The Gabby Guy goes back for seconds during Meals on Wheels’ big weekend and checks in on the fashion scene with the Wilmington Flower Market.
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We Flipped For Unzipped
We were greeted on the red carpet by the striking Barbizon models Calef Henson and Whitney Camden, who was coifed with zip-on, zip-off hair extensions for this year’s Fashion Unzipped, the Wilmington Flower Market’s pre-event fundraiser and fashion show at University & Whist Club. The highlight of the afternoon was a runway presentation worthy of New York’s Fashion Week.
Flower Market executive director Mary Warren, fashion show chair Carol Cole and many board members contributed countless hours and endless energy to make it happen. They were supported by several area businesses and sponsors. Back in January, for example, owners Perry and Flavia Scarfo of Perry Anthony Salon (which did Whitney’s bangin’ zip extensions) held a cut-a-thon to benefit the event. Then there was the University & Whist Club itself and its magnificent turn-of-the-century mansion. “We’ve hosted a lot of fabulous events, but this is a first—unzipped for sure,” said manager Margaret Reilly. (We wished she’d also told us the secret ingredient the pastry chef uses in the desserts.)
Professor Collen Moretz and students in the UD fashion and apparel studies program created original dress designs for the afternoon’s Red Dress Couture Competition. The students’ sketches were displayed for the guests, who voted on their faves, and the dresses themselves were modeled in the show. It was like the Flower Market’s own “Project Runway.”
The fourth and final fabulous VIP sponsor was Joan Bernard of Barbizon in Wilmington and Philadelphia, which produced and choreographed the exciting fashion throwdown. More than 200 stylish guests sipped (champagne), quipped (with each other), dipped (crudité), and flipped for the clothing, jewelry and accessories. We spotted Diana Miller of Newark unzipping her handbag to purchase a gutsy turquoise bracelet and delicate gold hoops from the girls of shopmamie.com.
Pre-show, drink ticket allocator Mary Warren—our newest BFF—unlocked the Unzipped room for a peek at the LED-lined runway. Wow. Think Madonna concert. It was a great chance to ask the students about their celebrity-inspired gowns.
Sarah App created a pretty-in-punk long-to-short dress trimmed with piping as a nod to Gwen Stefani. Travis Watkin had Sara Chauk in mind when he designed a detachable-convertible train-to-cape affair. Travis likes Sara’s “playfulness.”
Lea Anita Cavazzini’s diaphanous, dress of layered shantung and chiffon was Bollywood beauty meets Grecian goddess. It was made with Natalie Portman in mind. First place went to Barry Grossman, whose tailored gown trailed handcut orange petals.
The affair was a stunning success. “It was right up there with the Paris shows,” said UD prof Jo Kallal, who attends them with students each year. “It even had more energy and audience involvement.”
We are pretty sure that even in gay Paris, female impersonator and funny girl-guy Scott Mason as Dame Edna would have had them splitting their hand-stitched seams with his campy comedy on topics such as flimsy toilet seat protectors, Joan River’s plastic surgery and shopping for her “affordable” gowns in Macy’s plus-size petites section.
You won’t want to miss next year’s Wilmington Flower Market—its 90th. We expect something more than unzipped. We expect nothing less than unbuttoned, untied, unVelcroed—maybe even unhinged. Ciao for now.