Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

The Foster Youth Education Fund of Sacramento is celebrating its 10th anniversary with two fundraising events -- a Casino Night Gala and a Casino Royale Fashion Show.

The organization is hoping to raise $100,000 to support foster youth who become too old for the foster care system. These young men and women typically have no support system in place to help them to pursue their dreams after high school.

The Casino Night Gala is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 6 at the California Chamber of Commerce's Esquire Building.

The Casino Royale Fashion Show, in which current and former foster youth strut their stuff on the runway, is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. at the California State University, Sacramento, Ballroom, 6000 J St.

Tickets to the gala are $100 per person and $150 per couple. Tickets to the fashion show are $25 for adults and $15 for children and students.

To purchase tickets in advance, email Tickets will also be available at the door.

To make a tax-deductible donation, contact the organization at Foster Youth Education Fund, 3323 Watt Ave., Suite 253, Sacramento 95821.

For more information about the organization, go to

By Leigh Grogan

We love to read the newspaper, right? But how about wearing it - on a red carpet no less.

Well, the ink is dry and 16 local fashion design teams are hard at work on the first annual Sacramento Bee Fashion Challenge, which will be part of the upcoming Sacramento Film and Music Festival, which is Aug. 17-21 at the Crest Theatre.

The fashion challenge will test the designers' ability to not only make a red carpet-ready look but to create it using a significant portion of the newspaper. (Each team received 20 papers.) The outfit can be for either a woman or man.

Next Wednesday, the fashions will debut at the Crest with a show that starts at 7 p.m. That's also opening night for the film festival. Local judges (myself included) will score the outfits, and the winners will be announced at 6 p.m. Aug. 20, also at the Crest.

Each design team is responsible for its model, plus hair and makeup. They will be judged in five categories: construction, style, theme, creativity/use of The Bee and overall impression.

If you're a fan of "Project Runway," you'll recall the newspaper challenge on Season 6. And, as mentor Tim Gunn likes to say, "Make it work!" For more info on the film festival click here.

See you on the red carpet!

Juanishi Orosco and Stan Padilla, founding members of the Royal Chicano Air Force artist collective, along with swimwear designer and wardrobe stylist Heather Robinson, will have a free, family-friendly art show 6-10 p.m. Thursday at Karma Fusion Art Co-op, 839 Lincoln Blvd., in Auburn.
The show will feature free wine tastings, food, art exhibits, fashion shows, jewelry displays and more, according to Robinson, who is a native of Folsom and who counts Robert Plant, Carrie Underwood and Kings of Leon among her celebrity clients.
Padilla is a multi-disciplinary artist (drawing, painting, jewelry-making), educator and cultural activist, who has been a longtime consultant in Indian education programs and an art instructor at Sierra College. Orosco's paintings are in permanent collections at Harvard, Yale and the Smithsonian Art Institute, and he has overseen mural projects in New York, Chicago and Miami, among other cities.
For more information, call the gallery at (530) 613-6320 .

We didn't have to tell you that Buddy Guy would be a great show. You already knew that. Consider his appearance on this list to be just a gentle reminder that he's in town.

We are, however, concerned that you might have missed a couple of events on this list. Each features a national treasure -- but swirls in a bit of Sactown flava. We're talking about the fashion event at the Crest Theatre and the performance of Capitol Steps at this same venue.

Local boutiques and designers such as Bows and Arrows, Modaspia, Crimson & Clover, Thunderhorse and Babyfloss will have a trunk show ahead of the "Bill Cunningham New York" film, and fashion bloggers Bella Q (Sac Street Style), Lorena Beightler (Sac Cycle Chic) and Kari Shipman (Juniper James) will stay for a panel discussion when it's over. This event is a fitting tribute to the man who's kept his camera focused on New York fashion for decades.


Why let Second Saturday have all the fun? Get some art action a week early this Saturday when the Artisan (1901 Del Paso Blvd.) hosts "Movement in Design," an evening of music, fashion and art.

