By Brendan Spiegel Posted April 21, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT
TORONTO In its second year, the Suzanne Rogers Presents event, a fashion-themed fund-raiser helmed by the Toronto philanthropist, upped its take, raising $950,000 for primary beneficiary the Herbie Fund and three additional charities, up from last year's $750,000 draw.
After a successful inaugural collaboration with Oscar de la Renta last year, sponsors were eager to get on board for the second fashion fund-raiser, held at the Carlu on April 5. This year featured a runway show from designer fashion label Marchesa—the brand's first in Canada.
The evening started with a reception for the crowd of 345 in the Carlu's grand foyer, where the event's red carpet theme was emphasized by six mannequins that displayed Marchesa dresses previously worn by celebrities like Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lopez.
Next up was a fashion show held in the venue's concert hall, where, for a dramatic flair, “we went away from the typical white runway and instead did everything in black and silver,” said Jeffry Roick of McNabb Roick. Black ghost chairs with silver cushions surrounded the black runway, which was backed by a 36- by 12-foot grey ultrasuede Austrian drape, as well as mirrored acrylic walls to provide better views of the models.
“It was designed so that you could see both the front and back of the dresses,” Roick said. “This way, everyone had an excellent view.”
The evening ended with a dinner in the round room, where guests showed off their own red carpet fashions.
“People really got into it, and a lot of women were actually wearing Marchesa,” said Taanta Gupta, project manager for the event. “The elegant, red carpet theme was really evident all across the room.”
Correction: This story has been changed to reflect that the event raised $750,000 last year, and not $150,000.