CONTACT:   Candice Cousins-Hopkins <[email protected]

Hilary and I traveled from a celebration in Greenwich of The Great Outdoors in our last article, to one of the most glamorous indoor celebrations of the fall season in the city, The Rita Hayworth Gala for the Alzheimer’s Association.  Princess Yasmin Khan has spent her life in dedication and service to the debilitating disease that ended her mother’s life.  

Yasi, as her friends call her explained, “This year we come together for the 34th Rita Hayworth Gala with the mission driven by Passion, Purpose and Progress.  This annual event on October 24th at Cipriani 42nd street supports the Alzheimer’s Association, that I’ve been dedicated to, since it’s founding in honor of my mother, Rita Hayworth who died of Alzheimer’s.  I am deeply honored to be surrounded by individuals who share such a strong passion for our cause through their hard work towards making this year’s event a success.  Our three Chairs, Karyn Kornfeld, Robin Meltzer and Daryl Simon, have been working tirelessly to raise funds and to spread awareness about this disease.   We are thrilled to celebrate Nina Garcia’s commitment to spreading awareness about this disease.  We will be presenting her with the Champion Award at the Gala.”

Nina is one of the fashion world’s risenstars.   With her keen eye for style, she rules as an expert judge on Project Runway, has authored four books on the subject of fashion, and rose through the ranks of the industry to the coveted post of Creative Director of Marie Claire Magazine, and just this past month, became the celebrated Editor of Elle Magazine.   An article in New York Time describes her vision, “She said that she would continue Elle’s tradition of celebrating diversity and emerging voices and work closely with the 46 international editions to share talent globally.”

Nina brings an elegance to everything she does and the Gala will be no exception.   She spoke of her commitment, “I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association because my mother suffered from the disease. It is my hope that by sharing my story, others will also feel empowered to share their experiences, and together we can change the future of Alzheimer’s for millions.”

Dee Ocleppo and Tommy Hilfiger

So many people have been touched by this illness.   In this country alone, 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. Worldwide, 47 million people are living with dementia, making it a global epidemic.   For over 30 years, the  Association has been dedicated to supporting an accelerated pace of study by uniting professionals worldwide.   It is a global leader in the quest for a world without Alzheimer’s.  

Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney graciously opened their home to the Kick Off Party the past summer in East Hampton.   

As we reported last winter from Palm Beach, in our What to Wear to the Rita Hayward Luncheon,  Hilary has a special connection to the cause as she watched her grandmother, Bunnie DuPont, suffer from the devastating illness and knows its extreme impact on families.  

KK & Hilary at the Rita Hayworth Luncheon in Palm Beach 

Jean Shafiroff, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan and Hilary

Hilary noted, “I became involved with the Rita Hayworth Gala many years ago as a way to contribute to the fight against Alzheimer’s. I have been fortunate to be part of this incredible group of women who work tirelessly, under Yasi’s wonderful guidance, to raise millions for the cause. The Gala itself has changed over time as our chairs adapt new ideas to keep the event fresh and fun. This year the change of dress code will add a different twist. Karen and I had fun coming up with festive dress ideas. Taking a cue from the invitation we both looked for purple and gold hues to wear. This deep purple dress by Dion Lee is not for the figure shy, but the rich velvet fabric is right on trend. The gold dresses by Halston Heritage have just the right shimmer. And with a nod to the late great Kenneth Jay Lane I accessorized my looks with some of his pieces. They work perfectly with the gold and purple palate. Add a gold high heel and you are ready for this year’s new dress code.”

dresses: Halston Heritage Metallic Stretch-Jersey  $325  /  Dion Lee Asymmetric Velvet Midi  $595  /  Halston Heritage Metallic Lurex Midi  $325

accesories:  Gucci Gold-Tone Crystal Clip  $1490  /  Ellery Forbidden Fruit Gold-Plated  $485  /  Jimmy Choo Lame Clutch  $775  /  Jimmy Choo Glittered Satin Clutch  $1050  / Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Crystal And Faux Pearl Ring  $120  /  Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Bangle  $125

shoes:  Nicholas Kirkwood Metallic Mesh Sandals  $795  /  Gianvito Rossi Metallic Leather Sandals  $815

In past years, the attire for the Gala has been Black Tie but this year, the invitation suggest “Festive Evening Attire” which will be great fun.   We have fielded many queries over the years about just what Festive Attire means.   Think of it as Cocktail Attire on steroids, adding some shimmer, bling, and shine!   And while Festive Attire does not rule out a long dress, for me, given my height, I usually opt for a short dress.   Purple is the official color of Alzheimer’s so I was delighted to find two suitable styles in the sultry shade.    Designers Talbot Runhof and Carmen Marc Valvo both know how to make a woman feel feminine and look polished.  Gold is a perfect, and regal pairing to enhance the shared richness of both shades.  Any of our fashion choices here would be wonderful ensembles for fall and winter weddings.  

dresses: Talbot Runhof Stretch Satin  $1395   /  Carmen Marc Valvo Floral Skirt  $487  

accessories:  Oscar De La Renta Leaf Drop Earrings  $325  /  Adriana Orsini Chandelier Earrings  $125

    Eponymous Blair Panel  $245    Eponymous Taylor Clutch  $695

  Rebecca Minkoff Velvet Clutch  $95

shoes: Jimmy Choo Strappy Mirror Sandals  $895  /  SJP By Sarah Jessica Parker Tie-Up Velvet Heels  $385

Hilary in Talbot Runhof at the Gala 2016. 

Charity events such as luncheons and galas, in addition to raising significant funds for important health organizations, also spread the word to those in need when someone they love is suffering.    There is so much more to be learned about Alzheimer’s.    As the color purple symbolizes mystery, it is a fitting shade for this enigmatic illness.   Hilary speaks for the community, “The numbers are daunting in this fight but we will continue to strive towards a cure.”

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