leg, high-waisted wool pants in white with button accents; and (in lieu of the traditional wedding gown) a belted, one-shouldered, feather-embellished tulle gown with a cinched velvet waist and a high-low hemline (the same gown worn by Lupita Nyong’o earlier this year, to Vanity Fair’s Oscars Party).

2019 Flair for Care Fashion Presentation benefiting Nathan Adelson Hospice
Wynn Theater | Wynn Las Vegas
Click HERE for info

Get into it!

[Editor’s Note: All looks and garments shown are available for purchase at Wynn Las Vegas; either at Wynn Collection or in one of the signature boutiques of Wynn’s retail partners on the Wynn Esplanade and at Wynn Plaza.]