Machel's Ranch

New York meets Ranch at The Country Friends Fashion Show

In San Diego there are certain events that hold special meaning to each community. I know you might be thinking Del Mar’s Opening Day here, but there is another event that surpasses that day … at least for me. Now you must remember as I write this, I am not a reporter. I am a columnist. I write about social happenings in Rancho Santa Fe, with a bit of my opinion thrown in there. That’s just what a columnist does. And, as a social columnist, isn’t it only fitting that my favorite event of the year is The Country Friends Fashion Show?
Don’t think weak, think strong. Think beautiful, sophisticated women raising money to help the less unfortunate. Think brilliant organizing and wonderful, behind-the-scenes partners, like the Rotary Club volunteers. Since 1954, this wonderful organization has been hosting what has become the largest outdoor fashion show on the West Coast. Think “Sex and the City” here. Think New York without the skyscrapers and the humidity. Imagine Fashion Week arriving to one of the wealthiest upscale communities in Southern California. Now insert that into one glorious day and you have the best day event to attend in San Diego happening in my favorite community.
Every year, my best friends and I head out for a fun luncheon at Mille Fleurs (just so you know I did see Sharon Stone there this week!) to enjoy the most fabulous leafy green and lobster salads, fine wine and good conversation. The new trend is to merge groups of friends onto one table so you have one large bubbly group of women in one sitting.
This is not a day to choose the conservative dress or to be shy. This is a day where you must put it all out there and shine. I hate to throw some attitude to good ol’ New York City, but Southern California is known for their gorgeous weather, but most of all the beautiful women. Can you say, “400-beauties-of-all-ages-under-one-tent-in-one place-while-watching-skinny-models-shine-in-the-hottest-fashions-like-Pucci-and-Donna Karan?”
This is a day when women come together. Women enjoy being feminine and fashionable, while raising money for charities through The Country Friends. This is a day when I can feel excited to live in this community. I am just thrilled every year to attend. One must grab on to their own surroundings and make their own moments grand. No need to fly to New York on Fashion Week when we have our own wonderful show right here under the eucalyptus trees.
Congratulations to everyone that helped with this years The Country Friends Fashion Show. This year’s production had an upbeat quality that kept the women in the audience enthusiastic as each designer line took center stage. The heat didn’t stop anyone from coming out this year to enjoy my favorite day. Now … it looks like I have 363 days and counting to find a new dress for next year’s most fabulous day.
Around Town
On Sept. 24, The Country Friends Show finally arrived. I managed to capture some wonderful pictures of some of the women that attended the event. San Diego’s very own celebrity fashion designer Janice Jaraicie joined Dana Irfani and Jill Sorge in a gorgeous shot of the three of them right before the music started. My favorite designer for the day was Donna Karan. I just always love her sleek elegant lines with that touch of downtown style. I ran into Karian Forsyth, one of my favorite residents in the Ranch. I nominated her last year in my column for having “the best feet in Rancho Santa Fe.” She posed for a lovely shot with two of her best friends
On Sept. 25, The Rancho Santa Fe Community Center held its movie night at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The director of the center, Pamela Meistrell, started the evening off by introducing the featured movie for the night, “Bolt.” Then all of the children running around on the lawn were asked to take their seats with the family members. The night was a huge success, with higher attendance compared to last year. I snapped a cute shot of Chole Tremble, Jackson Tuck and Matthew Sorge, while they were enjoying their free popcorn and lemonade, which was provide by the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center. After the movie was over, all of the parents chipped in to help clean up the lawn together. The evening ended perfectly.
On Sept. 27, after leaving the Village Market, I discovered four gorgeous girls from the Roger Rowe school selling lemonade and cookies on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I pulled over and chatted with the girls. They were all smiles with that fresh feeling of youth and excitement while they served us lemonade. Abigail Graves, Alexis Hanlon, Sophie Graves and  Zoe Kennedy posed for a beautiful picture that day. How wonderful to have fun with your girlfriends at any age. Their exuberance stayed with me for the rest of that day Thanks so much for your sweet lemonade and the free cookie. You made my Sunday afternoon.
 On Sept. 28, Christine Tiner shared with me some “spooky” news:
“Boy Scout Troop 2000 is again hosting it’s annual Haunted Hotel — and this year it will be open for six scary nights — from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings of Oct. 16 and Oct. 17, Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, Oct. 30 and, yes, Oct. 31 — Halloween. The Haunted Hotel is the 100-year-old Germania Hotel, located in Pioneer Park, at Rancho Santa Fe Road, and 7th Street in Olivenhain, right next to the Olivenhain Town Hall. Admission to the Hotel is $5, but the Not-Too-Scary Haunted House (for the little ones) is free, as are the Halloween cartoons showing at our Theater-in-the-Woods. Proceeds from the event are used for the renovation of the Germania Hotel and to finance the operations of Troop 2000.
Haunted Hotel is a “pro-level” haunt — meaning it is scary. For those of you who have visited before, we have a couple of new and very scary attractions. But this is an actor-based haunt, so we can tone it down for our younger guests, or rev it up for the veterans! For more information, call (858) 481-5453 and ask for Igor.”  I can’t wait to take Jackson to this fun haunted house event.
Save the date
Rancho Days is almost here again. Don’t miss the Chili Cook-off on Friday Oct. 16, sponsored by the Historical Society. I will be there myself, along with the prettiest sisters in town, Katie and Rosie Holcombe, serving up what should be a hot competition between local residents and their delicious best recipe. See you there.