Bettina's Take: Lighthouse International's A POSH Affair

Linda Fargo, Iris B. Apfel, Carolina Herrera, Amy Fine Collins, Kim Baker Campbell Pauline Pitt

Fashion met philanthropy once again this year at A POSH Affair. The event, held at the Plaza, was the kickoff for the annual POSH sale that features new, vintage, and gently worn clothing and accessories by top designers, with benefits going to Lighthouse International, an organization dedicated to helping the blind.

The honorees this year were POSH co-founder Kim Baker Campbell, Vanity Fair special correspondent Amy Fine Collins, and Bergdorf Goodman SVP, women's fashion director Linda Fargo. The dress was "posh attire," and the room was filled with style, elegance and originality—the fashion world was out in full force.

Collins, recipient of the POSH Fashion Visionary Award, looked superb in a fuchsia silk Carolina Herrera dress and jaw-dropping emerald and diamond earrings. "It means a lot to me to get this award because I'm among my friends. A friend of mine [Herrera] is giving me the award, I've got my family here, and it's an acknowledgment of doing something that I do naturally, so I take it for granted—and therefore I'm glad that other people don't," she said with a smile.

Fargo, stunning in a red Naeem Khan fringe-and-lace confection, was honored to receive the POSH Lifestyle Visionary Award. "If I had to stand up for one single cause, it would be for vision and eyes. If I had to rate all the senses, eyes would be at the top. I will do anything I can to help other people see," she said.

"I think [Lighthouse International] is such an astonishing organization and it's thrilling to be part of it," said event co-host Hamish Bowles. "We all like to shop for a cause and this is a great way to do it."

"The cause is all about a vision for the future," agreed benefit committee member Somers Farkas, wearing a long black Paola Quadretti that showed off her figure to perfection.

People caught up for drinks in the Palm Court before they were summoned to dinner in the Plaza's ballroom. There was much admiration for both the award recipients and for Lighthouse International at my table.

"I decided I wanted to volunteer to read for the blind," said my dinner partner, the altruistic and kindhearted Dennis Basso. "I figured I'd be reading mail, magazines, newspapers. The first person they had me read for was a graduate student in molecular biology. The words were so alien to me, the student had to help me pronounce them. I hung in there for a while, but the poor guy had to take his exams in a couple of weeks. I was no help to him at all."

Basso was eventually rotated onto other tasks almost as daunting, and he did as much as he could before eventually deciding that reading for the blind was not his forte. Actually, his forte may be stand-up: The way he told this story, he had the entire table in hysterics.

The POSH sale will be held at the Plaza from May 12 to May 15 and will feature merchandise from designers including YSL, Carolina Herrera, Alexander McQueen, Chloé, Judith Leiber, and Tracy Reese. According to the evening's master of ceremonies Rosanna Scotto, who spoke from personal experience, there are many bargains to be had.

The sale is open to the public; tickets are $10.

A cause well worth supporting.

Photo: (Left to right) Linda Fargo, Iris B. Apfel, Carolina Herrera, Amy Fine Collins, Kim Baker Campbell, and Pauline Pitt