By Maddy Vitale
They strutted, they sashayed, and they certainly sizzled. It may not have been a Paris fashion show featuring the latest haute couture, but Ocean City’s best put on its version with a lot of the glitz and glamour.
Combining laughs with “oohs and aahs” and applause, Ocean City’s fashion show at Glazed Over Studios, 704 Asbury Ave., had business owners, residents and even City Council members sporting snazzy threads.
The fashion show served as a grand kickoff to the Girls Weekend celebration that is expected to bring scores of visitors and residents to the downtown shops and eateries, where they will be treated to discounts on merchandise and dining.
Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michele Gillian noted that the event grows each year.
“This year we sold many more tickets. This really is a great turnout. We are thrilled,” Gillian said. “This weekend there will be so many participating shops and restaurants offering discounts, and the weather is supposed to be nice. It is going to be a beautiful weekend.”
Guests got to see the top fashions on models from shops including 7th Street Surf Shop, Making Waves, Sea Oats Children’s Shop, Sun Seekers, TaDah, Bowfish Kids, Colette, Coastal Consign and Design and Stainton’s during the show.
“I am wearing sequins and heels. This is the night to do that. It is a great way to start Girls Weekend,” said Jennifer Shirk, local author and president of the Ocean City Free Public Library Board of Trustees.
“This is my first time at the fashion show,” said Karen Mahar, the library’s director. “It looks fantastic in here. I am seeing so many new faces and people I know from the library. It is a great crowd.”
Ocean City Special Events Coordinator Michael Hartman emceed the fashion show, keeping the audience entertained as he joked with them and read the outfit descriptions.
Hartman said the fashion show is a perfect way to usher in Girls Weekend.
“This is awesome,” he said. “It gives you a look at what is hitting the runway.”
Everything from big sunglasses and wide hats, to sundresses and some urban-inspired separates, kept the audience guessing what outfit would come next. A flowy white gown was a crowd favorite. Fringe on pants bottoms also lent to the intrigue and surprise of what the latest in high fashion was all about.
But it seemed the children’s attire elicited the most excitement from the audience.
Little Miss Ocean City Stevie Wright’s swim gear, complete with a floaty tube, was a favorite.
Miss Ocean City Megan Keenan strutted down the runway with a wide smile in a long dress that sent the audience into applause.
And the fashion show even had a special guest. Miss New Jersey Jamie Gialloreto made a surprise appearance and took to the runway a couple of times in lovely flowing dresses.
Members of City Council served as models for the spring and summer fashions and made their way down the runway smiling, greeting audience members and waving.
Council President Peter Madden, Council Vice President Tony Wilson, Councilman Antwan McClellan, Councilman Mike DeVlieger and Councilman Keith Hartzell, who held his Yorkie, who was also dressed in fine apparel, showed off their threads.
Patty Talese, owner of Jon & Patty’s and head of the Downtown Merchants Association, hosted the fashion show. Talese started Girls Weekend four years ago.