k.d. lang to perform at March 13 Varvatos fundraiser
For the last seven years, fashion designer John Varvatos has opened the doors of his West Hollywood boutique at the corner of Melrose and Robertson for a star-studded outdoor event benefiting Stuart House, a program of the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center that focuses specifically on helping child victims of sexual assault. To date the event has raised more than $1.5 million for the organization.
For several of those years, he's also managed to persuade the city to let him close off a stretch of street (anyone familiar with West Hollywood traffic and parking issues knows that's a feat in itself), providing ample space for live and silent auctions (100% of proceeds go to charity), luxury shopping (25% of all sales in the Varvatos store that day will be donated to the cause) and a range of kid-friendly activities that includes Converse-customizing, cookie-decorating, face-painting and performances by a magician named Justin Kredible.
Even though the event is traditionally packed to the rafters with celebrity friends and supporters of both the designer and the organization -- in the past we've rubbed elbows with the likes of Brooke Shields, Eric McCormack, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick (the last two were the event's 2009 event co-chairs; this year's husband-and-wife chairs are Patrick and Jillian Dempsey) -- what really turns heads and garners attention is the music. Memorable performances from past years include Jackson Browne (2005), Macy Gray (2007) and a rousing 45-minute set by ZZ Top (in 2009).
This year it's scheduled to be Grammy Award winning singer k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, plus special guest Franky Perez, on tap to entertain the charitable-minded crowd.
Tickets are $200 per adult guest, with kids 16 and under free, and can be purchased online at johnvarvatos.com/stuart_house. There's also an option to click if you can't attend but still want to donate. The site has a link that will allow you to preview some of the live auction items that will be up for bid.
The John Varvatos 8th Annual Stuart House Benefit, 8800 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, Sunday March 13, 2011, from noon to 5 p.m. Live auction and musical peformances start at 1:30 p.m. Valet parking provided.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: Past Stuart House benefits at Varvatos' Melrose boutique have included performances by ZZ Top, left, in 2009 and Macy Gray in 2007. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times