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Rotary Fashion Show Pairs Chemises With Charity

By Nichole Dupont

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."

 

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