Who: Trendsetters, fashion lovers, and women supporting women
What: United Way of Twin Cities’ WINGs Flight of Fashion
Where: Mall of America’s Great Room in Nickelodeon Universe
When: March 24, 2011
Why: To get a sneak peek at spring trends and raise awareness for United Way’s WINGs program.
I have to admit, I’m not much of a fashionista. I live to wear black, rarely wear patterns, and secretly worry that everything I put on clashes with my red hair. So when the opportunity to go to a fashion show came up, I knew I had to attend. Not only are they fun (despite my non-fashionistaness), they’re also inspiring. I always leave wanting to mix up my closet. But this fashion show was inspiring for a different reason. As a fundraiser for United Way’s WINGs (Women Investing in the Next Generation) program, this show allowed guests to learn about WINGs and hear about how the program has helped women in our community.
The night kicked off with a cocktail hour and featured Nordstrom’s cosmetic gurus and Aveda’s skilled hairdressers showing guests some tricks. Many took advantage of the free makeup touch-up after a day at the office!
Then the lights went low and it was time for fashion to take center stage. Before the clothes became the topic of conversation, WINGs member Jean Nitchals opened the show and introduced Lorraine Sandridge, a woman who has benefited from the WAND (Women Achieving New Directions) program, which has partnered with WINGs for the past year. Sandridge was involved in drugs and spent time in jail before being set up with a WAND program counselor and going to workshops to re-start her life. She now has a job and her life on track. “With the WAND and WINGs programs, I came to a place that reduced my anxiety and fears,” she told the crowd of nearly 300 people. “I am so grateful that this program was available for people like me.”
Following Sandridge, two of the most stylish women in the TC took the stage to co-host the fashion show, trend specialist Sara Rogers and our own Jayne Haugen Olson (who always looks oh-so-coordinated around the office). Rogers talked about a few hot trends for spring—bohemian looks, bright colors, and stripes. All of which were on display in the show.
Cute looks from Nordstrom, Betsey Johnson, Bloomingdale’s, Francesca’s Collections, Glitz-Get Social, and White House | Black Market rocked the runway. Many models came out to “oohs” and “ahhs” from the audience. Accessories were provided by Stella & Dot and helped put the finishing touch on several looks.
United Way’s WINGs chair Deb Staiger, who modeled on the runway, took the stage after the show to thank guests and talk about WINGs.
Leaving the party, I was definitely inspired to enhance my wardrobe a bit and mix some things up. Given Sara’s advice, I may have to work on incorporating more patterns and wearing more color. Plus, I definitely stopped at a few stores on my way out looking for fun, new accessories. Spring is the perfect time to start anew, isn’t it?
Updated March 31, 2011