Not able to dash to New York, London, Paris or Milan this September for their respective #FashionWeek did not prevent me from seeking a runway extravaganza. In fact, I more-than-happily attended a local favorite, a fundraiser that gets everyone hooting and hollering even more so because all the designers and models are non-professionals: this STRUT is nothing short of fabulous over-the-top excitement. But, first, there was my own outfit to consider, which took special consideration, and several attempts. Well, of course it did!
After three changes (the pink wig was my inspiration) my sweetie and I drove to Burlington. This particularly well-attended event is in its 10th year, and is, of course, a crowd pleaser. Kids, teens, adults, male or female, matters not, whoever wants to create clothing, dress their family or friends and be part of this kick-ass show is welcome. This is our third year attending STRUT and for the third time we were not disappointed. From flowing evening wear to outlandish bodysuits each designer came ready to WOW. And we, along with a huge tent-full, audibly wowed them back!
This is not a fashion show to promote established brands or cookie-cutter fashion. These fledgling designers create looks to fill the void for what they can’t find in the malls across America. The first year we went, a 12 year old boy and budding graphic artist, designed a line of clever t-shirts. After his models did their run-way walk, he skateboarded out himself, wearing, you guessed it, another original design. The cheers propelled him down the ramp with the broadest smile; the experience a triumph! Although we didn’t see him this year, one can imagine where all that youthful passion has catapulted him to by now, at age 15. Events such as STRUT do more than showcase clothing, they pronounce loud and clear the artistry possible every time you get dressed in the morning. Is there anything more powerful than celebrating self-expression? Can’t we all dare a bit? Add that sparkle? Try that bold color? Break away from catalog shopping by adding something vintage, something homemade, something totally unique to our look? I encourage you to attend a local fashion event. Typically they are fund-raisers. And more often than not teens are walking out with their heads up high. Daring. But, the older gals are too. You will leave inspired!
Of course having the right DJ and MC makes all the difference and this year we thoroughly enjoyed the electric vibes created by the House of LeMay, who brought their outlandish sense of style and extravagance. I was only too happy to grab a hug from these notorious and legendary ladies at the after hours dance party happening down the road at ArtsRiot.
Yes, after the runway show we pranced and danced, stomped our boots, twilled until we were slightly dizzy, moved along with a room full of people all smiling like the most fabulous fun was all right there on that very dance floor; we enjoyed the flash of lights, the pounding beats, and the DJ making us fall hard in love and fall harder into all that crazy night.
And later caught more magic of our own under the dazzle of streetlights and starlight on that date-night sweet-night caught up in the wild freedom generated by art and possibility. Seriously, why else work so hard 9 to 5, if not to dance and laugh and create a whole new you from time to time? Celebrate. Get caught up. Waste a few hours cheering on those who are brave and courageous and oh so defiant. After all, as I’ve said before, multiple times, life is horribly short. Live like you really are happy to be living.
Oh my, I love my pink wig, and my sweetheart, xxoo