Jeffrey Fashion Cares puts style in charities' coffers

The key fashion elements for fall were front and center at the Jeffrey Fashion Cares runway show where more than 800 attendees saw outfits featuring oversized styles such as parkas, shearlings and bomber jackets as well as rich fabrics, tunics worn over flared pants and glossy brocades.

For co-founder Jeffrey Kalinsky, president and founder of Jeffrey in Phipps Plaza, the night's stars are really the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta and Atlanta AIDS Fund (AAF). Although the final tally is not completed, early signs indicated that the two charities will split around $650,000.

"Our goal for me and the other co-hosts, is that it's all about the money raised. None of us would do this for any other reason," Kalinsky says. "It's an honor to be able to do a good deed for the community and put a lot of money into the pockets of two great charities."

Lila Hertz, Jeffrey McQuithy and Louise Sams served as event co-chairs.

Founded 24 years ago, the annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares has grown exponentially each year. "I am delighted and surprised at how big it has grown," says Kalinsky. "But I always dream big."

The event is now one of the largest combined AIDS and breast cancer benefits in the country.

In addition to the charity element, which included silent and live auctions, Jeffrey Fashion Cares resonates with its audience because the show offers attendees a peek at the newest fashions.

"Our goal is to always show the most exciting product for the season that we can. We highlight the ones that most speak to us and give our attendees an example of the best of the best," Kalinsky says.

Although some of the clothes shout "Fashion with a capital F," Kalinsky admits that the designs aren't everyone's cup of tea. "I think it's important to have fashion that is entertaining and provocative instead of just pretty," he says. "It's just as much fun to go to a show and see stuff that you don't like as much as stuff that you do."

Kalinsky's store, Jeffrey, features about 60 top designers including many that are well-known and many up and comers. This diversity is reflected on the runway. Designers such as Lanvin, Celine, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Gucci, Valentino, Dries van Noten, Saint Laurent Paris, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik were present on the runway along with designers such as Vetements, Marques Almeida and Brandon Maxwell, who launched his luxury women's read-to-wear label in 2015 and was awarded the Fashion Group International Rising Star award for womenswear in January 2016.

In fact, it was one of Maxwell's designs that especially caught Kalinsky's eye. "We had three of his looks in the show and they really spoke to me," he says. "My favorite is a strapless white top, more of a tunic than a top, paired it over a black, really skinny pant. It was very classic and thoroughly modern and new."

The fashions themselves were hardly subtle. Whether the clothes were from New York, London, Paris or Milan they all featured oversized and puffed up selections.

Among the items showcased were cashmere, leather, glossy brocades and liquid silks all of which reflect a powerful, yet refined attitude. For fall, look for a monochromatic palette with color blocks, including lemon yellow, royal blue and shades of red.