published Monday, April 4th, 2011

Spring and summer looks at Chattanooga's biggest fashion show

Feminine dresses, short and sassy skirts, sexy cocktail wear, bold jewelry, sky-high shoes and glamorous hats saturated the catwalk at StyleWorks, held last week at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The 35th annual fashion show, a fundraising event for Siskin Children’s Institute, featured the hottest spring and summer fashions from Belk. Professional models, with a little help from Siskin students at the end of the show, showcased dozens of fashions for men, women and children.

“The best thing about this fashion show is that everything from the bags to jewelry to shoes to the fashions are pulled from the Belk stores in Chattanooga,” said Chris Manning, manager of Belk at Hamilton Place. “You don’t have to go to Nashville or Birmingham to get the clothes. You can get each piece in Chattanooga.”

The fashion show presented styles for women of all ages, from flirty dresses to casual wear to pantsuits and jeans. Platform shoes were present but didn’t dominate. High heels were high, but flats and kitten heels were also shown.

Women in the audience seemed particularly pleased to see the reintroduction of glamorous straw hats. Adorned with accessories ranging from big bows and ribbons to feathers and lace, the hats made a huge statement paired with casual and dressy fashions.

“I love the hats,” said spectator Virginia Flanagan. “I wonder if Kate Middleton has started the trend.”

Fashions were feminine and sexy and a mix of modern and tradition. Stripes, gingham and polka dots were updated with crisp details.

The season marks a dress revival, Belk officials said. One-shoulder and strapless dresses, shirt-waist dresses, mini dresses and even the comeback of the 1960s-era shift dress (in solids, floral and animal prints) were shown.

Men wore seersucker and khaki sportcoats and slacks with ties that exploded with pops of color (a lime green tie with hot pink flowers) and casual shorts with Hawaiian-print short-sleeved shirts.

Children modeled classic fashions, such as dresses with a full skirt and sashes for girls and sweater vests and khaki pants for boys.

Jewelry was big and bold. Fashions were accessorized with stacked bangles, chandelier earrings, oversized pearls and lots of rhinestones.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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