"Movement in Design" - a.k.a. MODSAC - will highlight fashion area boutiques and designers including Van Der Neer, United State and Havoc. There will be live music too via DJ Greg J, the New Humans, Diamond Monsterrr and DJ Rock Bottom.

There will also be a "Battle of the Boutiques" fashion-inspired art exhibit.

The all-ages event starts at 6 p.m. and costs $5 at the door.

For more information

February 22, 2009
Who are these actors?

By Leigh Grogan

Leslie Mann shows up, and we have absolutely no idea who she is. OK, so we don't get out much.

Richard and I both wish the camera would back out of the camera shots so we can see the stars - not so much their companions.

Richard beats Jay Manuel of E! with the origami reference to Heidi's gown. She's letting you have it in this dress," he says. She says she's been sitting on one butt cheek during the whole ride over to the awards venue.

Another lady in red? Amanda Seyfried of "Mamma Mia!"

Taraji P. Henson of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" looks amazing - love the gown and a quick pick at her Spanx when she hiked her gown to show off what I believe was a tattoo in honor of her late father.

"Am I out of the loop, or do I just don't know any of these actors," Richard says. He's not alone. I definitely feel like I'm watching an independent film red carpet. Guess we're both waiting for the DVDs.

By Leigh Grogan

On Ryan interviewing the kid cast of "Slumdog Millionaire": "They're cute, but Ryan Seacrest shouldn't be doing this job!"

There was a slight language problem.

Richard thinks singer John Legend's face is "painted for the gods. It was so matte."

Informal tux vs. traditional tux? I'm liking the traditional bow tie.

Nominee Melissa Leo of "Frozen River" shows up. "Her stylist needs to be contacted because she looks like honey mustard," says Richard.

"She looks like a complete catastrophe," Richard says. Her hair woman kept, and left.

On a good note, we both love Viola Davis ("Doubt") in her golden goddess gown. The E! Glamastrator spotlights the stars as they walk the red carpet.

Richard just informs me that all the makeup he just bought in San Francisco will have him looking like Jay Manuel of E! come Monday morning.

Designer John Galliano did actress Freida Pinto's elegant blue gown. But forget the gown, Ryan keeps asking who she's dating. "Ryan has no interest in her whatsover!," says my co-host.

A quick shot of Heidi Klum and husband Seal. Even though her red dress has a slight "origami" look to it, she still is amazing.

By Leigh Grogan

My friend and local fashion designer Richard Hallmarq just joined me and, so far, he thinks Kevin Kline's "old" hairdo makes him look sooo much older than his wife, Phoebe Cates.

Ryan had to toss out an "American Idol" plug. Phoebe didn't vote, but she likes Danny Gokeym, who made the Top 12.

Richard says he hasn't seen one dress that he likes so far.

Ken Baker of E! reports that there will be stars at the show who haven't been announced and won't walk the red carpet. Some big curtain with past winners presenting. It's supposed to be a break with tradition. Snoooze!!!!

Madonna arrives, and Richard and I think she looks great. Who's she with? "Another new man. She goes through them (men) like a pack of cigarettes," he says.

By Leigh Grogan

OK, so it's the 81st annual Academy Awards. I still don't know why E! starts its coverage of the red carpet (with host Ryan Seacrest) at 3 p.m. - two plus hours before the broadcast - because pretty much all we got was Miley Cyrus in a gown that weighs more than her, asking to be adopted by Angelina Jolie!

"I'm just here star-stalking," the teen quipped, as her mom "date" stood by - wearing her first pair of "borrowed" earrings.

Entertainment news: E! gets the scoop that Nicole Richie is pregnant with her second child.

The guess was it was either Angelina or her nemesis, Jennifer Aniston, who is scheduled to present tonight.


