2009-09-02 / Arts & Entertainment News

Local social scene draws famed and fashionable

Oscar de la Renta may headline Naples event
rufinoHERNANDEZ rh@gardendistrictnaples.com

Summer has come and gone as quickly as a thunderstorm rolls through in August. It seems just yesterday we were contemplating whether we should wear white and now we're making note of must-haves for our autumn and winter wardrobes.

As the heat and humidity begin to wane, we gear up for a new social season. All signs are that it's going to be a sizzler throughout Southwest Florida.

We have such a diverse conglomeration of people from so many different places that it always amazes me that we all get along. But get along we do. No matter where we are from, we bring a passion for fashion and for giving back to our communities. I have had the pleasure of working with bluebloods from Blue Bell and quirky Canuks from Quebec and one thing remains the same: everyone here has an unwavering commitment to give back — and to look good while doing it!

For the past six years the wellheeled (Louboutin) supporters of the Naples Botanical Garden have donned their finest millinery to kick off the social season with Hats in the Garden. Year after year, the event — and the hats — get bigger and better, and this year there are more reasons to celebrate.

FLORIDA WEEKLY FILE PHOTOS Top, Heather Dockweiler and Wynnell Schrenk. Above, Courtney Ott and Kathy Woods at last year's Hats in the Garden. FLORIDA WEEKLY FILE PHOTOS Top, Heather Dockweiler and Wynnell Schrenk. Above, Courtney Ott and Kathy Woods at last year's Hats in the Garden. The ladies who lunch in their fabulous hats on Wednesday, Nov. 11, will enjoy a sneak peek of the garden's major expansion, under way since last year, and will be treated to a fashion show by the bastion of style and grace, le Senor Oscar de la Renta. I hear that Marissa Hartington and her team at Marissa Collections have been hard at work to secure his attendance and make sure that the show is spectacular.

I know my team at Garden District is hard at work to make sure the afternoon's flowers and overall ambience complement Mr. de la Renta's impeccable style. As for me, it's an incredible thrill for a Cuban boy from Naples to be working on such a prestigious event. Maybe I can bring Mr. de la Renta some strong coffee and pastels. He is, after all, from the Dominican Republic…

The social scene in Fort Myers is shaping up to be just as exciting, with must-do events such as Handbag Happy Hour to benefit the Island Coast AIDS Network all set for Friday, Oct. 30, at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, and The Edison & Ford Winter "Moments in Black in White," has the most fashionable men and women in town contemplating inventive ways to interpret their traditional formal attire.

Estates Foundation annual gala following not far behind on Friday, Nov. 6, under the stars along the Caloosahatchee River. This year's gala theme, Estates Foundation annual gala following not far behind on Friday, Nov. 6, under the stars along the Caloosahatchee River. This year's gala theme, These days, when we are inundated with negativity from the daily news, it is inspiring to know that once season rolls in, the news will magically get better. Just like that thunderstorm that blows in with the tropical breeze so too will the ladies and gentlemen (along with the rest of us) that make our community such a great place to live and work.

So start thinking of cooler nights, dining al fresco and drinks with friends that you haven't seen in a while. Season is upon us.

Put away the flip-flops (in the winter we call them sandals), dust off your croc loafers and get ready for the new social season, Southwest Florida style.

And by the by, it's perfectly OK to wear white after Labor Day. It's Florida and I said so!

— Rufino Hernandez is owner and creative director of Garden District, a full service event and floral design company in Naples. His casual and refined style are classic to Southwest Florida. Are you having an event that needs mention? Contact Rufino at rh@gardendistrictnaples.com

Return to top