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