Tonawanda News

The City

April 14, 2013

Second fashion show to benefit Riviera

Second 'Fashion Extravaganza' planned at Riviera

Tonawanda News — This is not your grandmother’s fashion show — unless, perhaps, your grandmother enjoys vintage clothing, steampunk style and motorcycles.

The second Fashion Extravaganza show will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. April 21 at the Riviera Theatre, 67 Webster St., North Tonawanda, bringing together businesses from throughout the area in an evening that features everything from “paparazzi” to a burlesque performance, while also showcasing wares from local stores.

The first show took place in February 2012 and raised $3,000 for the United Way. This year, the beneficiary will be the Riv itself, said Sharon Barber, one of the owners (with Holly Rankie and Lydia Connor) of the Hip Gypsy shop on Webster Street, the group that originated the show last year.

Barber said that she was pleased and surprised by other local business owners’ enthusiasm for the event during a tough time for many small businesses.

“There are so many good people; people really are gung-ho,” she said. “That’s what kept us doing it this year really: Realizing how many good people there are.

“Last year was great and I had a feeling this could get the momentum going from last year.”

The show will feature clothing and items from stores throughout the area, not just the Tonawandas, leading to a slight name change to “Uniting the Gateway & Beyond.” This year’s themes include romance, gypsy wedding, domestic diva, disco, Gateway GQ, sweet dreams, hippy, wearable art, steampunk, leather & ink and a tribute to veterans.

In addition, Barber said, there’s far more than just a look at what’s available at local stores.

“Our show is going to be even better than last year,” she said. “We have more professional acts between fashion segments, all to a soundtrack, all choreographed.”

Ken Kaufman, organist for the Buffalo Sabres, and Michelle Farina will perform, as will Tom McGinley on the Mighty Wurlitzer and singer Emily Connor. The tribute to veterans will feature Bruce Wojick on guitar. Students from Project 308 Gallery will present a dance performance.

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