Dress For Success New Orleans’ 1st Annual Fashion Gala To Celebrate Classic Couture Of Coco Chanel Saturday

NEW ORLEANS – Dress for Success New Orleans will hold its first annual Fashion Gala & Fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Dr., to benefit the organization’s programs of promoting economic independence of women in the community.

         Presented by the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust, “A Salute to Coco Chanel: The First Feminist of Fashion” will feature a Chanel-inspired mannequin exhibition celebrating the iconic styles of Coco Chanel from top local fashion boutiques and designers; a raffle of a 1970 Coco Chanel 31” oval link chain necklace with a “Coco Chanel” cut out round pendant, retailing for $2,400 courtesy of Vintage 329; live music from The Jenn Howard Band followed by DJ Kuff-Lynx; a $50 jewelry pull by Porter Lyons with the value of items ranging between $50-$200; and a silent auction of fabulous items including spa services, hotel stays, restaurant gift cards, home décor, apparel, original art, jewelry and Christian Louboutin heels, organizers said.

         A patron party at 7:00 p.m. will offer exclusive cocktails and culinary treats by Jason Goodenough of Carrollton Market, music by The Jenn Howard Band, a VIP camellia brooch and photographers snapping photos of partygoers on a red carpet.

         The gala, from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., will showcase live music, dancing, fashion and food from local restaurants including Ancora, Candace's Cake Balls, Cane & Table, Chez Nous, Coquette, High Hat Cafe, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Rachel Stickney, The Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans, Vincent’s and more.  

         Organizers said proceeds from the 2017 Gala will help Dress for Success celebrate and support the organization’s mission of empowering women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. Initiatives include interview and employment suitings; resume building and mock interviewing sessions with a career coach in its Career Center; the monthly Professional Women’s Group, a monthly program which addresses financial literacy, work/ life balance and health/ wellness and other important topics; quarterly Alumni Professional Women’s Group and Mentorship Program; and meeting its goal of suiting 425 women in 2017.  

         Through these tailored programs above and the continuum of services, Dress for Success New Orleans served more than 380 women in 2016 as they transitioned from being unemployed and searching, to recently employed and adjusting, to gainfully employed and succeeding.

         The Dress for Success New Orleans’ boutique is located at 6117 Magazine St.

         “When you look better, you feel better about yourself,” said Meaghan Ryan Bonavita, president of the New Orleans local chapter. “The power of clothing to make the wearer feel confident and proud in her job role can change the trajectory of her day as well as her mood. We see this all the time at Dress for Success New Orleans. And change is what Dress for Success offers to our clients – helping women in transition, promoting economic independence. And it all starts with a suit. We are so excited about our inaugural Fashion Gala! It will be a special and uniquely fun-filled and fashionable evening to celebrate not only the world of timeless Chanel couture but also our client’s successes.

         “The work that Dress for Success New Orleans does not only impacts the women that we serve, but also their families and the community,” Bonavita said. “When a woman gets a job and becomes financially independent, she can provide for her family and she sets a positive example for her children. Our clients come from every walk of life, every ethnicity and education level. They all have one thing in common: they want to do better. Dress for Success New Orleans provides that network of support to help them achieve their goals. Our 2017 goal is to serve 425 unique women in the Greater New Orleans area. We offer a hand up, not a hand out.”

         Organizers said Miss Kookie Baker, one of New Orleans’ favorite Drag Queens know for her whit and banter, will emcee the evening, and Honorary Chairs are Jennifer Hale and Tamica Lee and Fashion Chairs are Shannon Brice, Laura Buchtel and Kea Sherman.

         Featured designers and boutiques at the event will include A.L.G. Style, Amanda Talley, Century Girl, Elle Boutique, Em's Boutique, Joseph, Maiya, Mirabella, Rosé Boutique, Second Act, W by Worth courtesy of Carolyn Fitzpatrick, West London Boutique and more.

         Individual tickets cost $85, patron sponsor tickets cost $150 and patron pair sponsor tickets cost $275.

         Other sponsorship levels include the No. 5 sponsor at $500 and the Mademoiselle sponsor at $1,250.

         Guests are encouraged to dress in cocktail attire celebrating the theme for the night.

         For tickets, sponsorships, silent auction bidding and raffle ticket purchases

         Raffle tickets for the vintage Chanel necklace sell for $25 each or 5 tickets for $100

         For more information


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