Fashion show at Warrior Golf Club highlights summer style

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 13, 2012

By Katie Scarvey
CHINA GROVE — Rain forced Warrior Golf Club’s VIP Summer Fashion Show fundraiser inside Wednesday, but close to 80 guests still enjoyed seeing the hot summer styles from local merchants and hearing about what it’s like to be a costumer for major motion pictures.
It was the first such event at the golf club, which is known for its support of junior golf. The event, which included dinner, was a fundraiser for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Club owner Rick Houston said that with the course out of commission for a few days because of the greens being aerated, he thought a fundraiser would be a good way to stay busy.
“We’re trying to be more involved with the community,” Houston said.
Participating shops included Stitchin’ Post Gifts and Attractions on Main, both of Salisbury, Virginia’s in Kannapolis, Anne’s Dress Shop of Concord and Molly Malone’s of Mooresville.
Keynote speaker — dressed in an ecru crocheted skirt with black top — was Shawnelle Cherry, who owns the Future Fashion Designers Academy of Mooresville.
Cherry has been in the fashion business for 30 years. She learned to sew as a girl at her aunt’s home.
Early in her career she worked in the garment district of Los Angeles, she said, as a sample cutter and later in a bridal supply warehouse. She worked for an evening gown store and learned she was a quick study with alterations. She then opened her own design studio in Pacific Palisades and began designing bridal gowns and dressing “the Hollywood crowd” for the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes. She learned that the goal of almost every woman was to look “tall and thin.” Her creations landed on best-dressed lists, and in 1995 she had five gowns at the Oscars, she said.
She began to burn out a bit but realized she wanted to stay in the field. She took a class in costume design at UCLA and in 1996, she began to work in the film industry, costuming gangsters, eco-warriors and once, dressing four big men to look like tomatoes. She’s worked on costumes for about 30 movies, she says, and enjoys working on location in places like Mexico, Turks and Caicos, Las Vegas, Miami and Portland, Ore.
“Actors are great,” she says. “They become your family, and so do the crew.”
She loves seeing her designs on screen, but invariably, she says, her least favorite costumes will be the ones that get the most screen time.
She’s currently set to work on costumes for a movie that stars Gary Oldman that will soon start shooting in Atlanta.
In between working on location and traveling to Los Angeles, she also teaches fashion classes in Mooresville for both kids and adults. The inspiration to teach came when she was reading the book “One Month to Live” by Kerry Shook. She realized that teaching was something she really wanted to do — and she knew she had no guarantees about how much time she’d have left to do it.
Cherry then shared some fashion tips with the audience.
“The goal is to have only good pieces in your wardrobe,” she said.
She also reminded women of something they probably already knew: if something doesn’t feel good, you’re not going to wear it. In light of that, Cherry says that when she’s trying something on in a dressing room she won’t look in the mirror until she decides if she likes the way the piece feels. “Only look in the mirror after you decide it feels good,” she advised. Otherwise, presumably, don’t bother, because you won’t wear it if it doesn’t feel good, no matter how good it looks.
Then it was time for the fashions, which were announced by emcee Melanie Keziah.
The owner of Virginia’s in Kannapolis, Keziah took over the shop from her grandmother 35 years ago. The shop has been in business for 70 years.
Keziah described the clothing as the models sauntered down the runway. It ran the gamut from casual cropped jeans to dramatic black sequins. There were pieces that split the difference, like white jeans from Molly Malone’s with major bling on the back pockets.
Black and white appears to be popular for the season, and one dress that drew a lot of attention featured broad diagonal stripes.
The footwear was as tantalizing as the apparel, from sky-high wedge sandals with changeable straps to funky Jambu water shoes to Old Gringo boots and the ever-popular Tom’s.
“The show was something fun and different to do with my mom and sister,” said Sandy Greene. “The food was fantastic and the clothing pieces were classy and beautiful.”
Greene made good use of the coupons and gift certificates that guests received.
In fact, she’s already used her Stitchin’ Post gift certificate.
Greene is looking forward to attending again next year with her family. “I know they had as much fun as I did,” she said.