By Nune Alaverdyan
By: system
Jan 13, 2015

The Sarkisyan’s have a unique way of celebrating their daughter Nataline’s birthday. Even though Nataline unjustly lost her life to leukemia four years ago, her birthday continues to be celebrated annually, and not only by those who love her, but also by people just becoming acquainted with her and her story. Nataline’s Fashion Legacy keeps Nataline’s spirit alive by embracing one of her many passions in life. For the past four years, the Mercedes-Benz showroom of Calabasas has been home to Nataline’s Fashion Legacy, hosting people of all ages to an evening of music, food, entertainment, and most importantly, fashion. As always, this year’s event was brimming with people walking through the arrangement of booths and taking in the atmosphere undoubtedly influenced by Nataline. From the tablecloths to the cupcake frosting to Hilda Sarkisyan’s own dress, everything was either purple or pink. Interior designers from Home Art & Events added to the ambience in the showroom by volunteering their time to adorn the hall with butterflies. Attendees enjoyed delicious food and desserts, participated in a silent auction, and had the opportunity to take candid pictures at a photo booth. Laker girls were once again present to pose for pictures, and a long line of guests stood outside to be photographed against the step-and-repeat. The dresses designed by Nataline and fashioned by Beverly Hills designer Pol Atteu in past fashion shows were on display next to a large portrait of Nataline, the evening‘s honored guest. The following day would have been her 21st birthday. Once the show began, guests gathered alongside the fashion runway which was lined with pink flower petals. Videos of Nataline and her family’s hardships since her death were played at the beginning of the show, followed by welcoming words by the evening’s host, Super Sako. He spoke highly of the Sarkisyans and the goals they intend to achieve through the Nataline Sarkisyan Foundation. He invited Hilda Sarkisyan to speak a few words before the fashion show began. “When life gives you lemons,” she began, “you make lemonade.” Comparing her life to a roller coaster, Sarkisyan spoke of how this year has been one of notable progress for the Nataline Sarkisyan Foundation. She decided to honor Wendell Potter, the very man who worked under Cigna and only complicated matters for her family and Nataline, at this year’s Ridenhour Awards ceremony in Washington D.C. Her motive for honoring him was simple: “Together, we will make a change and save innocent lives.” Sarkisyan also announced the induction of the Nataline Sarkisyan Foundation into the Consumer Watchdog Hall of Fame for its persistent movement toward a better, more honest healthcare system. Sarkisyan also honored several organizations for helping Nataline’s Fashion Legacy come to life. She acknowledged Mercedes-Benz of Calabasas, Donna Smith from the California Nurses Association, Mgo Panossian for the song he wrote dedicated to Nataline, and Pol Atteu for once again fashioning Nataline’s designed dress. This year’s fashion show included designs by ShopRumor.com., White House Black Market, Ani Appearal, Band of Gypsies, Shirt By Shirt, JACHS, Sovereign Code, Pocket Change, and Mika Couture. Young adults walked down the runway sporting both fun and sophisticated outfits until it was finally time for Nataline’s dress to make its debut. Model Talia Tanielian stepped onto the runway wearing the short, halter-style, shimmering beige dress. It had frill along the bottom and around the arms and neck and was revealing in the back. Upon reaching the end of runway, she greeted Hilda Sarkisyan with a kiss and a single stemmed rose. At the end of the night, each of the 450 guests in attendance received a Nataline’s Fashion Legacy bag filled with gifts from various sponsors and donors. After another tremendously successful event, the Sarkisyans look back on the evening and reflect, “We do wish Nataline was still with us, but as a family we know that we will be making changes in her memory. Our mission is to get her foundation stronger and change ERISA Law to Nataline’s Law for no more denial.”