As if stirred by warm island breezes, the styles in ESCADA's Resort collection floated along the runway in the Grand Ballroom at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, drawing frequent applause and even standing ovations from some guests.
The occasion: the Margaret Acheson Stuart Society's fall fashion show and luncheon, presented by Nieman Marcus.
Bright pops of color enlivened neutral basics, and details such as stitching and draping were sophisticated touches in the styling, which Nieman press material describes as being inspired by Japanese influences and the work of wildlife photographer Peter Beard.
From the flowers (large centerpieces featuring pale hydrangeas, orchids and roses) to napery, and even drinking glasses, attention to detail was evident at every level at the fundraiser, which benefits the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg.
Event co-chairs Dimity Carlson and Fay Mackey Nielsen, Stuart Society president Glenn Mosby, and steering committee members Joann Barger, Camilla Kilgroe, Elise Minkoff, Ann Vickstrom and Candy Scherer were pivotal organizers of the event.
Key Neiman Marcus personnel were Patty Masin, vice president and general manager for the Tampa Bay area; Kim Macaluso, the bay area marketing manager; and Sandy Marple, the vice president of special events from Dallas.
Major sponsorship for the event came from Neiman Marcus, Raymond James Financial and Great Bay Distributors.
The days and nights often are long for those who work in shelters for abuse victims. Community Action Stops Abuse executive Linda Osmundson got a special invitation recently and headed to the White House ahead of last week's elections. The occasion was an invitation from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to mark the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Osmundson, who purchased her suit and footwear at the CASA Thrift Store in St. Petersburg, sent an e-mail to friends and supporters chronicling the rainy day she spent in the capital.
"I am like a conspicuous FL parrot in my magenta suit and pink shoes," she wrote. "Everyone walking by is wearing gray or black or brown."
Outside the appointed White House entry gate, Osmundson said, she encountered a number of colleagues from throughout the country who have worked to fight domestic violence, many of them for decades.
Inside the East Room, she said, the president looked "serious and a little tired." Vice President Biden was "warm and smiling" and later posed for photos. Both spoke briefly to the group, and shortly after that, the nearly 200 invitees were escorted out of the building. "I almost floated down the street," Osmundson said.