There was an upbeat vibe Oct. 18 during Elyse Walker’s 10th annual Pink Party at Hangar 8 in Santa Monica, which benefits the Women’s Cancer Program (WCP) at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.
Walker, the stylist and boutique owner known for her eponymous shop in the Pacific Palisades, had friends Rachel Zoe and Jennifer Garner host this year’s event, where they bantered onstage about Garner’s fashion choices and Zoe’s trademark deadpan enthusiasm.
“And Rachel said, ‘Oh my God. I love Elyse. Elyse is bananas,’” Garner joked about Zoe’s reaction when she introduced the two more fashion-savvy members of their group 12 years ago. “Will you put on an Oscar from Elyse? How does she carry Oscar right there in the Palisades? And Stella too? Oh my god. Cancer is so bad. Let’s host this thing together.”
Walker, who was told that night by Women’s Cancer Program director Beth Karlan and Cedars’ VP of Development Ken Massey that a tissue culture lab would be named in her honor, also said that this would be her final year for the Pink Party.
“I really don’t think this is an end as it is celebrating a new beginning,” Walker said. “I’d like to help others create their own events. It’s time for a change because science is truly changing … now we know that many of the women’s cancers that we are supporting [research for] tonight are linked to the BRCA gene – not all of them, but many of them. If it’s a BRCA-related cancer, the BRCA is not a female gene, it is co-ed … hence, pink is now, 10 years later, a little tiny bit obsolete.”
Given the pedigree of the hosts, it isn’t a surprise that the event also had sartorial components. Guests like Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, Molly Sims, Shay Mitchell and Marcia Cross could bid in the silent auction for jewelry and designer handbags, while the evening culminated in a fashion show. In a bit of brilliant branding, those waiting in the valet line could treat themselves to a latenight snack from Pink’s Hot Dogs.