GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Jodphurs are in this season. So are tribal prints, recycled bamboo and medallion sandals.
All of this and much more was on display at Great Barrington Rotary Club's 2nd annual spring fashion show and auction held at Crissey Farm on Friday night. More than 80 people, among them the who's who of Great Barrington retailers, enjoyed an evening of Mediterranean munchies, mineral make-up and, of course, haute couture by Wearhouse, Mainstreet, T.P. Saddleblanket and Great Barrington Bra and Girl.
"It's a win-win situation," said Doone Marshall, owner of Body and Soul. "We want to be a presence here. These people do wonderful things for the community. It's really the best form of advertising."
There was no shortage of wares (or wears) at the show. Tables representing local businesses were laden with goods. Glass jewelry by Saskia Larraz glinted alongside pink lip stain offered by Facehaven. In addition to items for sale, the silent auction offered a plethora of local highlights including tickets, handbags, spa treatments and several nights out on the town, all in the spirit of giving.
"The Rotary really doesn't talk about what we're doing in the community," said President Elizabeth Hamilton. "We just do it."
Lingerie helped the Great Barrington Rotary raise funds.
Indeed the club has many irons in the charitable fire. The fashion show joins other annual Rotary Club fundraisers (Tri-State Bowling Tournament, pancake breakfasts and the Drive for Scholarship Golf Tournament) to benefit local organizations such as Fairview Commons, Construct Inc. and the Railroad Street Youth Project to name a few. Additionally the club gives away more than $40,000 a year in scholarships for area high school students.
Jane Iredale, founder and owner of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics Inc. that sponsored both this and last year's show, made a humble nod toward generosity before announcing the looks of the evening.
"I feel very honored to be asked to do this," she said.
Amid camera flashes and delicious desserts, models wended their way through a mesmerized crowd, flaunting bright colors and the latest in Berkshire fashion. Setting the tone (literally) for the evening was the Great Barrington Bra and Girl collection, which emphasized soft, draping loungewear in coral hues.
"It's very Cape Cod, very beachy," said GBBG co-owner April Burch. "The color is a rich coral; the first bud of summer."
The T.P. Saddleblanket collection intermixed with the coral with splashes of deep turquoise set against flowing faux suede. The effect was a look rooted in American Indian culture and design. In fact, many looks at the show paid tribute to tribal designs. Models from Wearhouse strutted dramatic black and white printed Ikat tank tops as well as flowing silk halter dresses in fuchsia and coral. Shoe styles ranged from shiny patent-leather equestrian boots to medallion encrusted, high-heeled sandals, providing a little something for every fashion taste in the room.
"There are definitely more men here this year," Burch said. "I wonder if it has anything to do with the lingerie."
The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce is having its second Good News Business Salute meeting on Wednesday, March 10, from 7:45 to 9 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza, West Street, Pittsfield. The cost is $25 for Berkshire Chamber members and $35 for non-members, and includes a breakfast buffet. To register, call 413-499-4000, Ext. 26, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.berkshirechamber.com. Individuals who registered for the canceled February event do not need to register again.
Lenox Chamber of Commerce is having its next event on Monday, March 1, at 6 p.m., at the Firefly Restaurant, 71 Church St., Lenox. Bring your business card for door prizes, which include a one-month membership to Lenox Fitness Center, golf with a cart for two at Cranwell, and a gift certificate for $35 to Furnace Brook Winery. RSVP to 413-637-2700 by Monday at 3 p.m.
The North Adams Rotary Club is actively looking for new members and is inviting those interested to join the group for a meeting to see what it's all about. The next meeting is Tuesday, March 2, at 12:15 at the Freight Yard Pub. Guest speakers also wanted; contact President Tracy McConnell at 413-663-2189 if you are interested in speaking about your business or organization.
The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce presents "The Marketing Transformation: A Road Map to ROI" on Tuesday, March 2, from 9 to 11 a.m. at The Orchards. Allen Jezouit and Jeff Stripp will discuss current marketing investments and "new media" opportunities. Free for chamber members; $25 for nonmembers. Wireless service is available so bring your laptops. Register at 413-458-9007 or email@example.com.
Spark!, the networking group for the Berkshires' creative economy, has rescheduled this week's postponed meeting for Thursday, March 4, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Francine and Sterling Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 413-822-8324.
The Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner was postponed to Tuesday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Lion Inn because of snow. For more information, 413-298-5200 or email@example.com.
Pamela Smith of Esselte will present "Got Paper: Organizing for Better Workflow and Efficiency" at the March meeting of the Berkshire County Chapter of International Association of Administrative Professionals on Wednesday, March 10, at Berkshire Bank on West Street in Pittsfield. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program at 6. Refreshments will be provided. The meeting is open to members and non-members and qualifies for 1 recertification credit for CPS and CAP. The cost is $5 per person to cover the cost of refreshments. RSVP to Melissa James at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 8.
The Southern Berkshire Chamber's next Business After Hours event will be on Wednesday, March 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 at Lee Bank, Main Street, Great Barrington. RSVP at email@example.com, or call 413-528-1510.
The chamber's also sponsoring a ski night at Catamount Ski Area on Saturday, March 6, from 3 to 10. Lift tickets for Southern Berkshire Chamber members are $15 and must be purchased in advance at the Great Barrington office at 40 Railroad St. by Friday or the visitors' center on Main Street on Friday or Saturday.
The Williamstown Chamber of Commerce is having an after hours event at Gala Restaurant at the Orchards Hotel on Thursday, March 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. Hors d' oeuvres will be provided by Executive Chef Chris Bonnivier. Cash bar will be available.
Activities will include tours of the hotel, Wii bowling, a special announcement from David Rempell on the Williamstown Youth Center "Together We Can” fund raising campaign, and a special giveaway. After the chamber event, there will be karaoke with Brian Flagg.
There will be a fee of $10 and advance registration is required; call or e-mail the chamber at 413-458-9077 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Berkshire Visitors Bureau is holding a free, open forum discussion on Wednesday, March 17, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., to share ideas and strategies for soliciting group business in the Berkshires. The event takes place at the Comfort Inn and Suites, 249 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington.