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The Scene: from celebrating Chinese fashion to fund-raising for Alzheimer’s

Lola Cristall attends a myriad of glamorous events around New York City, beginning with a star-studded fashion event, the China Institute Fashion Gala
June 11, 2019/12.15

Kristina Bumphrey; Gonzalo Marroquin

The splendid China Institute Fashion Gala was held at the iconic New York City venue, the Plaza Hotel. Co-presented by the China Institute and Yue-Sai Kan China Beauty Charity Fund, the lavish event showcases emerging Chinese talent, while acknowledging well established personalities in beauty and fashion. The evening was hosted by Yue-Sai Kan as well as the co-chair of China Institute, James B. Heimowitz.
   This year, designer Jason Wu (吳季剛) and editor-in-chief of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung (張宇), were presented with the Leadership Award. Actress Shu Qi (舒淇) was honoured with the Icon Award, while skin care company, Shanghai Pechoin Group, was bestowed with the Legacy Award, and the managing director of brands and distribution at Esquel Group, Dee Poon, with the Advocate Award. As individuals and organizations, they have proven to be successful trail-blazers, placing China in the lead of international fashion. The evening continued with a stunning fashion show presenting Jason Wu’s sophisticated, alluring and sumptuous collection. Pop singer Bing, ‘China’s masked diva’, took the stage with her powerful noteworthy performance. English actress Gemma Chan (陳靜) was one of the noteworthy VIPs attending the event.

Kristina Bumphrey; Gonzalo Marroquin; Brandon Lee

   Pandora, the jewellery manufacturer known for its enchanting pieces, transformed the High Line in Chelsea, NYC, into a butterfly garden, where it presented its Pandora Garden spring 2019 collection. The installation featured an enchanting secret garden with greenery, floral décor and fluttering butterflies projecting from screens on the back walls. The butterflies themselves were interactive: attendees could put their hands on the screen and the butterflies would gather around them. The jewellery collection, naturally, had butterfly motifs, and blended sophistication and simplicity.
   Estée Lauder’s Leonard A. Lauder and Ronald S. Lauder are dedicated to uncovering methods to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), founded in 1998, hosted their second annual Memories Matter event, raising over US$1 million. The vast and elegant space at Chelsea Piers, with designs courtesy of Lawrence Scott Events, welcomed more than 500 attendees prepared to honour those having to live with the effects of the disease and others fighting against it. Dave Price, an Emmy Award-winning NBC4 weather anchor, served as master of ceremonies.
   Founders of the event, Wendy Wilshin and Stephanie Ginsberg, eloquently opened with their welcoming remarks. Revealing one battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Michelle Florin shared her heartbreaking experience as her mother’s caretaker, who developed Early Onset Alzheimer’s at just 54. Country music singer and producer, Ashley Campbell, whose late father, Glen Campbell, was confronted with the incurable disease, performed her début single ‘Remembering’, as she reminisced on the hardship she and her family endured throughout her father’s battle. ADDF’s founding executive director and chief science officer, Howard Fillit, MD, enthusiastically explained the foundation’s development while unveiling further knowledge in preventing the disease. ADDF closely and meticulously researches certain foods, drinks and drugs, which can be found at The avid scientists dedicated to the cause focus on three main factors: evidence, potential benefit and safety of the researched product. A silent and live auction featured a vast range of products and luxury getaways, presented by Howie Schwartz.

Patrick McMullan; Sean Zanni/PMC

   Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) presented their 20th anniversary spring event at the exquisite Cipriani. Before stepping into the lavish dining space, an intimate gathering presented attendees with make-up and food brands that accommodate individuals with various allergies including Bay Ridge Bakery, Blushington, À la Mode ice-cream, and many others. Sarah Kugelman and Jamie Malkin were honoured for their leadership and advocacy as they fight on behalf of children with life-threatening food allergies. Luca Padovan, TV actor and Broadway performer, was the event’s master of ceremonies. While some guests shared their personal food allergy battles, a panel took centre-stage to discuss the development in the studies of food allergies, while revealing the issues many have to confront. Silicon Valley entrepreneur and novelist, Rob Reid, introduced the three panellists: Hitesh Hajarnavis, co-founder and managing partner, VG Growth Partners; Dick Insel, global head of the Healthy Baby Initiative, World without Disease Accelerator and Global External Innovation at Johnson & Johnson; and Ruslan Medzhitov, director of the Food Allergy Science Initiative at the Broad Institute and Sterling Professor of Immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine as well as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Kimberlee Hewitt,

   The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) returned for their 13th annual Leadership Awards, honouring Masters of Hospitality at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. The recognized talent behind true hospitality in the restaurant business included Will Guidara, founder and co-owner of the Make It Nice restaurant group in New York City; Laura Cunningham, vice-president of branding and creative development at Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in California; Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group in New York; Drew Nieporent, head of Myriad Restaurant Group in New York; and Patrick O’Connell, chef and owner of the Inn at Little Washington. The evening was filled with insightful perspectives from the hospitality industry.

Phil Mansfield

   The National Audubon Society returned for its annual Women in Conservation event at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The event, established in 2003, was hosted by Anne Thompson, NBC News’s chief environmental affairs’ correspondent. The festive celebration recognizes female pioneers in environmental conservation. The Rachel Carson Award was presented to both the Garden Club of America, accepted by the organization’s president, Dede Petri, and Rose H. Harvey, the former commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Allison Whipple Rockefeller, founder of Audubon Women in Conservation and the Rachel Carson Award, was present at the celebration.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor

Camilla Cerea

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