After dozens of smaller fundraisers leading up to the big night, the fifth annual Fashion for Paws Fashion Show was far more elaborate this year and about as glitzy as they come for the canine fashion set.
By John Arundel
Traditionally the biggest fundraiser of the Washington Humane Society – with 1,700 attendees, Fashion For Paws, raised $520,000 this year. The fashion show, produced by Aba Kwawu with music by Seyhan Duru, featured a glitzy catwalk and dramatic backdrop with 69 models attired in outfits from a dozen Tysons Galleria retailers.
Entertainment Tonight’s “Fashion Guy” Lawrence Zarian dropped in from Hollywood to serve as honorary host, with “Top Dog” sponsor vitaminwater zero and regional marketing guru Keri Ann Meslar introducing a special preview of its Flavors of Fashion couture collection, featuring five pieces created by LA designer Clay Sadler that were inspired by Vitamin’s various flavors.
Event Co-Chairs Amanda Polk and Dr. Dondi Dahlgaard, Mistress of Ceremonies Pamela Sorensen, Committee chairs Windy Shepard and Wendy Gordon stepped it up this year, helping the exceed fundraising goals by $30,000.
Lavishly put on by by Syzygy Event Productions, Digital Lightning and Design Cuisine, other major sponsors included Bottega Italian Living, Toka Salon, Edge Floral Events and Washington Fine Properties.
On the runway, The World Bank’s Sara Traab Nielson with her bulldog and rescue mutt took top honors among women, tallying up $20,000 for the Humane Society, while Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly raised the most among the men, with $12,000 raised.
With 50 mutts, schnauzers, Huskies, Great Danes and other canines competing, there were the occasional unrehearsed moments.
But, “luckily, no dog accidents,” said Fashion For Paws Executive Director Tara de Nicolas. “This year we stepped up our game.”
ANIMAL LOVERS: Joe Roberts, Bob Johnson, Michael Saylor, Bill Dean, Sally and Chip Akridge, Amanda and Curtis Polk, Mona and John Oswald, Brianna Keilar, Kat Nelson, Maria Burns, Olivia and Erik Etz, Josie Taylor, Torrey Shallcross, Brooke Gilchrist, Kerry Duff, Barb McCoy.