Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sprinting In Stilettos!

This article was from a few months ago for Relay For Life at Virginia Tech. It was too much fun to keep to myself! Enjoy! 

Tech Students, male  and female, strapped on stilettos in hopes to break a Guinness World Record at the Relay For Life festivities this past Friday

In order to break the world record held by a group last year with 280 participants, organizer Caroline Gimenez was sure to break the record with just her dorm alone.

“I saw it on Facebook after one of my friends had joined so I joined it and invited more people” said one runner, Sientje Henderson. On Friday, sign in began as soon as Relay festivities began at 5 p.m. By the time the event was scheduled to begin at 9, the Drillfield was buzzing with activity. It was somewhat difficult to find the appropriate table to sign in, which had moved since earlier that day.

Each heel had to be at least 2.75 inches, and Gimenez and a team of other ruler clad individuals were hurriedly assessing the heels to see if they measured up.

Eight thirty arrives and there are still more individuals signing in.

“ We must be up to about 150” said Gimenez. Even if we were not slated to break a world record, Tech students sure do know how to make a statement. Even young men took the challenge for cancer. A patent leather stiletto clad young man, at least 6 feet five inches tall, stood a head taller than the crowd.

“I figured relay was a good cause”he said “Especially if we had a chance of breaking a world record.”

Not only is it a chance to break a world record, but it was a way to give new meaning to Relay for Life. Virginia Tech has been  the largest Relay for Life celebration in the country for the second year in a row and consequently raises the most money.  In 2008, Virginia Tech Relay For Life successfully raised over $294,000 for the American Cancer Society with over 303 teams and over 3,100 participants. (

Henderson said “[I] realy for one of my old teachers, Mrs. Moore and more recently for my neighbor Bunny who was diagnosed this past week.”

It was down to the wire. Relay coordinators cleared a portion of the track that spanned five hundred feet from the finish line as a throng of participants gathered at the starting line. Some ambled, others strutted. It was an interesting group of people. Whether they did it to break a world record, have an acceptable reason to wear heels in public, or just for the fun of it, these college students braced themselves against the crowd, hoping to get to the finish line first.

“On your mark, get set, go!” And they were off. Like water rushing from the floodgates. After the initial rush, the crowd petered out to reveal girls struggling to get their guy friends' heels out of the mud.

“The shoes did survive. There was mud and grass all over them but it will come off” said Shannon Abrell, one of the participants. “Surprisingly it wasn't hard to run in the stilettos! There was alot of adrenaline flowing because everyone around us was ready to sprint off the starting line!”

Despite the fact that Tech students did not break the recent record, Gimenez said “It's still really exciting. As you may know, I found out from Guinness...that last April another organization broke the record with 763 people. It was slightly discouraging at first, but I didn't want to give up... and the response has been incredible!”


Thanks to the cooperative participants that lent their opinions to my humble blog! Virginia Tech's division of Relay for Life is one of, if not the biggest of it's kind in the nation. I've been personally affected by cancer and each and every one of us has a tale to tell about the silent and undiscriminating nature of cancer. I always look forward to hearing about creative ways  to raise money for a great cause such as this one! : )

 P.S. I sprint in stilettos to class every day! A quarter mile in my shoes! : P

Until soon Much love,

<3 SF

Sunday, June 13, 2010

2nd Annual Spring Fashion Extravaganza

When the website posted a rain date, I couldn't imagine that with 80 degree weather and a sky sprinkled with white fluffy clouds that morning, little did mother and I know, as we pulled away from the hotel that morning (as I struggled to follow the directions to the letter) that rain was to plague our garden benefit for the Historic Smithfield Plantation at the event titled 2nd Annual Spring Fashion Extravaganza at Smithfield. 

After the pavement turned into gravel, a small 18th century house enclosed in a wooden fence rose before me. I second guessed weather or not I was in the right place for a fashion show. I spotted several rows of white event chairs lining a gravel pathway leading from the house to a gate, which fed into a seemingly limitless expanse of planted vegetables in exacting, orderly rows.

