Earlier this year, Tsawwassen’s KinVillage Unique Boutique hosted a stunning “Cruisewear Fashion Show” with senior models strutting their stuff for an enthusiastic audience at the KinVillage Community Centre Retirement Complex.
“It turned out to be a fabulous event highlighting women’s fashions from our Unique Boutique,” says volunteer model Margaret Ryding. “It was a fun event for models and for the people who came. Volunteer staff from the boutique select special pieces for this annual show. We have something for everyone, as far as size goes. We like to appeal to all.”
The audience of about 180 set an attendance record for the show and gave it rave reviews. An added bonus: people could purchase the clothing right there. This year, sales were very good and most outfits sold on the spot. Each year, a new theme is chosen. The 2010 feature was cruise wear with the venue taking on a magical travel feel featuring special decorations, fresh flowers, entertainment, music and a tasty lunch.
For those new to cruising fashion, experts point out that cruise travel clothing falls into three or four categories - casual, informal and formal. Knowing what clothes to take cruising can make the difference between feeling comfortable and stylish on a vacation or feeling left out.
These Unique Boutique organizers put a special spin on cruise categories by highlighting outfits for meeting the captain, offshore activities, formal wear and lounging around the boat. Model Margaret Ryding proudly described the fashions she wore in the show - a casual green jacket with striped green pants and a colourful printed blouse. For a more formal touch, Margaret modelled a long black dress with a black and white striped bodice. Another of her outfits featured a black and gold blouse with black pants.
Fashion experts advise that a black skirt or pants can be an important and versatile addition to any travel wardrobe. Glamorous yet comfortable, cool, wash & wear, wrinkle-proof, easy-care are words that aptly describe outfits displayed at this fashion show’s guide to an enjoyable travel wardrobe.
This Cruisewear Fashion Show involved an amazing team of organizers. Cam Buschler, co-ordinator of the Unique Boutique women’s wear shop, volunteer Bernice Roberts, Susan Martin, co-ordinator of volunteers and community liaison, nine models, co-ordination from Antolene, and many other valued contributors. Cruiseline Holland America contributed with decorations and sponsorship including a prize draw for a free cruise.
“The models and volunteers were wonderful,” says Susan. “The amount of time and dedication volunteers put into this fashion event was amazing. We received many good comments. People can’t wait to see what our 2011 theme will be.”
Bernice Roberts, who helped pick out show outfits and assisted in dressing models, emphasized that models had to be quick-change artists, changing about four times each, while the audience waited in excited anticipation for the next reveal.
“We had a lot of fun,” says Bernice. “One of our models was 80 years old. And all of our fashion show outfits are donated and from our boutique.”
Thriving on community support through clothing donations, the Unique Boutique raises funds for the KinVillage Foundation, a Tsawwassen-based non-profit society that provides seniors with a wide range of health-care, recreational, educational and social programs.
The Unique Boutique recently went through a significant renovation due to a generous donation from long-time shop volunteer, retiree and ultra-fashionista Marjorie Kendall Shea. The shop now highlights high-end, gently-used clothing, accessories, leather goods and jewelry. All clothing donations go through a strict selection process that is evident in the classy, sophisticated ambiance and quality items in the boutique.
Visitors are likely to see exciting animal prints, eye-catching colours, elegant formal wear, sophisticated casual wear, unique jewelry, and even some designer labels. The shop emphasizes quality, name brands and reasonable prices. Many of the welcoming boutique volunteers have worked in retail and fashion and know their stuff.
For information about Unique Boutique or future fashion shows, contact KinVillage Community Centre, 5410-10th Ave. Tsawwassen, phone 604-943-0225. Open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
OCTOBER 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER & LOWER MAINLAND
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