The Art of Fashion by The Country Friends and South Coast Plaza

Country Friends presented the 67th Art of Fashion on September 15 in partnership with South Coast Plaza. This event took place at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and began with a champagne reception on The Inn’s lawn. President Suzanne Newman greeted the crowd. Sandra Maas was the one emcee for the afternoon. She is an award-winning television personality and creator of Trailblazing Women, a video series for the Women’s Museum of California. This year there were three remarkable women co-cHair: Keilene Hayward, Sandy Nolan and Melissa Wilkins.

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The catwalk show started outside under a huge canopy. Max Mara is known for its iconic teddy bear coat, the It Coat. This year they had an impressive selection of teddy fabric accessories such as clutch bags, fanny packs and mittens.

Monique Lhuillier presented beautiful evening wear and wedding dresses. One was embroidered with sequins and adorned with feather trimmings on the sleeves, a strapless teal ball gown with a ruffled tulle neckline, and an elegant off the shoulder wedding dress completed her collection.

Isabel Marant presented an electric blue satin midi dress that was a head turner. She also sported a denim and jean outfit that resembled a pair of slim-fitting cargo jeans.

A stand out with Lafayette 148 New York was a bohemian lace shirt with a V-neck and an inverted shearling coat. Lafayette 148 New York also had a luxurious double-weave wisteria blazer and Pants with long fringed cashmere scarf. Many of the designers showed wide trousers, lace-up boots and over-the-knee boots.

Bally presented ‘Irenne’, a long leather boot with a wooden platform sole and rubber toe cap. An eye-catcher was a yellow fringed dress by Saks Fifth Avenue. Oscar de la Renta featured his signature floral motif, which made a botanically bold statement. He finished off with a strapless ball gown.

Guests sat on the lawn for a delicious lunch. One of the youngest auctioneers in the United States, Anna Couvrette began to motivate audiences. They immediately began bidding on the live auction items, including Scott Dunn Luxury Travel’s Ultimate Antarctic Adventure, which was valued at $38,390. The event continued with a “Sip, Shop, and Support”. Guests ended the picture-perfect day with more boutique purchases from participating vendors.

This is the 18th year that South Coast Plaza has partnered with The Country Friends. They are known as a leading destination for international shopping. The Country Friends is a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $14 million for charities across San Diego County. They have “helped San Diegos, one hand at a time.” Visit for more information.


Saturday 8th October – FWSD22 Runway Shows at Andaz from 6pm to 10pm showcasing a 10 piece collection from designers followed by a trunk show on the second day on the rooftop. Tickets:

Saturday, October 22 – Kenneth Barlis presents the 10th anniversary eDoors open at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier from 4:00 p.m. Tickets can be found at

Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner from the San Diego area. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher, and Blogger at