Born to Sparkle

Posted: September 7th, 2018 | Fashion Files, Featured | No Comments

By Diana Cavagnaro | Fashion Files

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center (SMSC) presented the 41st Haute with Heart Fashion Show & Luncheon on Aug. 4 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. This year’s theme “Born to Sparkle” was centered on a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor. The featured artist for this incredible portrait was John Agostini who is a SMSC student and his art was featured six times at St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center’s annual fashion show.

This impressive event began with a social hour and a terrific silent auction. As the guests sat down for the luncheon they were entertained by the amazing voice of K. Emeline. The Master of Ceremonies was auctioneer extraordinary Clint Bell and Celebrity Marianne Kushi, anchor at NBC 7 News Today. Chair for the event was De Anna Dougherty and honorary chair was Joye Blount. Sister Virginia Rodee was honored for her dedication to SMSC. Rodee is an alumna of the USD community and a member of the Religious Society of the Sacred Heart.

Models wears bright color florals from Satori Designs Boutique(Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

Opening Segment- model is a Liz Taylor look alike wearing Nolan Dean (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

Leonard Simpson of Fashion Forward and Brittany Shiperly of Fashion LemonAid produced the theatrical fashion show, “Sparkle.” Simpson’s inspiration for this glamorous show was movie star Elizabeth Taylor. The show began in Hollywood fashion with an Elizabeth Taylor look alike modeling a gorgeous emerald green gown by Nolan Dean. The most heart felt moment was when the SMSC students came down the runway modeling in one of the segments. This gave the students confidence and a chance to sparkle for the crowd.

The remainder of the show featured couture fashion designers and local boutiques. Chateau Bel Age Boutique showed off stylish fashions, Satori Designs Boutique offered garments with bright colored florals, and Siomara Salvador presented a black trendy collection. Additional designs shown were by Oseas Villatoro, Aimee Meals hats, Gloria Parker headwear. The show concluded with the elegant designs of Nolan Dean in true Hollywood fashion.

St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center provides programs for more than 400 adults with developmental disabilities. Some programs include aquatics, art therapy, music, drama, dance, and an organic garden program. This event funds the transportation department and all innovative programs. SDMC’s tag line is “Empowerment for Life … through Innovation and Education.” For more information about this heartfelt event visit

Upcoming Events

Sept. 16 – Fall Bridal Bazaar with three fashion shows by Gretchen Productions at the San Diego Convention Center. For more info: (760) 334-5500

Designs by Oseas Villator (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

Sept. 23 -Hats Off To Marston’s from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Marston House on 3525 Seventh Avenue This is a Vintage Hat Fashion Show & Trunk Show. For tickets visit:

Oct. 5-7 – Gaslight Steampunk Expo at the Town & Country Hotel.

Saturday is the Flights of Fancy Fashion Show from 1-2:00 p.m. Sunday is the Victorian Ice Cream Social and Fashion Show from 1-3:00 p.m.

Oct. 30 – Party With “Z” featuring a Fashion Show & Luncheon by Dame Zandra Rhodes at the Westgate Hotel from 11am-2pm. For tickets call Tina Hingle at (619) 557-3611.

—Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger at

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