Oh, can we please, please, please go back to a little 80s dressing? I adored the vintage Eugene Alexander dresses and gowns that were shown at the Y-Angels Holiday Fashion Show & Luncheon last week at Michael's On East. The colors, the big flowers, the silhouettes, just everything (except maybe the dropped waist styles) were just divine! I loved the big hair and the big shoulder pads of that era. Those were two styles that always worked well for me.
Chair Debbie Dannheisser and YMCA Foundation president, Karin Gustafson were at a fashion show recently and saw the vintage designs and knew they had to bring them to a Y-Angels luncheon and the crowd was so glad they did. There were many, many oohs and aahs with each gown that walked down the runway.
If you were here in the 1980s, you were undoubtedly aware of the Eugene Alexander designer label. Many of the society swans in town had at least one, if not a closet full of their gowns. Alas, though I was here, I was too young and not at the point in my life where I was buying those types of things, so I am without one in my possession. Boo-hoo and big tears of sadness.
One of the highlights of the show was the ending where four Y-Men, dressed as construction workers in jeans, white t-shirts, and construction hard hats came out and did the YMCA dance to the throbbing beat. Who were those tasty men? New Y CEO Kurt Stringfellow, Dan Dannheisser, Chris Jones, and Fred Bingham. Let's all sing it....It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A....
It was just a terrifically fun event and I think everyone attending had a marvelous time.
Eugene Alexander was created by Eugene Stutzman and Alexander Wallace in 1980 as a line of dramatic eveningwear. It became an immediate sensation with all major department stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale's and were worn by such celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Rivers, Gladys Knight, and Whitney Houston. They were produced here in Sarasota. Sadly, Alexander has since passed away. Do you think we can convince Eugene to possibly reintroduce a small line of those glorious gowns? I know I would be first in line for one, that's for sure!
The Eugene Alexander Hope Foundation was established in 2008 as a vehicle to promote understanding of the need for a Fair Trade sensibility in fashion. This includes a focus on education, encouragement, support and bridge building, along with responding to the renewed interest in the Eugene Alexander label.
The Y-Angels, a group of women includes the founder, Debbie Dannheisser, Barbara Bingham, Dawn Epstein, Pat Martin, Denise Mei, and Judy Winslow. They raise money to benefit the Y Foundation's Coalition for Children.
Others seen in the crowd and not photographed below were Charlotte Stringfellow, Kem Lindsay, Terry McKee, Shannon Ciaravella, Pam Sullivan, Susie Gillum, Sandy Snyder, Lainie Van Winkle, Terry Chandler, Renee Phinney, Veronica Brandon Miller, Yen Reed, Barb Lewis, Cornelia Matson, Sally Wright, Ilene Fox, Kim Githler, Janis Collier, Judy Nimz, Michael Saunders, Stephanie Shaw, Elizabeth Haynes, Ellie Gibeau, Terri Klauber, Heather Clark, and so many more.
Debbie Dannheisser and Wendy Feinstein
Karin Gustafson and Flori Roberts
Eugene Stutzman and Anita Holec
Susan Jones, Michelle Butler, and Sally Schule
Kris Miller and Laura Peters
Susan Samson and Mary Evelyn Guyton
Kim Ogilvie, Lisa Rubinstein, and Karen Solem
Marjorie North and Susan Mitchell
Melissa Dunlap, Joanna Freij, and Maria Baird
Gila Meriwether, Pat Pantello, and Charlene Wolff
Melba Jimenez and Patti Haarz
Veronica Brady and Gloria Moss
Joy Rogers and Rebecca Donelson
Wendy Resnick and Denise Mei
Gwenne Heiser and Charlene Wolff
Michael's decorated tree
Social hour music
Angel wing decor on the wine glasses
The fashion show backdrop
The dessert. It was much prettier BEFORE I ate it. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of it until I was done!