Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Trends at Opera Guild Luncheon

The Opera Guild of Charlotte, a support group of Opera Carolina, gathered at Neiman Marcus at SouthPark mall recently for a fundraising luncheon featuring a fashion show of spring's best looks. Proceeds go to support Opera Carolina and the Guild's young professional vocal competition awards and grants, and to further music education and interest in opera.

Here's video of the fashion presentation:

One of the first guests I spotted was Alison Van Pelt. She stood out in the crowd in a bright orange shift dress that was simple and stunning. It turns out it's a vintage dress with a matching jacket from the 1960s owned by opera supporter Barbara Scott, and that she gifted it to Alison. It was so much fun to get a photo of Barbara standing next to Alison.

The dress and jacket were so well made and looked so current. That's a testament to buying quality clothes - they'll never go out of style. "I'm going to wear it Easter Sunday," Allison said. 

A surprise guest was Alex Chantecaille, the daughter of Sylvie Chantecaille, creator of the Chantecaille beauty line that's sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus. She was in Charlotte for two days of promoting the line at the store. Here she is with store manager Kristine Matthews:

Naturally chic in that effortless way French women have, she spoke briefly about the organic and holistic philosophy of the line and how important it is to her that part of the profits support conservation efforts around the world. She passed around the new Shark Palette limited-edition compact filled with spring's best makeup colors, which also raises money to help ban unregulated shark fin trade.

We all sat at round tables with beautiful spring centerpieces and dined on a light and delicious salad plate and dessert from Delectables By Holly.

Department managers Susan Mitchell and Sarah O'Connor told us the new trends for spring. Models showed off each look from some of the world's best designers - Valentino, Etro, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, Escada, Reed Krakoff, Brunello Cucinelli, Armani, Nancy Gonzalez, Rachel Zoe, Alexis Bittar, Lela Rose, Stella McCartney and more. Susan and Sarah gave fascinating details of the craftsmanship that goes into the jewelry, shoes, handbags and clothes that were on display.

I know Emerald Green is Pantone's color of the year, but what people really seem to be wearing is orange. I'm seeing it everywhere, including on many of the guests and the models.

Susan and Sarah said that orange should be treated as a neutral, and that it's okay to wear different shades at once. 

Other trends are:

Ankle-length pants 

Jumpsuits (and don't think they're just for tall women - if they're tailored properly they look great on all heights) 

Bold prints 


They also encouraged guests to not put away their booties for the spring and summer - that they can be worn year round, even in August. 

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson