8th Annual Splendor in the Garden Fashion Show Fundraiser
Benefiting Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Ken Downing, Fashion Director
of Neiman Marcus

Over 360 fashion-forward guests attended the 8th Annual Splendor in the Garden held at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. The event was presented by Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, and Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay. Proceeds from the event supported Fairchild’s programs in education, conservation science, and horticulture.

The day began with a cocktail reception in the Garden followed by a seated lakeside lunch catered by Le Basque. Emcees Laurie Jennings and Louis Aguirre welcomed guests and introduced Honorary Co-Chairs Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa, who thanked the sponsors, partners, and audience for their support. Fairchild’s Director, Dr. Carl Lewis, spoke about the many science and education initiatives at the Garden which fundraisers such as Splendor in the Garden help to sustain: the botany-focused programs – BioTECH and Pine Lake Elementary as well as the collaboration with NASA – Growing Beyond Earth.

Elias Synalovski, VP and General Manager of Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, introduced Ken Downing, Senior VP and Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus, who took the stage to much applause.

The 2019 Philanthropy Honorees were then presented and Downing walked the ladies down the runway. This year’s Honorees were Christina Pereyra Alvarez, Ravneet Rekhi Chowdhury, Constance Tolevich Fernandez, Melinda Brown-Gonzalez, Tracy Wilson Mourning, and Remedios Diaz Oliver All of the honoree’s philanthropic work ensures a brighter future for South Florida.

Downing then presented the highly anticipated Spring 2019 fashion show featuring textures, floral patterns, and bright colors. Models strutted the catwalk in make up by Tom Ford Beauty. The show celebrated the free spirit of travel through bold prints and colors as well as touching on the empowerment of women. He noted that “fashion is embracing the empowerment of women with the return of power dressing,” and showcased power suits, shoulder pads and even bike shorts! “It’s the idea that women can wear the pants, and they can do it with great élan.” The finale was Downing’s “love message to all, for the girl who is in love for being in love,” and showcased an array of outfits that embodied romanticism – ruffles, flounces, flowers, and bows.

Neiman Marcus then opened a Backstage Boutique where guests shopped for the trendiest styles fresh off-the-runway.

Wendy Barron, Paula Brockway (Mercedes Benz Presenting Sponsor) and Beth Serrate

Darlene Perez, Trish Bell and Constance Feenandez

On the runway

Dana Shear, Marysol Patton, Ariel Penzel and Susanne Birbragher

Splendor in the Garden Honorees

Maria Beguiristain and
Erin Newberg

Models backstage

Laurie Jennings and Louis Aguirre

Storme Eckelhofer, Jenn Chamberlain, Swanee DiMare, Brenda McInnis, Mary O’Donoghue and Amy Ferrie

Karen Myers-Schwartz, Claudia Falero, Bobbie Vandervlugt and Nienke Trebotich

Frances Sevilla-Sacasa

Suzy Buckley Woodward, Marisa Toccin Lucas and Lesley Griffith

Alicia Hathaway, Teresa Manrara, Ana Olarte and Yaira Mejia

Bronwyn Miller, Renee Lopez-Cantera, Josie Wang
and Danielle Gonzalez

Marile Lopez and Christy Martin

Splendor in the Garden table decor by LeBasque Catering

Mari Grimalt, Aldy Concepcion and Ani Hernandez

On the runway

Ken Downing and models backstage

Dress by Johanna Ortiz, Handbag by Mercedes Salazar

Alexa Wolman, Susanne Birbragher and
Barbara Hevia

On the runway

Jennifer Montoya, Patricia Fuller, Bronwyn Miller and Lizzie Schaul

On the runway

Swanee DiMare

Bibi Balerdi, Pilar Giorgini, Constance Fernandez and Kristen Munroe

Martica Membiela, Melinda Gonzalez, Claudia Falero and Michelle Canto

On the runway

On the runway

Jorge Gomez Music

Model with Elysze Held

Guests awaiting Neiman Marcus runway show

Brandon Stewart in Tom Ford

Models backstage

Brandon Stewart, Evan Miller and Imani McEwan in Tom Ford

Handbag by Chanel, Dress by Zac Posen

On the runway

On the runway