Couture for a Cause, a fashion benefit to help promote local charities, will be held this Friday, November 5th at the IMAX Theatre at Marble’s Kids Museum. Couture for a Cause is presented by ME³, an area non-profit that helps to connect individuals with volunteer opportunities. The event will feature two fashion shows, as well as a silent auction and a live auction. Sharon Delaney McCloud of NBC 17 will serve as emcee. Doors open at 7:30p.m. A ready to wear fashion show will begin at 8p.m., followed by an art to wear fashion show. Musician Airiel Down will perform live at intermission. Tickets may be purchased here. Ticket cost is $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
The annual fashion event and contest, now in its second year, is inspired by television’s Project Runway. Accepted designers have been individually paired with local charities for two months leading up to the show. During this time each designer has created two outfits inspired by their assigned charity. One outfit is “ready to wear”—clothing that represents the assigned charity and is wearable in real life. The other outfit is “art to wear”—a couture piece meant for the runway, but not necessarily for everyday adornment. The outfits will be revealed for the first time this Friday. Models for Charity will be representing designers’ outfits on the runway. A panel of three local fashion experts will serve as judges for the event, awarding a grand prize in each category.
All runway designs may be purchased by bidding during the live auction, to be held immediately following the show. Couture for a Cause designers are a mix of students, up-and-coming and established designers. This year’s participating designers are: Claire Davis, Elizabeth Croom, Becca Yang, Tiffany Saini, Cherihan Lusk, Keely Cansler, Kristi Stewart, Mariea Gamble, Martone Evans, Laura Maruzzella, Karen Huskins, Suzette Walker, Glenna Teague, Kori Waldrup, Jessica Fulks, Jamella Murray, Tracie Mackins, Allison Duncan, Sarah Blaser, Sandy Chen, and Aubri Rhoads.
Participating charities include: Alliance of Aids Services – Carolina, American Diabetes Association, AniMall, Boys & Girls Club, Grow and Share, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, International Focus, Inc., International Free Computer Training & Charitable Center, Joel Lane Museum House, NC Green Power, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, Purple Elephant Computer Factory, Strike for Survival, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, NC, Triangle Affiliate, Ten Thousand Villages, The Flower Shuttle, The Green Chair Project, and Triangle American Red Cross.
Amber Smith, President and Co-Founder of ME³ is an energetic young woman with a passion for promoting voluntarism. “When you find a cause you’re passionate about, you’re becoming a bigger person yourself,” says Smith. To learn more about Couture for a Cause and ME³, visit their website. Funds raised at Couture for a Cause will benefit ME³ and its programs.
all photos by Ashley Yarber