What: The fourth annual Fashion for Paws Runway Show, benefitting the Washington Humane Society.
Where: The Embassy of Italy.
When: Saturday, April 10. At 7, VIP guests and sponsors were seated for a benefactor’s reception, which included dinner from Teatro Goldoni. When the doors opened for general-admission ticket holders at 8, other guests began trickling in. The runway show kicked off at 9:15.
Ticket price: VIP tables sold for $2,500; general admission was $85.
Dress code: Glitz, glamour, and lots of Chanel. Whoever said DC is Hollywood for ugly people clearly has never been to a Fashion for Paws event.
Who: Washington do-gooders and animal lovers eager to see their friends (including four-legged ones) work it on the runway. The mistress of ceremonies was socialite blogger Pamela Sorensen, decked out in a sparkly pink-and-black Betsey Johnson outfit. This year, event chair Amanda Polk and executive committee co-chairs Windy Shepard and Heather Guay worked together to raise almost $350,000.
The scene: The Italian Embassy was set ablaze with pink and blue lights, the glowing runway shining in the center of the room. Table buyers were encircled in the middle with velvet ropes, while the other guests mingled in the surrounding areas. The open bars caused severe traffic jams in the main hall, but side rooms—including one with an ultra-chic Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising art exhibit—helped decongest things. The FIDM room had bright-white furniture and mannequins displaying an 11-piece couture collection. Also on display was a gown made by top design student Clay Sadler.
Food and drink: Small plates of baba ganoush and other dishes prepared by the Georgetown Mediterranean restaurant Morso made the rounds, along with a selection of bite-size chocolate and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.
“Make it work” moments: Booming techno remixes of “Use Somebody” by the Kings of Leon and Chelley’s “I Took the Night” blared over the speakers as the show began. Pieces by designers Betsey Johnson, Seven for All Mankind, Karen Millen, Ermenegildo Zegna, Nicole Miller, Basler, Cole Haan, and others were featured. All eyes were on modeling-and-styling coach Paul Wharton, who sashayed down the runway like a Tyra Banks daydream, and model Amit Anand’s pooch, who basked in the spotlight until being tugged away by his owner. Other naturals on the catwalk included Channel 9’s Angie Goff, Fox 5’s Will Thomas, and one of the event’s top female fundraisers Sunanda Patel of RAFFA Technology, who raised almost $17,000.
In the name of charity: For the first time, the event featured a silent auction, which included a signed Michael Jordan basketball, four tickets to American Idol, and the Brooke Shields-endorsed eyelash product Latisse. Directly above the runway, people cooed as the Washington Humane Society projected images of adorable puppies and kittens in need of a home. Some furry friends walked through the crowd with signs reading “Adopt Me.”
Boldface names: 2 out of 5.
Swankiness: 3 out of 5.
Food and drink: 1 out of 5.
Overall exclusivity: 2 out of 5.
Total score: 8 out of 20.