1. The catwalk and the kids

    Suzanne RogersSuzanne Rogers and Oscar de la Renta are collaborating on “An Evening with Oscar” this April 14th in Toronto. It will be the renowned designer’s first major Canadian runway show in 10 years. Proceeds from the evening will go to benefit ‘HealthyKids International’.  HealthyKids International (HKI) is an initiative of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), and an investment in the future health of children around the world.

    Oscar de la Renta is known for elegance. The most glamorous women in the world wear his clothes. He was born in the Dominican Republic. At 18 he went to Spain to study. He worked for the famous designer Cristobel Balenciaga. From Spain, he journeyed to Paris, where he at worked at the house of Lavin. In New York, Mr. de la Renta designed for Elizabeth Arden. Diana Vreeland, the iconic editor of Vogue, discovered him. Oscar de la Renta finally created his own house in 1965 and the legend was born. He has won numerous awards and accolades for his work. Attending a live runway show created and attended by Mr. de la Renta is experience no true fashionista would want to miss.
    He is on the board of New Yorkers for Children, an organization which helps foster children, and is the founder and major benefactor of Casa del Nino, a daycare center and orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
    Suzanne Rogers is taking her passion for fashion to a new level by launching Suzanne Rogers Presents – signature events, specially-designed to support children’s charities.
    Suzanne answers candid questions about her passion for fashion and children’s charities as well as her exciting event. Find out what drives a fashionista.
    DD: Why did you decide to do this event?
    SR: I have a passion for fashion and also a passion for children’s charities.  So I decided to launch  Suzanne Rogers Presents, annual signature fashion events specially designed to support children’s charities. The series launches with an Oscar de la Renta runway show next April.
    Canadians love fashion, and my vision is to bring world-class fashion talent to
    Canada for fundraising events, with the goal of improving the lives of children. Since fashion brings me great joy, I wanted to channel it into something personal and special to help children.
    Oscar de la RentaDD: How did you decide on Oscar de la Renta for this event?
    SR: When we started talking about the idea of an annual fashion fundraiser, Oscar de la Renta’s name came up over and over again. And then it turned out that he shares my strong interest in supporting children’s charities.  So I was delighted when he accepted my invitation to put on this show in
    Toronto and to attend himself. It’s incredible to launch my first event with such a fashion icon.
    DD: When did you first become aware of fashion?
    SR: As a young girl I loved clothes but it has only been in the last eight or 10 years that I have begun to understand style, quality and value.  
    DD: Who was your first fashion inspiration and why?
    SR: Audrey Hepburn comes to mind immediately. Whether in a movie or a photograph in a magazine, the way she wore clothes was so elegant.  And she kept that elegance throughout her life, including all the years she spent working with Unicef.  
    DD: Why is style important?
    SR: Style is a reflection of who you are, an opportunity to show your own personality.  It doesn’t rest with a designer or what is trendy, it comes from within you.  
    DD: How would you describe your own style?
    SR: I like feminine and elegant clothes.  My closet is a mix of new and old. One of my favourites is actually a vintage dress.  I love that dress. It is a pink and white taffeta dress with crinoline underneath, and it is covered with pink cabbage roses. I bought it on eBay for $150. The label had been cut off so I don’t know who designed or made it, but I do love that dress. 
    DD: What are your three fashion must-haves?
    SR: A little black dress, a good quality bag, and a single piece of jewellery that you love.  
    DD: What are your favourite beauty must-haves?
    SR: A good moisturizer, lipstick, and perfume.
    DD: What is always in your hand bag?
    SR: Lipstick and perfume! I use Coco.  I have used this Chanel perfume for many years and love its light fragrance.
    DD: What are three of your best fashion tips?
    SR: One: Pay attention to your skin.  There is absolutely nothing better than clear, clean-looking skin. It sets the stage for the rest of your makeup, no matter how much or little you use.
    Two: Wear what you feel comfortable in.  You must be yourself.  Make sure your clothes reflect your personality whether that is conservative or attention-grabbing.  If you feel good in them, you will look good in them.

    Three: Remember that shoes are an accessory.  For example, a simple little black dress with beautiful Christian Louboutin shoes can be exquisite.  There are many beautiful shoe designers these days so use those shoes to show off your feet and legs.
    DD: What kind of fashion city is Toronto?
    SR:Toronto is a sophisticated fashion city.  There is a great deal of interest in fashion, and international and Canadian designers.  
    DD: What are your three favourite fashion cities and why?
    SR: Toronto because I live here and I see the interest in fashion. New York because of the excitement that exists in the fashion industry there, and of course Paris is wonderful, particularly at this time of year when all the great designers show us what is in stock for the coming season.
    DD: Where would you like to be in five years?
    SR: An interesting question that comes at the right time for me. I have become extremely focused on children’s charities and how I can help, particularly in these economic times.  I hope that in five years I can say that with the help of many people who support me in this objective , we will have raised a considerable amount of money to help children in need.