Tala Madani, Lillian Lovelace receive honors at MOCA’s Distinguished Women in the Arts luncheon


Molly Sims, Ali Larter and sisters Erin and Sara Foster could easily be spotted in their flowing, free-spirited Etro print frocks at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Distinguished Women in the Arts luncheon.

The luncheon, which was presented by the MOCA Projects Council, featured a runway show of the brand’s fall/winter 2017 women’s collection of bohemian-chic fashion, and more than a few of the guests, along with the actresses, turned up in prints for the occasion.

“I die for Etro,” Sims said. “There’s never been a print from Etro that I haven’t loved. I’m a bit of a hippie at heart.”

Said Larter, “You can take out an Etro dress 10 years later, and it looks fresh as the day you bought it.”

The event

The MOCA luncheon, which was presented by the MOCA Projects Council, featured a runway show of Etro’s fall/winter 2017 collection.
(Billy Farrell /

The 10th annual luncheon honored philanthropist Lillian Lovelace and artist Tala Madani. The Wednesday event, which was at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, has recognized a long list of notable figures over the years, including Tina Brown, Twyla Tharp, Anjelica Huston, Yoko Ono and Annie Leibovitz, for their leadership and innovation in the visual arts, dance, music and literature.

The program

Museum director Philippe Vergne welcomed the predominantly female audience, first noting that the voice of the announcer is known as “the Voice of God.” “You might have noticed that today. It’s a woman’s voice,” he said.

The museum’s chief curator Helen Molesworth then introduced Madani, followed by MOCA trustee Susan Gersh, who spoke on behalf of Lovelace, but not before giving a shout-out to L.A.’s baseball team. “Go, Dodgers,” Gersh said, just a few hours before the team lost the final game of this year’s World Series.

Lilly Tartikoff Karatz and Edythe Broad at MOCA's Distinguished Women in the Arts luncheon.
(Billy Farrell/ / Billy Farrell/

The crowd

The luncheon mixed artists, art collectors, actors and others, including museum supporters Edythe Broad, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, Kathi Cypres, David Johnson, Sutton Stracke, Wonmi Kwon and Mandy and Cliff Einstein. Ann-Rose Kaplan, president of MOCA’s Projects Council, was chair of the event, along with co-chairs Eydie Desser, Sharon Romick, Nancy Koven, Marilyn Resnick, Carol Stein and Stephanie Vahn.

MOCA's chief curator Helen Molesworth and luncheon honoree Tala Madani at MOCA's Distinguished Women in the Arts luncheon.
(Billy Farrell /

The quote

Kaplan said she was “over the moon” when Etro agreed to support the group’s luncheon. “Teaming an artistic fashion house like Etro with our women in the arts event is so appropriate because art influences fashion, and fashion influences art,” she said.

MOCA director Philippe Vergne and his wife, Sylvia Chivaratanond, at the MOCA luncheon on Nov. 1 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
(Billy Farrell /

The numbers

Tickets for the 400 guests ranged from $350 to $1,000 with proceeds of $100,000 earmarked for MOCA’s programs including education and exhibitions.

Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News LA.

For fashion news, follow us at @latimesimage on Twitter.


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