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FRIDAY, APRIL 6, 2007
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Jennifer McGennis of Hartselle models a gown created by deLoain Burgess in deLoain's New York Salon and Spa in Decatur. See the gown in person April 26 at the Styles & Statements fashion show benefit for the Community Free Clinic.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Jennifer McGennis of Hartselle models a gown created by deLoain Burgess in deLoain's New York Salon and Spa in Decatur. See the gown in person April 26 at the Styles & Statements fashion show benefit for the Community Free Clinic.

FIRED UP
Fashion show to showcase
deLoain's dramatic creations

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

Don't miss the Carnival, and be on the lookout for "Fire."

That's not a drought-driven spring weather danger. It's one of the dramatic looks you can check out when you attend the April 26 "Styles & Statements" fashion show benefit for the Community Free Clinic of Decatur and Morgan County.

"Fire" is the name deLoain Burgess calls his costume created from dozens of flowers of fuchsia and orange sherbet silk and tulle. All of the flowers on the dress — a hundred or more — were gathered by hand, and each of the silk poufs features hand-frayed edges.

The resulting dramatic look cost more than $1,000 to make and resembles many textures attached to an orange jersey knit sheath.

"I think we used over 40 yards just of silk," deLoain said. "We kept going back until we had bought all the silk they had and couldn't get any more."

Seamstress Kelly Johnson followed his design, sewing the 6-inch handmade flowers to the gown and 3-foot train so the fuchsia and orange look as if they create a "Fire" when worn by statuesque model Jennifer McGennis of Hartselle, who has modeled costumes by deLoain for some of the first three benefits for the Free Clinic.

deLoain, who also designs the decorations for the show, plans a Carnival theme this year, with elements of Mardi Gras included.

Instead of a mask, however, McGennis got whimsical markings and jeweled accents on her face. Aesthetician Babette Shedd of Decatur describes it as an elegant look that is a tiara for the face.

"We wanted to do a pretty look, so we actually dressed her face with color and jewels," she said.

She created orange lines on the forehead with a theatrical makeup and accented with several Swarovski crystals.

"The color, with a shimmer of orange, plays off her gown," Shedd said.

The model's hair, pulled back with twisted wrap knots and finished with a rosette, completed the sleek look.

This is one of the six runway costumes deLoain is creating that always attract "ooohs and aaahs" in his part of the fashion show. Others will include "Bella," a bridal look in white; "Freedom" in gold; "Metal" in silver; and "The Garden," a lime and lemon creation.

His designs are accompanied by "avant-garde paints on skin and face," for his models. He and his employees at deLoain New York Salon and Spa on Bank Street also handle hair and makeup on show day for the models wearing outfits from The Carriage House and Doncaster.

In addition to live models, deLoain said he also is creating four "still life costumes" for mannequins, using chicken wire, bubble wrap, plastic and The Decatur Daily.

For the show under the pavilion at Point Mallard, "I have to deal with weather, height and visuals all at the same time," deLoain said. "That space is so tall that I've got to have height, but you must be able to see through it and talk across the table, and have enough weight so that it won't blow over in the wind."

For table decorations, he is planning "a lot of bright color — that's what the fashion industry is pushing, so we'll push it also." There will be silver and gold accents, too, "which are hot this year for adding bling."

"My mother, Marti Carroll of Decatur, is making more than 250 papier-mache flowers in purple, orange, hot pink and lime to use on the tables with fresh greenery," deLoain said.

The centerpieces also will feature bamboo canes painted lime and topped with beaded, jeweled mannequin heads with "wild makeup," along with some hats, sunglasses, tulle and streamers.

He also is considering strategically placed urns holding brightly colored flowers.

If you go

What: “Styles & Statements 2007” fashion show and box lunch benefit for the Community Free Clinic of Decatur and Morgan County

When: Thursday, April 26, 11:30 a.m.

Where: Point Mallard covered pavilion next to ice rink

Tickets: $50 per person or $480 for a preferred seating table for 8; reserve by calling Decatur General Hospital Foundation office, 341-2187, by April 12

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