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Downtown boutique owners prepare for first-ever fall fashion show coming to Kirkland
Lamborghinis, Prada, Swarovski crystals and a $100 premium gift bag. Models on the catwalk, suited businesses men, red carpets and a 3,000-square-foot tent to house it all.
The first-ever Kirkland Fall Fashion Show is here.
Put on by the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by The Spa at PRO Sports Club, proceeds from the Sept. 19 fashion show will benefit the Washington Scholarship Foundation, which will help to provide scholarships for future Miss Washington Pageant winners.
Downtown Kirkland boutiques will showcase fall trends in hair, makeup and clothes, all of which can be found locally.
“We want to attract more people to come to Kirkland as the place for boutiques and fashion,” said Samantha St. John, who is the business and communications manager for the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce. “Bellevue is famous for having the Bellevue Collection and Fashion Week and we think we have a really great product here too.”
Upon arriving at 150 Lake Street, between Milagro Cantina and Hector’s, a “fleet” of luxurious high-end cars - think Ferarris, Rolls Royces, Audis, Bentleys and, of course, Lamborghinis - will be lined up, said the director of events Jeremiah Kahn with Emerald City Events.
“There will be a lot of affluent people. All those cars - they’re all owned. They’re not from dealerships,” Khan said, adding the successful business men and women are enthusiastic because small business was how many got their foot in the door.
A red carpet will greet guests before they walk into the large 3,000-square-foot tent. Swarovski crystal chandeliers will complement the table center pieces that will also have the crystals dripping down branches for an autumn touch.
“We’re not sparing any expense when it comes to the decor of the event because we feel it will leave a really big lasting impression for people,” said Khan. “Every detail has a focus.”
The open house from 5-7 p.m. will kick-off the Fashion Walk, which will allow the community to visit the participating local merchants to learn about fall fashion trends.
Champagne and hors d’oeuvres from Hector’s special menu will be at the open house and will include steak roulade, goat cheese stuffed tarte and tomato basil brushetta, to name a few.
Drinks, more appetizers and upbeat music will open the Fashion Show at 7 p.m. so people may settle in and “absorb the atmosphere.” After some time the emcee, Miss Washington USA Cassandra Searles, will introduce the show.
The boutique owners will showcase 10 to 12 looks in the first segment before the dog fashion show starts for intermission entertainment.
“They’ll be decked out in really cute outfits,” Kahn said, noting it will be put on by the Kirkland business Boo Boo Barkery. “There’s a mom-and-me outfit where the dog will match the owner. There’s Doga [dog yoga] … they all have different themes.”
A premium “swag bag” valued at $100 will be available for every guest that will include freebies and gift cards that are meant to be a surprise.
And for those recently engaged to a groom or bride with a large wallet, stay tuned when Champagne Taste showcases a $50,000 wedding dress.
Julie Bourgoin, the owner of Bella Sirena, will have a team of 12 doing lead hair and makeup.
“I’ve always loved fashion, which is why I’ve been in the industry for 20 years,” Bourgoin said. “So just to be a part of [the fashion show] and showcase what our team’s skills and capabilities are will be a nice way to reach out to the community, to be more involved.”
Bourgoin said her models fall-inspired hair will be “up-styled” with a more retro and glamorous feel, which is “always nice to see fall and winter because people tend to sharpen their looks a bit, whereas summer, we’re all loose and wild here in the Northwest,” she laughs.
Bold lips, dramatic eyes and eye coloring will set the tone for autumn makeup trends.
While some models are previous Miss Washington pageant winners, many will be women in their 40s and 50s as well.
“My favorite thing about this is the gals who will be modeling will be gals who are my age, which means, 40s and 50s,” said Talia Haste, president of the Washington Scholarship Foundation. “I think what’s going to be fun is you’re going to see real women in the workforce who are modeling fashionable clothes and are on the cutting edge.”
Haste’s Washington Scholarship Foundation is the sole beneficiary of the Fashion Show and will receive a portion of the proceeds, which will go toward their endowment fund. The foundation gives away $45,000 annually in scholarships to the Miss Washington pageant winners, who have platforms such as breast cancer, AIDS or Special Olympics awareness.
“The fact that we can partner with fashion and help young ladies go ‘Hey, I can learn to talk with people, use my communication skills, I can learn how to dress and learn how to fix myself up and really present myself in a positive way’ is what our organization is all about,” Haste said. “And here we are in Kirkland being able to do that with them. What’s fun is the proceeds from this will all be used years from now. And how wonderful is that?”
With all of the ticket sales going toward funding the event with help from the title sponsor The Spa at PRO Sports Club, St. John isn’t sure how much will be donated because it’s a first-time event. But she is sure the Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce is committed to giving them something and potentially topping that goal next year.
“Going forward we have hopes of building this up to a full-on fashion conference where we have a full fashion week,” St. John said. “Our hope is that people will look at Kirkland as a place to go for thinking about fashion.”
St. John said the potential fashion conference would include trainings or break-out sessions that focus on health, wellness, plastic surgery, beauty and fashion.
A spring fashion show is also a possibility, Khan adds.
“It depends on how well the public takes it,” he said. “If they really want another one, it would be our pleasure to plan another show.”
VIP tickets are sold out, however, general admission tickets are still available.
St. John and Khan recommend men wear suits and women should “bust out the heels” and fall colors - deep oranges and browns.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.kirklandchamber.org/kirkland-fashion-night.
Participating fashion boutiques
Hair and makeup