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Catwalk heats up at 16th annual show at Catawba College’s Crystal Lounge

pring, it seems, has finally arrived. And it’s come in colors of mint, coral and lemon. In geometric and Aztec prints. With capris and dresses and elegant ball gowns.
Those were the trends at Wednesday’s 16th Annual Fashions For A Cause at Catawba College’s Crystal Lounge. Sponsored by the Rowan Medical Society Alliance Foundation, the event raises money for the Community Care Clinic.
A wonderful cause, to be sure, but fashion was certainly the focus for the day.
Master of ceremonies David Whisenant took the runway first, modeling a Chaps by Ralph Lauren black tuxedo from Thread Shed. Joyce Goodwin, one of the event’s co-chairs, read the information about Whisenant’s outfit — or at least, she attempted to.
“It’s not easy, is it?” quipped Whisenant, who by day is WBTV Channel 3’s Salisbury bureau chief.
He was followed by Dr. Joel Goodwin, an event staple who helps models on and off the runway. Goodwin sported a Ginovia tuxedo, also from Thread Shed, which featured a mint vest and bow tie.
Casual outfits were first on the agenda. Courtney Spangler paired a cross icon top with slim-leg denim capris, while Katie Temple showed off a sleeveless polka-dot top with distressed, cuffed denim capris. Both outfits were from Cato.
Children are always a big hit at the show, and this year proved no different. Olivia Hutchinson modeled a blue and white dress in the wildly popular chevron pattern, from Lora Belle Baby. Also from the children’s shop, Lindsey Claire Stirewalt sported green pin-striped ruffled pants with matching shirt. A monogram — a popular trend for girls of all ages— added to the outfit’s charm.
Crystal O’Guin and Donna Mahaley teamed up to model bright outfits in coral and fuchsia from Attractions on Main.
Summer is definitely a time for the breezy maxi dress, and Adella showed four: black-and-ivory striped, black-and-ivory tribal print, Aztec print and bright print.
Two other young show-stealers were the Hood brothers. Baxter, 6, and Asa, 3, modeled natty spring fashions from Belk. At one point, Baxter covered his face in embarrassment, but was more comfortable by his second trip down the runway.
The Veale sisters, Ellery and Lawson, were more sedate as they modeled girls’ fashions from Belk in pretty dresses and other outfits.
Bonzie Everson, a longtime show model, donned beautiful fashions from Anne’s, as did Jane Hartsell, and the mother-daughter team of Delores Thomas and Julie Whicker.
Lemon made its spring debut in a casual ensemble from Stitchin’ Post shown by Kris Hall. Her bright yellow and white polka-dot sweater was paired with gray capris and a gray and black sweater.
Lace was seen in everything from casual to formal wear. Judy Barnhardt paired a lovely lace tunic in taupe from the Stitchin’ Post with white shorts.
“Tunics and leggings are still your best friends for spring,” shop owner Pam Hylton Coffield said after the show. Capris are also go-to choices, and this season are shown in white, black or denim. Coffield said she’d already sold out of denim capris but would have more.
And, Coffield emphasized, “Leggings are NOT pants. Wear them with a tunic.”
Denim jackets — lightweight and even sleeveless — are another must-have this season, paired with everything from dresses to skirts to capris.
While not as prevalent as mint, lime green is still part of the spring palette. Barbara Senter showed off a lime green top with white capris and later a lime green lace dress, both from Cato.
A sweet infant, Ivy Graham was asleep in her mother’s arms, but looked beautiful in a summer white dress with light blue hair band and the obligatory giant bow. Big brother Wyatt wore a classic light blue button-down shirts with navy shorts. His clothing information was on a separate page, Whisenant noticed once the boy had left the stage.
“Go back! Go back!” he encouraged the youngster, who obliged. He was a little unsure, but Goodwin held his hand and Wyatt did fine. The siblings’ outfits were from Lora Belle Baby.
Toddler Ganon Foster was also carried on stage. He looked spiffy in a blue gingham, smocked romper accented with bright red crabs. His outfit was from Lora Belle Baby.
No fashion season ever arrives without black. The trio of Morgan Bowman, Natalie Whicker and Crystal O’Guin modeled a striking selection of black pants outfits from Attractions on Main.
Caniche showed dark denim leggings and black leggings with white blouses and colorful abstract printed blouses.
In the lemon, black and white palette, Kris Hall and Judy Barnhardt were attired in a tunic and pants and knee-length dress, respectively. Sarah Walser and Raney Roberson teamed up to display ensembles in coral, pink, black and white. These outfits were all from the Stitchin’ Post.
Whicker looked fantastic in a Carolina blue and orange geometric print dress from Anne’s, while Thomas, her mom, looked stunning in a three-quarter-sleeve print jacket with slim black pants.
Taylor Rogers donned another interpretation of yellow, black and white from Adella with a high-neck neon dress with black-and-white print skirt. Adella models also wore color block dresses in combos of teal and mustard, and pink and orange.
Lace overlay dresses are also important for spring. Corie Brewer wore a stunning royal blue laser cut dress by Gracia, from Adella. Similarly, Everson wore an eye-catching coral top in a soutache pattern paired with a black, short skirt. Whisenant discovered that soutache is just a fancy word for “cut out.” And he also learned how to pronounce that tricky moniker.
In evening wear, Maia’s showcased a custom pageant gown in liquid gold fabric modeled by its owner, Jessica Lawrence; a dazzling mother-of-the bride dress in gray satin with chiffon overlay modeled by Laurie Shuping; a copy of a Versace Atelier dress worn by Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Golden Globes, modeled by Cynthia Sigmon; a tan high-low bridesmaid or prom dress modeled by Maria Weber; a deep red European-style gown with rhinestone chain modeled by Kimberly Murray; and a pink-sequined, Cinderella-style ball gown modeled by GiGi Anemone. Mary Scott Norris displayed another high-low dress that would be perfect for prom.
Wes Fazia and Dr. Brian Fazia modeled tuxedoes from the Thread Shed.
A Perfect Dress, owned by Brenda Neely, showed a bevvy of extravagant dresses for prom season. Allison Murphy wore a white ballroom gown accented by crystals at the waist; Marissa Brinkley wore a light blue tulle gown accented with dark blue and clear stones; Amelia Steinman wore an example of a Gatsby-themed gown, with nude lace bodice encrusted with oval iridescent stones, paired with a pink silk chiffon skirt; Lara Koontz wore an aqua gown encrusted with matching stones; and Alana Koontz wore a white beaded dress with feathered accents at the bottom.
Neely said afterward that the lavishness of “The Great Gatsby” pervades for proms this spring. “Lots of schools are using that theme this year.”
Another mother-daughter team finished out the show, with little Lola Koontz wearing a floor-length white satin flower girl dress. Jessica Koontz, carrying a bouquet of red roses and holding Lola’s hand, was attired in a white wedding dress with elongated bodice adorned with sequined Venice lace.
Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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