A very prim and proper Sharon Stone looked the part as one of the "ladies who lunch" (those über-wealthy wives who spend their days shopping and sipping champagne at expensive lunches). But her demure grey sheath, silk boater hat, alligator purse, matching leather gloves and high heels belied the tiger inside, for once Stone started running the live auction at the 10th Annual Lupus LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on November 1, she wouldn't take "no" for an answer.
But beforehand there had been a veritable feeding frenzy, as a gaggle of well-heeled women got into an absolute feeding frenzy over table after table of handbags, all up for sale during the silent auction. There were brand-new pocketbooks donated from Prada, Versace, Jimmy Choo and many more for the cause of "finding a cure for this terrible autoimmune disease" (as Lupus LA Chairman Adam Selkowitz explained), but the real prizes were the gently used bags.
"People bought used purses?" you might ask; that could seem odd, given the wealth assembled in the room. That is, until you find out that the used bags came out of the personal collections of Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, Melissa Joan Hart, Courteney Cox and Sharon Stone herself. Those special treasures were flanked by little clutches, pretty purses, fringed shoulder bags, massive carpetbags, suitcase sets and even a Hello Kitty KISS wheelie signed by the four members of that iconic band.
We spotted Charlotte Ross, Jackee Harry, Marla Gibbs, Shirley Jones and Shari Belafonte looking for that special must-have purse; "Criminal Minds" star Meredith Monroe even carried an envelope clutch that she took home at last year's event. Kellita Smith, Kellie Martin, Danica McKellar, Lisa Ann Walter and Arielle Kebbel also did some power shopping, while model Angie Everhart got into a spirited discussion with Sharon Stone about dog training, of all things.
Once all the ladies who lunch finally sat down to eat, it was time for Stone to do her thing. She's a seasoned auctioneer and proved it again as she got thousands of dollars for the cause with live auction items like an LA "Staycation" at the London West Hollywood Hotel and a trip to New York Fashion Week.
Fighting lupus is a cause close to Stone's heart, since her sister Kelly Stone is afflicted with the disease, but it was singer Toni Braxton that Sharon nudged into purchasing what she called "our star handbag of the day." It was a gorgeous Tiffany & Co. ostrich hobo handbag, for which Braxton (who also suffers from lupus) laid out a cool $4,400.
Then the most sublime part of the afternoon began, as top Los Angeles clothing designer Kevan Hall sent what he called "a lot of my signature classics" down the runway that sliced through the center of the hotel's ballroom. And suddenly all those ladies weren't thinking about handbags any more, as his perfectly tailored, flatteringly cut day dresses, slim-fitting slacks and jewel-toned or animal-print evening gowns shifted everyone's focus away from accessories and straight to dreams of owning one of his stunning haute couture designs. And it was all for a good cause, too.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Sharon Stone
- Beverly Wilshire Hotel