One thing's for sure: Valerie Werder knows how to re-invent herself -- and her business. She's been the owner of Blush Boutique since first opening at N and 28th streets in March 2005 and, then, relocating to 2317 J St. almost two years ago.

Now her retail dream is taking another form. "I'm shifting with the economy," Werder says. "But I won't go away."

Her midtown lease expires at the end of April, and she's closing the physical store -- at least for now. She'll still be a part of her customers' lives, offering personal shopping and other services, including something she calls "the recession-proof closet."

"I'm not giving up," Werder says. "But I've been the only one running the show (read: store) for the last eight months. With two young children, I can't be here six days a week. But I'm hoping with this shift that I can stay alive and re-open a store in the future."

Her online shopping site - - is still thriving, drawing customers from Seattle to the East Coast and even abroad. The Bee has featured Blush Boutique in several fashion shoots (pictured above).

"There's a woman in Turkey who shops online all the time," Werder says.

In fact, during last year's "American Idol" competition one of the dresses worn by contestant Carly Smithson was only available at Blush and its Web site. The dress sold out immediately, thanks partly to judge Simon Cowell's flattering comments about it.

"It was outrageous how many hits I got when she (Carly) wore that dress!" Werder says.

Werder hasn't stopped considering alternatives to keeping the physical boutique in place, even co-opting the space with other people or keeping it only on weekends.

"My wheels never stop spinning. It's why I took this risk in the first place," she says.

Customers have been receiving e-mails and letters about Blush's closure. So, if you haven't been, pay a visit. Online customers just click here.


Michelle Obama is officially the first lady - and face - of fashion to all women, appearing on the cover of the March issue of Vogue.

It's nothing new for first ladies to be featured in the fashion magazine. It's been happening since Lou Hoover (except for poor Bess Truman). Obama, however, is only the second first lady to be featured on the cover. Hillary Rodham Clinton did so in 1998.

Obama (pictured) was photographed by none other than Annie Leibovitz. On the cover, she's wearing a magenta sheath dress by New York designer Jason Wu, who also created her one-shoulder inaugural gown.

Andre Leon Talley, Vogue's editor at large, conducted the interview, which, obviously because of press deadlines, took place before the actual swearing in. In his own one-on-one with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Talley says the cover - and eight-page spread inside - reflects "her warmth, which comes from within. It's not about her being a fashion icon. ... It's just the naturalness and the grace of Michelle Obama. It's who she is."

Traditionally, most cover shoots are "styled." In other words, someone else, usually a fashion editor, selects the clothing. Not in this case. Talley says Obama picked not only the Wu dress but the outfits inside. Some of them came from her own closet, including several pieces from one of her favorite retailers, J.Crew. (Her daughers, Sasha and Malia, wore J.Crew Crewcuts designs on Inauguration Day.)

Also featured is designer Narcisco Rodriguez, whose black and red dress Obama wore on Election Night. It was perhaps that dress with the panels topped with a cardigan that has drawn the most raised eyebrows among fashion watchers.

Of the criticism? "In the end, someone will always not like what you wear - people have different tastes," Obama says in the article.

The first lady also talks about her primary role as "mom in chief" to her daughters. Talley says she has specific goals for the White House regarding entertaining and welcoming children.

"She wants to use the kitchen as the classroom for young urban kids to come and see how a kitchen works," he says.

Blitzer asked Talley to offer up one thing about Obama readers and viewers might not know:

"When she was on the train coming from Philadelphia to Washington (for the inauguration), ... her daughters spent two hours in the children's train decorating it to give their mother a surprise birthday party because she was turning 45 that day. ... She was surprised and led all the kids in a stomp dance singing a cappella.

"The first thing she said to me after the party was, 'I just said to Barack, this is nice, but who is going to clean up this mess. We can't leave Amtrak this mess.' "

Talley and friends helped clean up the train.

Check news stands for the issue, which is sure to be sold out. Subscribers should receive their copies sometime next week.

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