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HomeNewsArchivesSecond VI Fashion Week Struts Its Stuff

Second VI Fashion Week Struts Its Stuff

Oct. 9, 2008 – As dusk settled and invited guests sipped champagne at poolside at the Cove at Yacht Haven Grande, organizers of V.I. Fashion Week on Thursday launched their second annual event.
The five-day event runs through Oct. 13 with events scheduled daily. The crowning one is Sunday's "Caribbean Catwalk Runway Show" where 20 designers from the Caribbean, U.S. and Africa, will showcase their creations, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort and Spa.
"It's going to be reflective of what runways in New York City look like," promised Terry Donovan, the event's production director as he addressed the VIP reception Thursday. "We're all working very hard to create that clean, professional image."
Donovan, a native of Tortola and resident of New York City, is described in a V.I. Fashion Week news release as an international fashion event producer, style expert and fashion writer. He said the goal for the runway show was to ensure a professional sheen by coordinating the models' wardrobe with their hair, make-up, shoes and accessories.
Vern Tonge, a tall, slinky resident of St. Thomas and native of Dominica, is herself a model and co-founder of Fashion Week with Henry R. Marsham, Jr. Tonge said the runway show is a chance for local models to capture the attention of scouts, including Ginny Edwards, a native St. Thomian and owner of one of the top 10 modeling agencies in New York City, according to Tonge.
"My goal is to establish V.I. Fashion Week and lift it to an international standard," Tonge said, "and give young people in the Virgin Islands, interested in fashion, the opportunities that are available."
Tonge is owner of one of what she said were a total of five modeling agencies spread between St. Thomas and St. Croix. Her agency is called Star Models and is recruiting young people, males and females, between the ages of 15 and 35, to learn the modeling business.
While it's too late to vie for attention from the scouts this year, anyone interested in joining the ranks of the runway models at next year's Fashion Week, can work with her agency and audition at one of several held throughout the year.
Fashion Week models are expected to be at least five feet, eight inches tall, with clean skin and the ability to "walk the runway and be brave, not shy," Tonge said. As for physique, up to a size 12, she said, is acceptable, depending on the designer. But generally, she acknowledged, models are still expected to be slim.
Asked whether she had to diet to maintain her reed-like stature, she confessed she's simply unable to gain weight.
"I've always been this size," said Tonge. "I tried gaining weight once, and I got sick."
Tonge said Fashion Week will donate approximately 10 percent of its profits to the Family Resource Center on St. Thomas which helps victims of domestic violence.
Fashion Week's activities include:
— Friday: House of Ettienne opening at the Royal Dane Mall from 4 to 7 p.m.
— Saturday: Caribbean Magic Trade Show at the Tutu Park Mall
— Sunday: Caribbean Catwalk Runway Show at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort at 6 p.m.
— Monday: A White Affair, Beach Party and Swimsuit Fashion Show at Brewers Bay Beach at 10 a.m.
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