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Second annual Next Fashion Chicago was a “Pawrific” Success. The extravagant fashion show was produced by Rose Mandel, founder of Mandel Productions, with associate producer, Marco Foster benefiting PAWS.   Held at Germania Place in Chicago’s Gold Coast on Tuesday, October 16th attracting in access of 400 guests.

The event began with a private cocktail reception at 6:30pm with attendees treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Kenmare Catering.  As VIP guests arrived they made their way up the grand staircase to the balcony overlooking the ballroom where they mingled with the designers, boutique participants, the host committee and members of the media.  An event co-host, Candace Jordan moved throughout room with her Watch312 camera crew by her side, interviewing guests.

At 8:30, the evening’s hosts Candace Jordan and Marcus Riley appeared on the theatrical style runway to welcome the guests and kick off the fashion feature of the evening.  Just as the lights dimmed and the music pumped up Grace Kelley-esque model wearing a Mark Roscoe designed flirty magenta cocktail dress, featuring a ruched bodice over a double pedalpleated skirt, stepped onto the stage. The fifty-minute show featured everything from couture to casual, every day to edgy, and serious to sexy.

As the show progressed to the midway part, guests had an opportunity to see a video presentation on PAWS Chicago and the animals available for adoption, followed by a special runaway segment featuring adoptable dogs escorted by models. While the PAWS volunteers and staff strolled past the attendees many could not resist petting the four-legged friends.

When the show drew to a close Mandel Productions, Rose Mandel, joined by her mother’s and her rescue dog, came out to thank everyone for attending underscoring the importance of animal rescue and the work of PAWS Chicago. She further thanked Margaret J. O’Connor of MarCon Communications for being instrumental in handling event’s PR.  Marco Foster, was then invited to join her on the runway, who thanked the designers and others who participated.

A host committee was comprised of Chicago’s notables such as as Rosemary Fanti, Corri McFadden, Toni Canada, DC Crenshaw, Ava Anthony, Emma Arnold, Deborah Brown, Cindy Burns, Julie Lampert, Rita George, Lynn McMahan, Katie McLenaghan, Paul Iacono, Micah Materre, Jennifer Sutton, Alicia Roman, Kelli Zink, Billy Dec, Jessica Zweig, Erica Bethe Levin, Jon Cotay, Tyrone Farley, Deborah Goodman, Attila Gyulai, Zingha Hester, Catie Keogh, Michi Marshall, Kristina McGrath, Kerry Shorr, Sally Shorr, Crystal Peters, Arabel Alva Rosales and Sherren Leigh.

Celebrity attendees and public officials included Ashley Hooks, Miss Illinois USA, Megan Ervin, Miss Illinois America, Big Cat Williams, Israel Idonije, Chicago Bears wives; Zingha Hester, SanDerriqua Knox and Michi Marshall, Ann Hickey from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and PAWS Chicago founder, Paula Fasseus.

$3,000 was donated to PAWS Chicago from the show’s proceeds and more information on adoptions and the work of PAWS can be found at www.pawschicago.org. PAWS Chicago is the city’s largest No Kill humane organization, focused on implementing solutions to end the killing of homeless pets.

NEXT FASHION CHICAGO is an official show of Fashion Focus Chicago, a week-long series of events showcasing the city’s top design talent.


For information about this event or future events, contact kontinentmedia@gmail.com

—Leonard Mogul


Photos by Steve Starr, Amie Hana, Jon Recana

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