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Amy Scherzer's Diary: Weekly Wrap-Up of the Tampa Social Scene

By Amy Scherzer
AMY SCHERZER | Times
Latex fashions by Renee Masoomian, one of the seven designers featured at CITY: Art-a-Porter extravaganza for the Tampa Museum of Art on Oct. 6.

CITY, Art-a-Porter: Susanne Bartsch

New York City nightlife icon Susanne Bartsch and seven fashion designers came to disrupt and distort, producing off-the-chain creations from the sublime to the ridiculous, upstaging anything ever seen at CITY: Art-a-Porter, the annual fashion-as-art benefit for Tampa Museum of Art. Coiffed like Olive Oyl and wearing a pink leotard and tulle, Bartsch sent her provocateurs spiraling through the atrium, VIP lounges and terrace Oct. 6, to the crowd's gawking amusement.

"This is art," said Billy Cole, co-curator of the exhibition of Bartsch's personal party couture on display through Nov. 12, eyeing playmates and New York "club kids" cavorting with chanteuse Joey Arias with DJ Amber Valentine mixing it up for dancers at the Bartschland after-party.

Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars

Happy feet made many lives happier when Nikki Balles, Carley Boyette (Best Female), Larissa Colvin, Salena Masaood, Topher Morrison (Best Male), Dr. Marketa Wills, Michael Lawley, Bobby Rich, Kelly Woodruff (People's Choice) and Amber McDonnell tapped their friends for dollar votes and their judges for kudos to win Tampa Bay's Dancing with the Stars sponsored by Julie Weintraub's Hands Across the Bay. McDonnell pirouetted to the top collecting $18,800 in online votes alone Saturday at TPepin's Hospitality Centre. With Hip Room Dance Studio pros partnering with the celebs in a Bollywood theme, the competition danced up $300,000 after a graphic, gut-wrenching appeal from domestic violence and trauma survivors.

50 Shades of Roaring Pink gala

Dressed in speakeasy chic, bootleggers and flappers jazzed the 50 Shades of Roaring Pink gala to fund grants for the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation. "Essential money to help with rent, mortgage, car and other bills while patients are getting treatment anywhere in the state," said gala co-chairman Julio Lautersztain, one of the 200 doctors in the largest privately owned medical oncology practice in the United States. Since 2012, they have helped 2,600 patients with an average grant of $1,200, including Valerie Schlosser, who just completed round 51 of chemotherapy. She was a special guest of honor Saturday at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay.

A called-off wedding was the foundation's first gala, thanks to Barbara Long, who donated the reception she was stuck with in 2014. She and fiance Eric Newkirk were thrilled to see how it has grown.