Mrs. Hilton Checks In

(From left) Rick Hilton, Kathy Hilton (in Chanel), Graham Alloway (my hubby), and yours truly in an Isabel Marant Jacket and a Maison Martin Margiela silver choker. Photo: Korby Banner

My beautiful friend, Kathy Hilton, popped in to Toronto this Spring. She was here to act as Honorary Chair for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre BELIEVE IN FASHION event, featuring a runway show by Canadian grown superstar designer Erdem Moraglioglu. (For those who need to know it’s ER-dem Moralee-oh-glue).

Kathy wore a lemon yellow Valentino lace effect dress to the event. She is a classic beauty who, btw, does her own hair and makeup. I just love that she flies so under the radar. Photo: Korby Banner

I first got to know Kathy and her husband Rick Hilton when I lived in LA several years ago. We knew each other through mutual friends, and I ended up working at her decadent store on Sunset Plaza called “The Staircase”. She was always so generous of self which is such a rare quality that when you meet someone like that it really resonates with you.  I have encountered those who write very large six figure cheques for various causes, attend all the right fundraising galas and are therefore labelled philanthropists. With the right resources, anyone can make a donation, but I don’t think that makes you a philanthropist. Kathy is a humanitarian in the true sense of the word. Jet lag…what jet lag? She tirelessly campaigned for the cause for 48 hours non-stop, making TV appearance after TV appearance, skipping sit down lunches to get the job done. And when interviewers attempted to do some off road discussion of Kathy’s well known friends and family, she gracefully navigated the discourse  back to the cause.

Mrs. Hilton was a media darling: (Clockwise from top) Breakfast Television with Dina Pugliese,  ET Canada with Roz Weston, Etalk, and Entertainment City with Brad Smith.

Everyone who met her, doctors, photographers, TV personalities, was captivated. She also insisted on touring the Bras Drug Development Program facility at Princess Margaret Hospital so that she could speak intelligently about the specific area for which she was raising awareness.  Scoring a Princess Margaret lab coat at the time, she shed the Chanel and instead wore the lab coat for all her on air interviews to further promote the cause. Her style is nothing short of sensational, but it’s so much more than the designer labels and brilliant jewellery she wears. How she carries herself, her sharp sense of humour and her ability to really be in the moment and make a personal connection with each individual she meets, are what make this woman American Royalty. She knows who she is and is very much aware of the cachet she can lend an event, but that celebrity doesn’t define her. Audrey Hepburn said that “true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows.”. Kathy Hilton is all that and then some, and I am honoured to call her my friend.

On a much more materialistic note, I wore a fantastic Erdem strapless dress to the event. The fabric was a delicious1960s brocade he had rewoven. I couldn’t stop stroking it. I knew his theme for the s/s2014 collection was “school girl gone bad” so I decided a garland of black roses as a headpiece would work well. Gayle Osaduke at Hatsmade ( fabricated it especially for me. Some rock’n roll Haider Ackermann shoes worked perfectly to keep the vibe. The designer was so humble and sweet. It’s such a treat to meet and chat with an artistic genius like Erdem. He entirely approved of my styling choices and even asked me personal questions like “Do you like the length of the hidden corset?”. Blissful time.

In Erdem dress and Haider Ackermann shoes with the man himself…Erdem.


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