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October 11, 2023 – Kristen van Ginhoven– WAM Theatre:

An interview with Vicki Bonnington, who has been involved with BerkChique! since the beginning in 2012 and who will again be bringing her “Bonnington Collection” to BerkChique! in 2024.

BerkChique! is a fashionable alternative to the traditional fundraiser in the form of a Pop-Up Boutique selling fun and fabulous clothes and accessories collected from some of the most fashionable and stylish closets in the Berkshires. 

In 2024, BerkChique! will be housed at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum, 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240.

It will be held on April 26-28, 2024. 

More info can be found at

I became involved in BerkChique! officially in 2014 when WAM became one of the recipients of the event, and then, in 2018 and 2019, WAM was the host. We were all set to host again in 2020 when…..well….COVID…..

Now, after four years, BerkChique! is back and I’m really excited! So I wanted to chat with Vicki Bonnington, who has been involved since the beginning, as she has been a HUGE influence on my personal style journey. 

In 2015, I invited Vicki to my home for lunch. She thought I was going to ask her to become a WAM volunteer or make a healthy donation, but instead, I asked her if she would be my stylist! We had a good laugh about that and she asked why. I shared that, as WAM was growing (I co-founded it in 2010), I was having more upscale meetings and I knew nothing about how to dress for them! She agreed to go shopping with me and she also went through my closet with me. Over the years, Vicki has become my go-to person when I have to dress for a special event and it is thanks to her that I now have a closet of garments that I love and feel confident and beautiful in when I attend any event. 

So, I met up with Vicki recently and chatted with her about BerkChique! and how she feels now that it is coming back in 2024 — below is our conversation. 


Vicki and her husband David at an appreciation event held at Ventfort Hall in summer 2023 after Kristen announced she would be stepping down from WAM.
Kristen — I bought this dress on my own and Vicki was very impressed and approved the purchase.


Kristen: What is BerkChique! and where did the idea come from?

Vicki: The founder is Nancy Fitzpatrick and the first BerkChique! was in 2012. Nancy found herself in possession of a wide variety of upscale clothing and accessories – including hard-to-find designers and one-of-a-kind items and she called me to see if I wanted to help plan and participate in a sale she was thinking about having to benefit local non-profits. I loved the idea because I have a passion for fashion and I had recently retired as an attorney. I donated 100% of my professional wardrobe to the event. That’s how it all started.


Kristen: When did your passion for fashion begin?

Vicki: It started at age 14 as a Beatles fan. That was my first introduction to fashion, to learning about the mods and rockers, Carnaby Street, young Edwardian fashion, Mary Quant and Twiggy — that was the beginning of it all. Throughout my life, it’s just continued and grown. I have always been an eccentric dresser. 

Kristen: Yes, this year, the BAC fundraiser  highlighted all of your past IS183 gala outfits, which were amazing to see all collected and displayed in one room! Word on the street is that your outfits are always the most talked about at every Berkshire Gala or event, is that true?

Vicki: laughs:)  


Kristen: What do you love most about BerkChique! ? 

Vicki: What I love most is how delighted the shoppers are when they get out of their comfort zone. I encourage — some would argue demand — that people consider trying garments that they would not think of trying on in a million years.  They are often delighted and surprised about how wonderful they feel in items that are out of their routine. They may not buy what they try on, but it does pique their interest.  I love it when folks consider items that are a bit further out of their repertoire because clothes can be transformational for people. It can boost their confidence level and open new horizons. That makes me smile and makes me happy. I love seeing people who have not ever been excited about clothes get excited about them. You are a perfect example of that, Kristen!

Kristen: That’s true! I never thought I would care about clothes until you came into my life!


Kristen: What are some of your favorite BerkChique! moments?

Vicki: There was this shy teenage girl who came up and asked me if she could try on this fanciful, whimsical ‘Marie Antoinette’ type ball gown that was on a mannequin and I said, “Absolutely!!”  When she returned from the dressing room, she said her Mom would not let her buy it but that while she was wearing it, she felt like a Queen!  She was so happy and excited. It totally made my entire weekend. 

Kristen: I can affirm the feeling of trying on outfits and feeling like that — it’s just amazing! 


Kristen: Is BerkChique! just fancy clothes?

Vicki: No, you can get everything from your basics to your ball gowns. Prices range from $5 to $500+ so there’s definitely something for everyone’s budget.


Kristen: In addition to getting some awesome day-to-day clothes, I also know that many people come to BerkChique! to buy outfits for the upcoming Berkshire Gala season — is that true?

Vicki: Yes, it is! That is one reason that we do it in the spring — before all the galas happen!


Kristen as styled by Vicki in a red Nicole Miller lace dress and matching heels for the Shakespeare &Co Gala in 2017.
Kristen — That was the most out of my comfort zone I had ever dressed and I got a zillion compliments. 


Kristen: What do you hope for BerkChique! 2024?

Vicki:  It will have been four years since the last BerkChique! I am hopeful that the love of the event has survived the pandemic and our excited shoppers and people who want to support local non-profits return in droves.  We will be ready for them.  

Kristen: I have no doubt that will be true — I, for one, can’t wait to shop for my 2024 gala outfits and support these non-profits at the same time. 


Kristen: Where will BerkChique! 2024 be happening?

Vicki:  BerkChique! 2024 will be held at the fabulous Ventfort Hall in Lenox, a venue just as spectacular as BerkChique!  We will be taking over the mansion and turning it into the most amazing fashion boutique you have ever seen.


Kristen: How can people help support BerkChique! 2024?

Vicki: BerkChique! is a triple win — by that I mean the donors get to clean out their closets knowing they are supporting local non-profits, the shoppers are having fun browsing and buying treasures at unbelievable prices, and the non-profits, like WAM, win by receiving the proceeds from every item sold at BerkChique!

There are four ways you can help: 

  1. You can DONATE items to sell: We will even come to pick up at your house!
  2. You can VOLUNTEER: You can help us to hang, steam, tag, price, and zhuzh the items for sale and/or help us set up and break down the event.
  3. You can ATTEND: You can come Friday night for the first dibs party and/or you can browse all weekend — many people return more than once.
  4. You can SPREAD THE WORD:  You can tell all your friends (and ask them to please tell all their friends) because our advertising budget is nil!


Kristen: Any last words?

Vicki: My longtime motto is: “If you come to BerkChique!, I promise you will go home with a treasure.” That has proven to be true every single year.   

Kristen: I can attest to that! See you in April!


Shoppers enjoying themselves at the First Dibs Party, 2018.



Kristen van Ginhoven was the Producing Artistic Director of WAM Theatre from 2010 until 2023.  WAM were hosts for BerkChique! in 2018 and 2019 and are one of the lucky non-profit beneficiaries for BerkChique! 2024.