Friday, April 17, 2009

What to Wear in Juneau

United Way puts on a fashion show
By Courtney Nelson
For the Juneau Empire
An open invitation by the United Way’s campaign director Cachet Garrett for a philanthropist to “discuss significant giving” might pay off. Marlintini’s Lounge owner Ethan Billings read this and stepped up with an idea for a fundraising fashion show and live auction. “I read the article and started thinking about ideas and came up with something like Wearable Art, but different,” said Billings, who projects this event will raise $10,000 between ticket sales, liquor sales and donated live auction items.
The fashion show planning committee formed uniting Billings and Garrett and representatives from Shoefly, Choco, Gottshalks, Laisne, The Wedding Shoppe, and AK Dames, who donated their time and ideas. The result is an upscale, fashion show called “What to Wear in Juneau, AK” with VIP seats, swag bags and a live auction. The event, which begins with cocktails at 8, and the show from 9-11:30 p.m., will be hosted by Ben Brown and Collette Costa. There will be an intermission performance by Rumbalaska, a salsa dance team formed by salsa instructors Heather Haugland and Antonio Diaz.
Billings created a large catwalk that runs 60 feet across the club. If this event is a success, Billings will consider doing an annual spring and fall fashion show. “I think it will be great to promote local clothing stores and other local businesses as well as raise money for the United Way,” said Billings. Marlintini’s is donating 30% of liquor sales to the cause.
Travis McCain at AK Litho donated printing costs and Shyla Germain designed the tickets. Other contributing businesses are Sequence, Nugget Alaskan Outfitters, Night Moods and the Alaskan Brewing Company, which will be modeling their new barbeque apron. “It’s pretty spectacular, its got a bottle opener on it with a retractable chord, an insulated bottle holder, an oven mitt, and multiple pockets - it’s the perfect thing for spring” said Christy Virgilio-Ciambor, marketing coordinator for the Alaskan Brewing Company. The brewery will also model t-shirts and hats that will be auctioned off to benefit the cause they find important. “The United Way tackles a lot of issues here in Juneau - children’s causes, housing issues, they really give where they can,” said Virgilio-Ciambor.
Some of the 50 models scheduled to appear on the runway will have their hair styled by Gail E. Marvin of the Cutting Edge. “I might do a funky color like primary red on a model that will be a style and fashion statement,” said Marvin. In addition to wild hair, men and women’s sleepwear by Night Moods will be modeled including a satin pajama set for men and chemises, robes and pj’s for women, “things people will feel comfortable wearing in public,” said spokesperson Kathy Buell. They also think it’s an important cause. “The United Way helps a lot of causes here in Southeast Alaska so we want to give back,” said Buell.
The United Way supports 38 non-profit organizations in Juneau so many businesses said they were happy to help, especially since non-profit organizations have seen a decrease in donations lately. A complete list of their partners can be found at
In addition to the fashion show, clothes, shoes, purses, hand-made garters, gift certificates to Rejuvenation Salon and Spa, The Cutting Edge, Paradise Beach Travel and Tanning, Sunburst on the Wharf and Alaska Industrial will be auctioned off.
Seating is limited, there are 300 tickets and they are available at Shoefly, Choco, Alaska Dames and the United Way office. General Admission tickets are $20, VIP tickets are $30 and include a swag bag.

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