On October 12, the Italian Cultural & Community Center of Houston (ICCC) celebrated its second annual fashion show & luncheon.
The event celebrated Italian culture, creativity, and couture, and it benefited the ICCC scholarship fund. This year’s theme was inspired by La Dolce Vita, a 1960s film directed by Federico Fellini. Using black and gold, the ICCC transformed the ballroom of the River Oaks Country Club into an Italian runway worthy of any fashionista’s attention. The luncheon began with an inviting welcome by Master of Ceremonies and KPRC TV 2 Anchor Owen Conflenti, ICCC Executive Director Erika Myers, and Event Chairs Cheryl Arolfo Byington and Patti Imbrogno Murphy. The ICCC recognized ’70s and ’80s Fashion Designer Victor Costa as the guest of honor for the event. With an international roster of clients over the decades and highly regarded credentials as a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Costa has proven himself to be one of Texas’ most famous designers and a legendary mainstay in the fashion industry. The event chairs were two of the models who strutted the runway wearing gorgeous designs by guest of honor Victor Costa.
The models included Jenee Bobbora, Katie Cullen, Monica Ercolani, Renee Jongebloed, and Gina Leck. Nicole Pactor Graham and Lauren Leck both ended the show parading beautiful wedding gowns designed by Victor Costa. All of the models were accessorized by Valobra Master Jewelers with stunning pieces of jewelry. Thank you Franco Valobra and Valobra Master Jewelers for making our models shine. Following the Victor Costa fashion show, Neiman Marcus presented exquisite pieces of clothing from their fall and winter collection showcasing breathtaking Italian designers. The success of both fashion shows would not have been made possible without the hard work of fashion show producer Jeanne Ruberti. Throughout the event, guests were invited to engage in a wine pull where they could purchase a Marvelous Maddalena Gift Bag from a $50, $100 or $150 tier, pick a random numbered cork, and win an exciting prize with the corresponding cork number. They also had the chance to purchase raffle tickets to win one of four enchanting prizes: Valobra Master Jewelers diamond and sapphire drop earrings; a Daniela Pasqualini “Behind the Image” painting; an “Italian fantasia” package which included a divine one night stay at Castello di Spaltenna with dinner at Michelin starred Il Pievano, a dinner at Massimo Bottura’s Ristorante Cavallino, wine donated by TuttiLili, Baratti & Milano chocolates, and more. Also, a Neiman Marcus “Taste of Italy” epicure basket and lunch for eight at Mariposa inside Neiman Marcus Houston.
Congratulations to the winners of the raffle items: Deborah Palacios, Leslie Avioli, Mary Fusillo, and Gina Erwin. Italian car lovers could also partake in a live auction at the end of the event for an unforgettable weekend with a new Ferrari Roma donated by Ferrari of Houston. We would like to give a huge thank you to our donors and sponsors who took part in this marvelous event.
Thank you to our table sponsors and supporters for attending the fashion show and luncheon and contributing to our scholarship fund. Thank you to those who purchased a raffle ticket or a Marvelous Maddalena gift bag. We appreciate your continuous support for the ICCC and our mission. Special thanks to Neiman Marcus, Valobra Master Jewelers, Ferrari of Houston, Armani Beauty, University of Houston Moores School of Music, and Houston Community College Cosmetology Department and Fashion and Merchandising Department. We could not have had a wonderful time or offered lovely gifts for our guests without your contributions, generosity, and presence.
Since 2000, the ICCC has granted over $240,000 in scholarships to college students. With this special event, our aim was to allocate more funds to expand the scholarship program by creating more opportunities for students to enjoy college to the fullest. This event also raised funds towards a recent scholarship program for students currently enrolled at a college or university in the greater Houston area who are participating in a study abroad program in Italy. With your support of the 2021 La Dolce Vita Fashion Show & Luncheon, you helped inspire young bright students to achieve their dreams. We are truly thankful for your support. Grazie mille.
A big heartfelt thank you to our donors for the event:
Valobra Master Jewelers, Neiman Marcus, Houston Vortex Companies, HEB, Daniela Pasqualini, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Citterio USA, Vicenzi USA, Houston Community College Cosmetology Department, Grace’s on Kirby, Houston Community College Fashion Merchandising Department, Castello di Spaltenna, Dionysus Imports, Montalbano Industria Agroalimentare S.p.A., Clorinda Antinori, Total Wine, The International Risotto Festival, Coppa Osteria, Houston Symphony, Vinology, Fiori, Italian Products & Beyond, Studio A Salon, Amalfi, Baratti & Milano, Meridiano 67, Delbrenna, Fresco Cafe Italiano, Roma, An Italian Eatery, Dolceterra, Local Foods, The Chair HTX, TuttiLili Wines & Specialty Foods, Hallelujah Hair, Piola Memorial, Sorrento Restaurant, Massimo Bottura – Ristorante Cavallino, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Fabrizia Spirits, Michael DeMarse, Mai’s Nail Perfection.