At community service fashion show, best accessory proves to be patient care

At a recent benefit, columnist Mark Longacre found compassion in the threads of professionals.

At a recent benefit, columnist Mark Longacre found compassion in the threads of professionals.

Being the wine aficionado I am, I tried my best to cover the Home Run for Fashion cocktail luncheon. What could be better than free wine and fashion?
Mark Longacre
After walking through the door, I felt a wave of positive energy come over me, and I knew it was going to be more than an ordinary fashion show. The Methodist Hospital Foundation hosted the show, with proceeds benefiting the Methodist Hospital’s Oncology Infusion Center. The center allows cancer patients to come in, receive treatment and then go about their lives. In other words, thanks to this infusion procedure, patients aren’t bound to frequent  hospital visits to receive treatment.

As I mingled, I spoke with professionals regarding the oncology and infusion process, and each spoke with passion about their field. They described how crucial it is to donate blood, and throughout the conversations, I sensed an immense amount of pride in each person’s demeanor. As Lex explained in the column last week, beauty is more than skin deep.

There was hope, excitement and an unparalleled aura about the people who came to what appeared at first to be a typical fashion show. Even the people dressed in their Sunday best who came to support the hospital touched me – the cynical, sarcastic fashion enthusiast. As the luncheon progressed, the room’s excitement for the fashion show became apparent as people discussed the rumored articles of clothing, ranging from tracksuits to ball gowns.

The clothes in the fashion show were modern takes on classic pieces from boutiques and tailors in Philadelphia. Men were initially outfitted in black, gray, camel and pinstriped suits.

One of my favorite outfits was an expertly tailored suit by Scioli at 1744 E. Passyunk Ave. The crisp black suit gave the model a trim, chic look that could easily be dressed up for the office, then paired with a sweater and taken out for a night on the town. Retailers must understand the need for clothes to be versatile – savvy, stylish men look for simple basic pieces like button-up shirts, pants and blazers that can be dressed up with a tailored vest and tie or dressed down with a cashmere sweater. Men can easily go from the office to the club.

Later in the show, the men wore daring tracksuits by Adidas. Almost all were modern takes on the brand’s classic three-stripe tracksuit. My favorite was an opulent black tracksuit with gold stripes with a black and gold shirt underneath. It was sophisticated, yet classic.

As the women walked the runway, their personalities were expressed by their fashion choices. A vintage store at 1600 E. Passyunk Ave., showed many 1960s inspired dresses. Most had empire waists, which can help women who want to enhance her bussom and accentuate her waist. Others had elegant chiffon and silks.

One of my favorite outfits reminded me of a wearable version of Lady Gaga’s outfit in her music video for “Alejandro.” It was a form-fitting long-sleeved dress that went to mid thigh length and featured a hood. The model wore a dark black pair of sunglasses with a gold chain. The outfit looked phenomenal on her slender frame, and her fierce, pouted facial expression tied the look together.

Another model wore an extravagant red dress with silver accents and a classic train that trailed several feet behind her. This dress was suitable for fine dining and the opera. She completed her look with dangly earrings, a rhinestone bracelet and a vintage up-do. Hello, beautiful. While she looked phenomenal, what brought her outfit together was the radiant white smile beaming from her lips as she walked the runway.

The show concluded with an immaculately dressed woman in a corseted-back crème-colored dress with a train that bounced with every step she made. Her look was complimented by the confidence and grace she exuded. Her 1920s pin-up curl hairstyle created wild cheers from the crowd.

Overall, the event was much more than a fashion show, but the clothes and looks the boutiques showed were enhanced 10-fold by the jovial atmosphere. The outfits displayed by the show weren’t just prototypes; they were wearable outfits – very refreshing from many fashion shows out there.

Mark Longacre can be reached at

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