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Gala offers chance to bid on custom fashions

Posted 2/02/16 (Tue)

Gala offers chance to bid on custom fashions

By Cecile Krimm
People attending the St. Luke’s Community Foundation Gala “The Roaring Twenties” will have an opportunity to bid on a unique package by a fashion designer recently showcased on national television.
As of Monday morning, tickets for the event were sold out, but those lucky enough to have purchased one will have some unique items to bid on -- including a custom fashion package by Madison LaRae (her design name).
Madison recently appeared on the Project Runway spin off show “Threads,” which is seen on the Lifetime channel. She  was the runner-up on the season finale of the show, which pits young designers against each other in a series of challenges aimed at showcasing their skills.
Madison, 15, is related to St. Luke’s Medical Center’s Human Resources Director Marianne Wamhoff. Wamhoff and her husband, Dale, donated the package valued at $600.
Because Madison herself lives in a small town -- Stover, Mo. (pop 1,000) -- she was happy to get on board with Marianne’s plan.
“I feel like small towns are kind of passed over,” said Madison.
Marianne initially purchased the package on Madison’s Kickstarter web page to help her prepare for Kansas City Fashion Week, March 13-19, where Madison’s collection will be among more than 20 showcased.
The package includes a custom look from Madison’s L’amour Paris 2016 line. The winning bidder may choose from several day and evening designs in the line to be custom sewn to the bidder’s exact measurements.
Marianne said Madison’s line will appeal to women of diverse ages but she sees the potential for the package to be of particular interest to teens wanting a custom prom dress.
The package also includes three signature apparel items from the line and some keepsake souvenirs along with an invitation to an exclusive online launch party, to be held the week before Kansas City Fashion Week.
Marianne said Madison’s story is inspiring, considering her age. She has been interested in design since a very early age and she comes from a family of entrepreneurs.
“The drive and ambition she has to get this going, it’s significant,” said Marianne. “That’s why, to me, it’s very special.”
It was while working with foundation staff to assemble bid baskets for the Gala that Marianne asked others involved if they thought such an offering would draw interest. It did.
“It’s something different,” said Marianne.
“I was happy I was able to help out with what they’re doing,” said Madison.
The LaRae Fashions package is just one of dozens to be offered at auction during the evening. There are both live and silent auction items, a wine pull, dinner, and a performance by the “Crazy Keys” Dueling Pianos.
The silent auction begins at 5 p.m. Dinner is at 6 p.m., followed by the live auction and entertainment.
Guests are invited to come in 1920s attire, but it’s not required. Proceeds will benefit St. Luke’s Medical Center.