Kick-off festivities … Last week many spring galas kicked off with sponsor parties to rev up guests. The Asolo Rep gala, “A Night at the Rainbow Room,” which will be held March 1, kicked off Nov. 18. Co-Chairs Chris Cogan, Carol Phillips and Nikki Sedacca spoke about the exciting event, which will again feature Michael Andrew and the Atomic Big Band. Co-Chair Nikki Taylor was absent after recently welcoming baby girl Ella. Seen mingling at Northern Trust was Mary Lou Winnick, Flora Major and Deb Knowles … Polo Under the Palms, which takes place March 8, kicked off Nov. 21, at The Center for Building Hope, one of the event’s beneficiaries. Co-Chairs Jamie and Mary Uihlein and James and Christie Uihlein hosted a serene evening, complete with a three-course dinner by Chef Jeremy Hammond-Chambers. And, finally, car enthusiasts and sponsors gathered Nov. 21 at Lamborghini Sarasota for the Sarasota Exotic Car Fest kick-off party. Gary and Marilee Roberts are co-chairing the “Gatsby” themed events, which will run Feb. 21 to Feb. 23 and benefit United Cerebral Palsy of Southwest Florida. Guests at the party also got to be a part of the unveiling of the Lamborghini Aventador — one of only 100 built ... Moving on up … Charlie Ann Syprett has joined the Sarasota Film Festival as its director of development, for which she will be focusing on new projects and collaborations. This year’s festival will take place April 4 to April 13.
+ Hot flash
Founder and designer of the MILLY collection, Michelle Smith, flew in from New York City Friday, Nov. 15, for Wine, Women and Shoes and a public appearance at The Met following the event.
Smith, a staple in couture fashion, has an impressive background. The designer, who interned with Hermès in Paris, Louis Vuitton, Torrente and Christian Dior Haute Couture, launched her line in 2001. The MILLY Collection is sold at stores worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks and The Met, which brought the designer and collection to town to be a part of the pop-up boutique at the event.
At the event, women were given the ultimate experience — shopping a designer collection with the designer present. Smith provided fashion advice and suggestions for her collection to clients, and BT got to talk with her about this season’s fashions. She pointed out some of her favorite pieces, including the leather detail jumper, which features a French couture, geometric, jacquard pattern with leather details at the armholes and waist. She says one item to add to any outfit in the transition from fall to winter is the lace coat. The black long-sleeve coat, crafted in embroidery tulle will “instantly elevate any outfit,” Smith says. She keeps one in her office for that exact reason — when she has to run to something more formal after a day of working at the office. Smith also says that cocktail coats and fur vests are a must-have this season.
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