Thursday, May 16, 2013

Out of the Closet

Evonne Kane and longtime BB volunteer Kate Weiss at last year's sale

Evonne Kane's Boutique Benefit is a grass-roots, y'all-come, everybody-roll-up-your-sleeves event with some of the most gorgeous wardrobe gems you will find at what they use to call a "rummage sale." There was no lowly rummaging here, except by the owners of some of the pricier boutiques in town (Fetneh Blake, Hillary, lala, Katharine Story, Anastasia, Aris, Laguna Supply, 11th Moon, to name a few), including those that were too wonderful to survive. Many of the goods for sale are never-worn designer pieces with the tags still attached; others were little-worn items donated by the fashionistas of Laguna. One of my go-to wearables is a chic little black Chanel-style jacket in perfect condition I picked up at last year's magnificent boutique for a few dollars. Last year, I also bought a short, grey suede dress that I wore once, to a fashion show at the Montage, feeling very European, and donated back to the Boutique this year. It served me well. Why should I have all the fun? 

No matter what your style or size, you are certain to find something of interest at the Boutique Benefit this Saturday at the Neighborhood Congregational Church (340 St. Ann's  Drive at Glenneyre). Or if you are a true BB aficionado, you know the choicest goodies can be purchased at the presale on Friday evening. Evonne knows what works – for your $40 donation, she and her merry band of volunteers will ply you with food, wine donated by Organic Cellar, and set you free for the full run of their pop-up shop from 5 to 8 p.m. Everyone's favorite Forest Avenue breezeway singer, April Walsh, will be belting out her beautifully wrought standards during happy hour (which, I suspect, just might be designed to loosen up our purse strings. Could it be so?). 

The best part isn't the sprucing up your wardrobe will receive; it's that all proceeds go to four nonprofit organizations: Laguna Food Pantry (formerly known as the Laguna Resource Center), Friendship Shelter, the 25-year-old service program for homeless men and women in Orange County; Impact Giving, an OC women's giving collective; and Women for Women, an international aid organization that helps women recover from the ravages of war, chiefly through economic aid. In its six years, the Boutique Benefit has raised $85,000 and donated it to these and other worthy organizations. 

Click here to buy your Friday night presale ticket.
And if you have to miss Friday night, don't THINK of missing Saturday. Admission is $4; doors open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. Be prepared to browse and try on in a (ladies') communal dressing room, see friends, chat, rest up with a snack, and dive back in. It's Filene's Basement/Loehmann's with the friendliest of attitudes. If you love fashion, shopping, and getting a screaming deal, don't miss it.