Models walked the Longboat Island Chapel runway in secondhand fashions.
Out of all the models, the tiniest and furriest one made the biggest impact.
Just when attendees to the Lord's Warehouse Fashion Show on March 10 thought they'd seen all the fashions go past, two more surprise models entered the scene: Longboat Island Chapel's Rev. Brock Patterson and his puppy, Pippa, came out in their own thrifted fits. The tiny dog brought big cheers and awes as she dashed around dressed in outfits to match with her dad.
"Remember, the outfits are for sale," organizer Lesley Rife said during the show. "Pippa is not for sale."
Throughout the show, the fashions were as green as the garden decor in the Longboat Island Chapel. All of the clothes were selected from donations made to the Lord's Warehouse thrift store and made into outfits for the fashion show, which featured a garden party theme this year.
"As soon as the decision was made to have it this year, everyone at the Warehouse is on alert for items, like jewelry, purses, shoes, hats, that are put aside," Rife said. "We just had that white Chico's purse come in. They keep their eyes out constantly. The gals in the Warehouse know the look."
Once the models are chosen, their sizes are taken and outfit building begins. Often, the organizers have to go back into the Warehouse to finish out an outfit, whether that's shoes, accessories or the finishing touch to add elegance. Each model had three outfits, including accessories, shoes and bags.
"We don't have any outfits in mind because we can't begin to remember what's pulled aside," Rife said. "We do that with the models."
From whence they came, the outfits returned. Each model was allowed to purchase one outfit from what she wore on the runway and the rest was put on a rack to be sold at the Warehouse after the show. In the audience, attendees made notes on their programs of which pieces caught their eye.
Between the sets of outfits, presenter Jamie Peterson called out raffle and silent auction winners. Attendees had browsed the baskets before the show started and eagerly awaited to find out if they won. Fran Berman won the Pamper Me basket.
"My sister invited me to the luncheon and we're big thrifters, so this is really fun," Berman said.
This was the first year the fashion show was held as a proper luncheon; in the past, attendees had balanced their meal and drink on their laps as they watched models walk on a stage. This year, the fashion show was integrated into the luncheon so models walked closer to the attendees. Women dressed in the garden party theme — complete with gauzy, flowery hats in many cases — sat at tables and were waited on by smartly dressed volunteers who brought them fruit, chicken salad and lemon squares throughout the afternoon.
"It feels like we're out to lunch," organizer Karen Pashkow said. "Everybody looks like we're having fun."
Join the Neighborhood! Our 100% local content helps strengthen our communities by delivering news and information that is relevant to our readers. Support independent local journalism by joining the Observer's new membership program — The Newsies — a group of like-minded community citizens, like you. Be a Newsie.