Week of 3.20.17

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Art of Fashion & Research

Seventy guests ($150 ticket) convened March 9 at Neiman Marcus for the luncheon and fashion show sponsored by the Lighthouse Group to benefit the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids. During the pre-luncheon champagne reception, they socialized, perused designer apparel in the third floor salons and had make-up applications by stylists from Guerlain, Trish McEvoy and Le Métier de Beauté. After lunch, two passions were on display during the presentation before the fashion show. The first was Carol Van Andel’s for the cutting edge research, collaborations and education (cancer and Parkinson’s disease) that occurs at the institute founded 20 years ago by her in-laws. She concluded her description of the initiatives and the researchers with “...I don’t have a job, I have a dream.” The second was NM style adviser Ken Dewey’s fervor for fashion. He called the show a passion play in three acts which he named Take It to the Max, The Now of the New and The Games People Play.
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oakland confidential

March 2017

MARCIA, MARCIA, MARCIA: Oakland County Commissioner Marcia Gershenson (D-Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield) may have picked a fight with the wrong person in power when she called out county board chair Mike Gingell and vice chair Mike Spiz , both Republicans, during board swearing-in ceremonies on January 11. "She seemed determined to create dissension," said a fellow commissioner. "She ...more»
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Olivia Rita Oram


Olivia Rita Oram
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Olivia Rita Oram
Photo: Laurie Tennent
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(click for larger version)
10/27/2010 - At just 20-years-old, clothing designer Olivia Rita Oram can add tennis pro Venus Williams to her roster of clients. One of over 35,000 entries in the Tide Plus Febreze Freshness Sport design contest, Oram vied for—and won— the honor of seeing her design come to life on the tennis court at the 2010 U.S. Open.

"It was amazing," Oram said. "I had no idea she would choose me. There were some other great competitors in the finals and I was so glad she chose me."

Oram first heard of the contest through an admirer of Olivia's Designs, her You Tube fashion video forum. "I got to the top in Week Three by the people's choice votes," she said. "In Week Eight, Venus chose me as one of her favorites."

Oram, who began sewing when she was 16, always knew she had a knack for fashion. Reaping inspiration from television shows like Project Runway and The City, she soon realized her dream of designing.

"I've always been creative," she said. "Watching shows on TV, I knew what I wanted to do. Creating something and throwing it on the runway is very appealing."

With just four years of experience sewing, designing the haltered black and white tennis ensemble for Williams was an enormous coup for Oram. After the prevailing design was chosen, Oram received further acclaim from the tennis pro herself when Williams took to her Twitter account, and sent a tweet shouting out the winning design.

"Congrats to Olivia Oram, winner of the Tide Plus Febreze Freshness Sport design contest! Can't wait to wear your outfit at the U.S. Open," Williams tweeted.

"It was amazing," Oram said. "I wasn't expecting for her to write a tweet. My sister and I saw it and were really excited about it."

Because of the support and encouragement of her family, Oram, a Lahser High School graduate, chose her sister to join her in claiming her prize.

"They flew us out to New York to the U.S. Open, and paid for the hotel in Times Square," she said. "I didn't get to meet (Williams), but the trip was amazing."

Tide also awarded Oram $5,000, which she shared with the St. Paul Nonprofit Charitable Organization (SPANCO), a charity that assists people in developing countries.

"The money I donated helped a child in Ghana, West Africa with their schooling and food," she said.

A Bloomfield Hills resident, she admires the fashions at Caruso Caruso and Oliver's Trendz in Birmingham.

"Joe Faris is definitely my favorite designer in the area," she said. "(His fashion) is really different, with a little bit of an edge to it."

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