Couture for a Cause 2010 (Photo Credit: Sebastian Frances Photography)
On Friday November 5th, I had the honor of serving as one of three judges for Couture for a Cause. The second annual fashion competition was a sold out success. Designers Sandy Chen and Jessica Fulks stole the show with their winning runway looks. The stylish benefit, presented by non-profit ME³, paired local fashion designers with area charities. Designers were asked to create looks inspired by their assigned organizations in this Project Runway style event.
The evening featured two fashion shows, both a live auction and a silent auction, and a performance by musician Airiel Down at intermission. Sharon Delaney of NBC-17 served as emcee for the event. Fellow judges were Lisa Kornstein Disbrow, owner of Scout and Molly’s boutique; and Eric Fotheringham, Communities and Actions Coordinator for ME³.
Left Above: Ready to Wear Winning Design by, Sandy Chen (Photo Credit: Chris Florio)
Right Above: Art to Wear Winning Design by, Jessica Fulks (Photo Credit: Tim Carter)
Clothing designer Sandy Chen won the “ready-to-wear” division with her outfit influenced by charity partner The Green Chair Project. Green Chair’s mission to collect and repurpose gently used household furnishings was well-represented by Chen’s alluring ensemble. Her elegant brocade and tasseled fringe blouse, made of recycled upholstery fabric, was casually ornate and very chic. Paired with gathered jersey trousers, the outfit was complete with cuffed tableware jewelry and a lightly veiled chapeau.
Designer Jessica Fulks captured grand prize in the “art-to-wear” category with a stunning hand-painted cocktail dress. The bold, black satin mini dress was inspired by charity partner the Purple Elephant Computer Factory. Purple Elephant helps to bridge educational needs by placing advanced technology into the homes of families that would otherwise not be able to afford computers. Fabric across the bodice and mid-back of Fulks’s show stopper was painted to resemble a mod take on computer circuitry. Graphic, chromatic earrings made from computer mother boards polished off the ensemble with panache.
Above Left: Fashion design by, Claire Davis (Photo Credit: Chris Florio)
Above Right: Fashion design by, Sarah Blaser (Photo Credit: Chris Florio)
Other garments of note included: Keely Cansler’s artful bodice encircling a metal garden shovel, embracing the mission of non-profit Grow and Share; Tracie Mackins’s pink couture shift covered in textured fuchsia ribbons to help raise awareness of the NC Triangle Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Claire Davis’s striking red gown supporting the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina; and Sarah Blaser’s flourishing ball gown advocating charitable group The Flower Shuttle.
All clothing that graced the runway was imaginative and engaging. An interesting medley of designs kept the audience intrigued, full of clever surprises throughout the evening. Models from Models for Charity flaunted the evening’s apparel, which was available for purchase by live auction following the fashion debut. Visit the website to view more photos from the event.
Above Left: Fashion design by, Keely Cansler (Photo Credit: Chris Florio)
Above Right: Fashion design by, Tracie Mackins (Photo Credit: Tim Carter)
This year’s participating designers were: 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 included: 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.
The show was produced by ME³ President Amber Smith, along with help from Ann Bayless, Corie Lambdin, Brittany Bryan, Tara Konya, Pam Hughes, Lauren Robbins, and a team of volunteers. ME³ is a Wake County non-profit that helps connect volunteers with charitable causes through outreach, education, and service. All funds raised at Couture for a Cause go to benefit ME³ and its programs. To learn more about ME³and Couture for a Cause visit the website.