An Evening Soirée for the 60th Anniversary of the Gold Coast Fashion Awards

For 60 years, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has put together the ultimate display of fashion and philanthropy with the Gold Coast Fashion Awards. Hundreds of couture gowns have graced the runways with donors raising millions for the hospital. Year after year, this sold out event always attracts Chicago’s finest as they don their finest wares for the most sought after ticket on the Chicago event scene.

60th Anniversary Gold Coast Fashion Awards

However, having put on lavish daytime luncheons for 59 years, for its 60th, the Gold Coast Fashion Awards parted ways with tradition and welcomed in a new era of glitz and glamour. For this year’s festivities, instead of a luncheon at a ritzy five-star hotel, the party commenced in the early evening at the spacious Revel Fulton Market in the West Loop. As guests mixed and mingled inside the lavish space,  they sampled from a smorgasbord of delectable bites from Chicago’s finest eateries like Momotaro and Harry Caray’s. Also what I liked about the setup, was it allowed for a more relaxed and conversational tone to the evening. As you floated about the venue, you were guaranteed to make quite a few new friends.

After the party-goers had their palates satisfied, we then made our way to the main attraction of the evening; the runway. But before we could live vicariously through the designer fashions of Neiman Marcus, we first raised our paddles and gave back to a good cause. Typically live auctions feature pretty impressive prizes but no auction that I’ve been to compares to the prizes that one can win at the Gold Coast Fashion Awards. Just to give you an idea of what we were working with, one of the prizes included a private jet to Aspen for 8 and another prize (which I wish I could have won) was the ultimate NYFW package which featured multiple shows and even behind the scenes access of a designer showroom. Not surprisingly, this portion of the evening brought in quite a bit of funding. Before the soirée even began a little under a million was raised but as soon as the night progressed that brought the total to well over 1 million dollars. This is the most the event has raised in its 60-year run.

60th Anniversary Gold Coast Fashion Awards

As this impressive feat was a cause for celebration, it was then time to rejoice and marvel at the fashions. Kicking off the show, was the Fall 2015 collection from last year’s Gold Coast Fashion Awards winner Tanya Taylor. Fresh off a successful show during NYFW, Tanya Taylor has had no shortage of success since the Gold Coast Fashion Awards. Tanya flew in to claim her prize before heading off to Paris for fashion week to show her S/S 2016 collection. As each look paraded down the runway, it became very clear why Tanya Taylor’s clean and chic aesthetic took home the highly covetable prize.

While Tanya Taylor is the most recent winner, what many would be surprised to know is that the Gold Coast Fashion Awards is credited with giving many aspiring designers a platform to show their work. Past winners and participants include Zac Posen, Monique Lhuillier, Wes Gordon, and Donna Karan.

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The awe-inducing show curated by Neiman Marcus featured 30 designers who have competed and won the award, with 60 looks paying homage to the fashions of the past. It is not an exaggeration when I tell you that with almost each look there were collective gasps from the audience from the gorgeousness that was being presented before them. It was truly a breathtaking spectacle. A job well-done to Neiman Marcus indeed.

60th Anniversary Gold Coast Fashion Awards

After we caught our breath from the amazing presentation, we then entered back into the main event space where we greeted with donuts and sweets as a parting gift. Guests were also gifted quite the essential goody bag featuring Vosges Chocolates and eco-friendly makeup brushes.

60th Anniversary Gold Coast Fashion Awards

From beginning to end the Gold Coast Fashion Awards was an evening of delight from glorious fashions and tasty cuisine. For its 60th year, they have proven once again that “Helping Kids is always in Fashion”

Here’s hoping they stick with this new format as I’m sure everyone is always in the mood for a glamorous evening soirée.