"Are you here to sign in?" Yes, thanks. I received my silent bid auction number and ticket. I checked out some of the items for bid and light refreshments. Lemonade sure hit the spot. And it certainly helped that it was pink. : )

Rain. Can you believe it?  Stoic against the drops of rain that pelted them, the chairs stood as a testament to our tenacity to continue. Perhaps fashionably late. In any case, we were fashionable. : )

After 5 or so minutes of watching the rain run it's course, we were welcomed to sit, and enjoy the fashions of centuries present and past.

The show opened with a menagerie of designs, several of which were compiled by mixing and matching separates to make a complete wardrobe. What makes this line of clothing by Sharon young is you can mix and match separates in the same color family in order to make a completely fresh and new ensemble with the introduction of a new accessory piece.

Next were the historical pieces. However uncomfortable and constricting the ensembles were of decades past, you cannot help but admire the women that wore them and continued the everyday tasks of being a woman given the discomforts of the time.

Hmm, this one reminds me of acting in productions of Shakespeare in middle and high school!

However, this Jane Austin-esque muslin gown is something I could easily throw on today (given a few alterations like going sleeveless and a slightly different neckline) and still look fabulously chic!

Keep in mind that throughout the entire show, we were running in and out of the rain and despite combating the rain, we finally go to the final portion, the Wedding Gowns.*Sigh!*

When the new director of Smithfield and I had a conversation that day, a valid point surfaced. There is nothing like seeing the gowns on these women in person. As much as I have been immersing myself in watching bridal shows on TV and delving into magazines and books, there's nothing like seeing it on, in-person. Despite the fact that these women were not even getting married, the resplendent solemnity epitomized by the wearer and the gown itself could not be captured in any other way.

 In addition to the Wedding gowns of the day, here are some of my favorite bridesmaid dresses. The theme of the afternoon seemed to be eco-friendly and these dresses were because of their re-wear value! Too cute! : )

Hmm, like much? Yes! Alfred Angelo chiffon pink bridesmaid  dress! 

Alfred Angelo! Yummy color for summer! : )


Alfred Angelo, bridesmaid dress, burnt orange. Yes! : )

After a marathon effort of ducking in and out of the tent for a good hour or so it was time for the auction. A stunning dress was up for auction.

Kevin Meredith, a hair stylist by day and designer by night and owner of Meridith's Salon, designed and constructed the gown pictured above. I had a chance to chat with him about the dress and the material:

Love! : )

"If I was getting married, I would totally buy your dress!" I said. How many purses have I convinced mother to buy under the same premise: Oh I'll totally need it one day! Ha! : )

"Oh you should! You should! It would totally look great on you!" He said. It's an Jane  Austin-esque  inspired dress. The whisper of flowers on the collar suggest a modern and soft twist to the premise of classic simplicity. 

The gown, created with dubani silk is ecofriendly. If you know anything about how silk achieves it's smooth and even;y-spun luster, you might receive shock that could convince you to buy only eco-friendly silk.

In order to have perfectly even spun silk (the traditional kind), the silk worms are dropped into hot water, cocoon and all into boiling hot water! Yikes! However, the silk Kevin uses is taken from the cocoon where the silk worm has already left. Yes. Sounds better than being boiled alive!

"We should talk fashion!" Kevin tells me. Why yes of course! Duh! : )

So with promises to keep in touch and the sky clearing up, I took a few more pictures of the grounds and headed home for class on Monday. Eight a.m.'s are always the pinnacle of the college experience, especially over the summer.

Beyond lie perfectly tilled rows of farmland. How captivating!

Thuroughly enjoying the centerpieces! 

We had quite a turnout! : )

To host your own event or to hear about more like this one, visit their website

for more info! 

Until soon, much love

<3 SF