Imagine stepping onto the set of AMC’s hit show, Mad Men. You find yourself in the wardrobe area, admiring the beautiful pieces of clothing in front of you. Your mind is taken back to the time when the styles of Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, and Audrey Hepburn ruled the fashion world. This is how I felt when I stepped into the Tam o’Shanter Golf and Country Club on a rainy afternoon in Bellevue.
Michelle Raymond began collecting vintage furs over 25 years ago. As a board member for the NW Children’s Fund (NWCF), she wanted to plan a benefit to raise money for the fund. So, she began purchasing vintage materials from Etsy and Ebay. After telling the sellers that the proceeds benefited NWCF, she offered a certain amount of money for the pieces. Not once was she turned down. Thus, The Vintage Fashion Show and Bazaar was born.
To help Michelle and the NWCF, Osiris Navarro, owner of Gidgette Bardot, a women’s vintage shop, brought pieces from her collections to sell. Osiris has been collecting vintage pieces since high school. Four months ago, she left her job and now sells her collection on Etsy.
As the event grew, Jennifer Madden of Mad For Lashes, donated lash extensions and other pamper-yourself-goodies.
The NWCF is one of the leading voices in child welfare, aligning resources, organizations, and passionate individuals committed to ending child abuse and neglect. NWCF receives 100% of the support, and it goes directly to agencies working to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. Events like the Fashion Show and Bazaar are incredibly important to the mission of the NWCF.
NWCF President, Valerie Robinson, opened the afternoon with the introduction of Michelle and her collection and presented her with a gorgeous orchid from Molbak’s to thank her for organizing this amazing fundraiser. Nicole Chang, another board member, spoke to the crowd about the incredibly important mission of the NWCF. The board consists of 28 members and 100% of the contributions they receive go towards grants. There is tremendous due diligence with the grant process. Over 25 years, the NWCF has given $12 million to 300 agencies such as $5,000 to the Seattle Children’s Home, $14,000 to the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network and $30,000 to the SafeFutures Youth Center (just to name a few!).
Jane Davis, a board member for the past four years, said that on any given night in King County, 700-1000 youth have nowhere to sleep. One in three runaways are lured into prostitution within 48 hours of running away. These statistics are both staggering and heart breaking. However, there are ways that we can all help.
1. Host or sponsor a fundraiser for the NWCF.
2. Host your own party and allow the NWCF to come speak. The NWCF calls these friendraisers, as they have no dollars for marketing, since all money goes towards grants.
3. Sponsor the NWCF is some way through in-kind donations or direct donations.
4. Support the NWCF Gala on April 27 by providing items for auction or sponsor a table.
5. Become a board member
After an amazing lunch was served to all in attendance, the vintage fashion show began, with pieces from Osiris’s and Michelle’s collections. Michelle hosted the show, which included models who were friends of the NWCF. Cocktail dresses, day dresses, prom dresses, fur jackets, silk blends, and cotton blends from decades past were presented to us on the runway. Many of Michelle’s pieces had belonged to her mother (and it was quite evident, her mother had an exquisite taste in timeless fashion – and that vintage gene had obviously been passed down to Michelle and to Michelle’s daughter).
A special thank you to NWCF board member, Stephanie Robinett, for bringing this amazing event to my attention!
You can find more information on the NWCF here.