Fun, food, and fashion – Toledo Blade




You know those skinny pants that we see women wear and make an instant decision that they are not a fashion for us? Women who only remember flat stomachs and 32-inch hips just look the other way when it comes to tights that cling to the legs and have no give in the hips.

We are still enjoying the old styles with wide legs and soft pleats over the stomach. It’s easier to keep wearing what’s in the closet than it is to exercise and diet to change body measurements to keep up with fashion.

Have heart, ladies. Here’s the lowdown on skinny pants: Anyone — short, tall, thin, or overweight — can wear them. It’s the longer tops we wear with them that guarantee acceptance.

I learned that and other fashion tips recently at two fashion shows held in as many weeks. Elegant was the theme of the show presented by the Daughters of Penelope that raised money for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Smile, Sparkle, and Shine was the theme of the Ability Center Auxiliary’s 30th show for the organization’s many ways that help the disabled, including the assistance dog program.

Both were not only fall clothing showcases presented by several Toledo stores, but examples of the incredible work and time members give for the cause of their organization.

Compared to other fund-raisers in Toledo, the $30 and $40 tickets were a good buy for lunch, entertainment, conversation with friends, and maybe a glass of wine.

At either show, if any attendees went away hungry it was only their fault. At the Premier Banquet Complex, the former Meadowbrook Hall that is now operated by Joey Skaff, congratulations are in order to Chef Lance Scott for excellent food, served piping hot to the 350 people attending the Ability Center show. That menu opened with a large crisp green salad with a maple apple dressing and continued with Fontana encrusted chicken, red potatoes, green beans and carrots, and cheesecake.

The 35 table centerpieces at the Premier were examples of the many hours of work volunteers give to a cause they believe in. Alice Schorling and Ellen Bradley began last May and worked all summer making them.

Andy Petros prepared a menu at the Greek Education Building that reminded the 150 people they were having lunch in the Toledo Greek-American community. The menu was Greek salad, chicken souvlaki, rice pilaf, green peas, spinach pita, and homemade baklava.

With closets overflowing with clothing for all seasons, I doubt that many women attend a fashion show to select a new wardrobe, but as the models parade up and down the runway you get a sense of what’s new in style and color. It’s especially fun to see a model wearing something like you have in the closet that can be updated with new accessories.

Equally important is the exposure given to the participating retail stores that are showing the clothing. The names and locations are posted in programs and repeated often by show commentators. Usually the stores that pull clothing and accessories from stock and fit it to the right size model are the small fashion retailers, not the large department stores.

The models are definitely the entertainment. B.J. Stiles, former Lion Store fashion coordinator, reminded me of the spring show when the late Nancy Packo Horvath and I were models. “You were hilarious,” she recalled.

My first fashion shows were at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, when I was assigned to cover the New York shows for The Blade. The models looked to be no larger than a size 6, no older than 20 years, and walked at a fast clip. Thankfully, the Toledo models are representative of the audience in a wide range of of sizes and ages.

At the Daughters of Penelope show Joan Dionyssiou‘s appearance at the Greek Education Building show prompted smiles and applause. She and Andy Dionyssiou, of Rudy’s Hot Dog chain, have been married 67 years.

“They needed a tall, older model,” she explained of her first time on the runway. In contrast, the youngest models are members of the Daughters of Athena. Clothing at that show was from Regazza, Designs by Mona, and Atlas Bridal.

At the Ability Center show, model June Sloan celebrated her 90th birthday with a brisk walk on the runway. She was one of 20 models showing clothes from seven local stores: Chico’s, C’est la Vie, Elegant Rags, Ragazza, Sophia Lustig, Sophie’s Sister, and Vivian Kate.

Mary Alice Powell is a retired Blade food editor.

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  • Fashion and Style