Phoenix Fashion Week's First Night Benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure

The sun was setting like a luscious new shade of rosy lipstick as hundreds of beautiful people streamed into the Royal Palms Resort Wednesday night. And that was a sneak preview of an evening of all things pink, in honor of the kickoff event of the fourth annual Phoenix Fashion Week -- the "Perfectly Pink" runway show to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

See more shots in our slideshow from Phoenix Fashion Week.

Those attending the $100-a-ticket gala rocked the signature color for breast cancer awareness in everything from dainty pastel cocktail dresses to necktie-and-pocket-square combos to a shiny hot pink handbag. (I was particularly intrigued by the pink trousers printed with little green frogs sported by Phoenix Yacht Club's Boots Dunlap -- he claims they were his grandfather's.) Sprinkles Cupcakes was there, supplementing the fancy hors d'oeuvres with heaps of pink-iced, candy-ribboned treats. D. Frank Designs displayed BohemiaArts' Pink City glassware, from which 20% of the proceeds are donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation. And the participating designers for this opening night show created pink-centric looks, in pieces from denim to athletic wear to evening gowns, that were auctioned off for additional fundraising.

18-year-old designer Emily Miller(left).

The first wave of models on the runway included breast cancer survivors and celebrities from Valley media and entertainment. A jazz trumpeter played live over the soundtrack, generating extra chemistry between models and spectators. Then Phoenix Fashion Week director Brian Hill introduced the evening's featured designer -- 18-year-old Emily Miller of Scottsdale. Her début Emily Elyse collection was simple, fresh, and sexy, with influences from menswear and old Hollywood. It was great to see clothes from a young designer who's developed strong seamstress skills -- the garments draped beautifully and worked in harmony with the models' bodies. Miller bends texture and pattern to her will with choices that are both bold and appropriate. She's definitely one of the people leading Phoenix toward destination status as a fashion town.

There are national and international designers showing and meeting with buyers this week, as well, but I'm smitten with another Valleyite: Beth Church. I'm looking forward to more of her amazing jewelry at the rest of this week's events. I met her just this morning, and so far, every time I see her, her posse, and the models who're wearing her creations, I am more delighted and impressed with these big-yet-coherent necklaces that combine vintage and antique pieces, beads, amulets and crystals . . . you really need to look for yourself.

Okay, we know the question on a lot of your lips: Which night is Project Runway Season Five designer Emily Brandle showing more of her Smoke & Mirrors line? Answer: Friday.

See you at more PFW events -- the haps continue through Saturday night.

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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson