Passing watercraft were undoubtedly startled Tuesday night to see professional models striding across the pool at Simone and Scott Lutgert’s Naples Bay home.
The walk on water was thanks to a runway created over the pool for a fashion show and gala to benefit the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON). Later, swirling fire dancers Marie and Christar whirled to throbbing musical sounds on the home’s terrace.
However, it was the 75 guests who were in for real treats on gathering for the gala celebration that featured not only the exclusive, nationwide premiere of Donna Karan’s pre-fall 2011 collection presented by Saks Fifth Avenue but also dazzling displays of jewelry designer Coomi’s best.
Interior décor, which included the loggia where major food items were later served, was executed by 50-Fifty Florists, which incorporated only indigenous vegetation. Carolina Catering strictly adhered to using “native” ingredients in creating tiny plates of hors d’oeuvres and imaginative desserts. The latter, small works of culinary art, featured meringue mushrooms springing from pallets of artificial grass and both apple and almond “earth cakes” and chocolate “dirt cakes.”
The Karan parade of seven “casual luxe” ensembles of four or five elements each included lobster claw and double loop belts, Cashwool arm warmers, and a shearling scarf and hooded vest. Fabrics ranged from crepe viscose, wool jersey, brushed cotton and some leather too. Colors were all subdued: dark mineral, grey, caramel, shadow dust and lunar, and platinum-appearing tones. Styles ran the gamut of dresses along with varied tunics and tees, skirts, pants and one jumpsuit.
Somewhat brighter, the dressier main collection jumped from cavalry beige to moonstone, urban black, smoky brown and white to a lone, long berry dress and an auburn evening gown. Fabrics included twill, satin, wool crepe, tweed and sueded materials.
The Coomi collection was luminous and brilliantly colorful, with motifs sequeing from spiritual to whimsical. The Bombay-born creator works with 20-karat gold and all manner of gemstones and often features rose-cut diamonds. Thailand-fashioned components are assembled in the U.S. Pricing varies greatly from a low of $1,500 for one bracelet to a $150,000 necklace of white gold and black diamonds.
Mayor Bill Barnett conducted a snappy, three-item live auction of a two-day “Journey Through The Everglades” personally conducted by museum executive director Joe Cox, who had previously worked with the Conservancy. There was a second package featuring gold Coomi diamond-and-olive quartz earrings. The third lot was a New York Fashion Week extravaganza for four that brought in $41,000.
Net evening income totaled $150,000 including ticket sales at $1,000 per person. In addition, 10 percent of the Donna Karan and Coomi proceeds will also benefit the nonprofit Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples currently under construction. Sponsoring underwriters were Saks and Donna Karan.
For more information on the museum, visit online at www.cmon.org or call (239) 514-0084.