Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Coveting It All during Iconcept

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Coveting It All during Iconcept

Article excerpt

Don't take this the wrong way, but -- darn you, iconcept! My very first fashion show last Friday at Art Center Sarasota will surely make other catwalk trots seem simply bland in comparison. Everything about it was hot.

Most obviously, the indoor temperature. As soon as I walked in off the "red carpet," I could tell the AC system was fighting a losing battle with all those fashion-hungry bodies packed inside. The organizers did think a few steps ahead: All the VIPs seated down by the runway found fans in their goodie bags, and as they fluttered in front of perspiring faces, the fashion show started to resemble a Deep South tabernacle meetin'. The fancy hats definitely contributed to that atmosphere.

I managed to find a spot under a vent and watched a beautiful woman warm up the runway in a hoop skirt. Being among the uninitiated, I didn't think much of it -- in fact, I didn't even notice designers Sarah Ford and Ray Peper laboring over a sewing machine on the end. Naturally, I was lured away from my cool corner by the wine bar and comfort food buffet. Sliders! Macaroni and cheese! You gotta have priorities, folks. But when I came back to the main room licking my fingers, the model -- who I originally thought was going for an understated look -- had transformed into a vision in tangerine. Even though I'd just gorged on tiny sandwiches, I wanted to eat that sherbet-colored ballgown for dessert.

Building a dress from scratch was only a prelude to the first act -- a dazzling demonstration in flexibility, agility and dexterity from Urban Spiral Dance Company. The finale by hooping sensation Odd Tree floored me, although I didn't envy the folks on the front row. Surely they were never actually in danger of catching an errant hula hoop to the chin -- surely not. I am glad, however, that they left the fire-play for outside after the show. …

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