CSO gala hits high notes

September 27, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Elizabeth Hamel


American fashion designer David Meister showcased 33 looks — many featuring his signature, body-hugging fabrics and silhouette — at the sixth annual Couture & Cocktails, held last Friday night at an off-the-beaten path venue, the Hudson, 2222 S. Michigan. The yearly event, hosted by the Joffrey Ballet Women’s Board, has become one of the fall’s most anticipated charity functions, thanks in part to the top-notch talent that organizers secure for the fashion show and the forward-thinking fashion donned by glamorous guests.

Recently tapped by actress Jane Lynch to dress her for her Emmy Awards hosting gig, Meister is certainly riding a hot streak. Especially praised by critics for the plum-colored gown she donned on the red carpet, Lynch allowed Meister to really take the reins and flex his creative muscle with the multiple looks she wore throughout the show. “I said to her, ‘No pants, no suits. Let’s show some skin,’ ” said Meister.

The party’s guest list read like a who’s-who of the Chicago society set, including Anne Kaplan, Amelia Silva, Whitney Lasky and Shelley MacArthur Farley, but there were a few other well-known faces spotted among the crowd when Chicago Bears players Charles Tillman, Israel Idonije and Matt Forte made their arrival on the red carpet.

A ticket to the fashionable fete — co-chaired by Rebecca Besser and Kristina McGrath, who donned matching, one-shouldered, silver David Meister gowns — began at $275. In total, more than $250,000 was raised.