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Hats on Parade at Salon de Thé: La Vie en Rose

Natasha Stephens, winner  Cynthia Dawn Worthey, and Joni Dubriel Harris
Natasha Stephens, winner Cynthia Dawn Worthey, and Joni Dubriel Harris
Paul Biagui

Well dressed Southern belles gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel for a High Tea hosted by the Alliance Française d'Atlanta to pay tribute to French heritage and show off their stylish hats. The fourth annual fête titled Salon de Thé: La Vie en Rose, is a competition in fashion and manners where guests celebrate spring and receive a lesson in everything French.

Attendees took a trip to the city of lights via petit fours, champagne, style and perfume. According to Hélène Courault-Touré, Director of Alliance Française d'Atlanta, hats are a staple of the French woman’s wardrobe and the idea to host a luncheon featuring a hat parade in Atlanta seemed like a great idea, because wearing a crown to horse races and Sunday church services is also a part of womanhood in the American South.

“We are an organization that promotes French culture and language, so we have an event with hats because wearing a hat is very French,” Touré says. “It’s a women’s only fundraiser and I think everybody gets excited about the hat parade. La vie en rose means to live in pink. So we also wanted to do something around pink.”

The hat parade has become a real competition for many of the women who attend to the event every year. Hats in shades of pink, white, black and red with flowers and feathers decorated the heads of the guests. The affair featured a live auction where the ladies bid on everything from vacations in Lacost, Paris to Charlotte, N.C., in honor of the French and their penchant for extended vacations to the countryside.

Representatives from Christian Dior were also on hand providing free make up consulting with an array of lipstick in pink hues. Lana Mock, Account Executive for Christian Dior, says she loves sharing the French roots of the Dior brand.

“The hats are amazing! Hats are part of the Dior heritage,” Mock says. “It’s about sharing the French Heritage of our brand and letting out French patrons know we support them as well.”

Wearing the best French perfume is also part of French femininity and Susan Sexton, host committee member and representative of Galimard, one the oldest French fragrance company says, she appreciates the Alliance Française d'Atlanta and their support of French culture. Galimard was recently was founded in 1747 and is dedicated to preserving the French culture.

“This group’s mission is to promote French culture and in French speaking countries we believe fragrance is part of fashion,” Sexton says. “We have a passion for all things French.”

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