Models glide down runway for Big Brothers Big Sisters benefit

Courtesy Marina Ybarra

Among designs you'll see this year: 'Abiquiú Lake Flare Dress,' a Roxie Rudolph original. Lesley Merola-Moya is first and foremost a textile designer; the prints on her products are stunning. Roxie Rudolph is a slow fashion company which means your orders are actually created for you in sweatshop-free facilities in Canada once the order is placed. Roxie Rudolph's goal is to produce supercomfy, easy-to-wear, versatile clothing with a focus on great prints.

From Manhattan to Miami, fall fashion shows are popping up with models gliding down runways with panache dressed in designer garb you too could wear this fall. Taos is no exception to this autumnal phenomenon and on Saturday (Sept. 21) starting at 5 p.m., Fashion-Taos Style kicks off at Taos Country Club, 54 Golf Course Drive south of Ranchos de Taos. The proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region.

There is a silent auction with offerings such as a ski and stay package from Taos Ski Valley, a chainsaw donated by Alpine Lumber in Angel Fire, a thick warm Sheepskin Rug from Overland Sheepskin Company and beautiful photo art from artist Jerry Rea. In addition, there is a buffet dinner with a scrumptious menu that includes a summer citrus salad with orange sections, Cotija cheese, red onion, and orange vinaigrette, tequila shrimp pasta or your choice of a vegetarian green chile mango enchiladas. There will be assorted dessert bites, and they will provide tea and coffee. Drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

Tickets are $55 for the dinner and show, and can be purchased online at bbbsmountainregion.org/fashion or at the door. Early ticket purchase is strongly recommended to get a seat.

Karen Koyote is one of four regional directors within the mountain region that oversee the BBBSMR program in Taos and Colfax counties and one of the organizers of the event. We asked her about the programs this fundraiser benefits and what to expect if you go.

How does this fashion show benefit the community?Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region - of which the Taos-Colfax region is a part - has been providing local mentoring support for kids since 1979. Thousands of kids who needed someone in their lives to give them that "hand up" have found it in the volunteers who serve as "mentors" to enable children at risk to experience positive support.Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region serves New Mexican children and their families in Doña Ana, Grant, Los Alamos, Luna, Río Arriba, Taos, Colfax, McKinley, San Miguel, Santa Fe and Mora counties. We provide supported match relationships. We focus on longterm mentoring, with some lasting into adulthood. We find that many young people who have been mentored in the past then wish to "pay it forward" and become mentors themselves. This is the third year we have held Fashion Taos-Style. This year it honors us to have four exceptional guest designers. Guests will meet the designers and purchase their one-of-a-kind creations.

The event almost coincides with Fashion Week in New York City - was that intentional?No, not intentional but appropriate. Since we focus on designers that create original pieces, you will not find these items in any mainline store. If you purchase something from them, you will have a one-of-a-kind creation.

What is the history of the show?We were looking for a unique concept for a fundraiser in the community that highlighted the energy and creativity of the area and gave a platform to voices that could inspire connections to our young people. We encourage the designers to talk about their own mentoring experiences. Who was important in their life and helped them along the way? I think everyone can recall that one person who made a difference in their life, and if not, can at least recognize the importance of those connections.

How did you select the lineup for the show?The designer's lineup for the show was chosen with a variety of product, price point and originality in mind. Joining us this year are Dean Cheek, with luxurious knitted clothing for men and women; Elizabeth Jenkins with handwoven designs; Lesley Merola-Moya with Roxie Rudolph designs; and Gail Russell of SallyGators. Also joining us are jewelry artists Victoria Ramsey and Jacqueline Gala. Why should our readers attend?Fashion Taos-Style is guaranteed points for a date night. Bring your girlfriend, your partner or your husband for a night of culture, inspiration and great food while supporting the youth in our community. Do a bit of early holiday shopping and experience the best in fall fashion from our local New Mexico artists in celebration of the autumn equinox. You won't be disappointed. We recruit models from the community so attendees may very well see someone they know on the runway.

Koyote added "a big thank you" to the 30-plus volunteers for the event and the 2019 business sponsors Comcast Mountain West, United Church of Angel Fire, Wanda Lucero State Farm Agency, Taos Community Foundation, Taos Country Club, Taos News , D.C. Barrone Photography, Studio 52, Photoworks, LMNOC Broadcasting and KNCE Taos.

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