Sunday, September 30, 2012

Models of a Certain Age: We Model Marla Wynne Fashions

On Saturday, we and several of our women friends of a certain age participated in a fashion show of Marla Wynne's clothing at the Fab Over Fifty Bash at Manhattan's Metropolitan Pavilion. Marla Wynne Ginsburg, a highly successful TV producer worked in Paris and Montreal before returning to NYC to reinvent herself as a fashion designer who focuses on women over fifty. Her Marla Wynne line is making a big hit on HSN. (Photo from

The Fab Over Fifty Bash was an all day affair from 10 AM to 7 PM, with the fashion show starting at 5:30 PM. We were asked to arrive at  3 PM, to make sure everything was in place, so we took a few photos as we all began to trickle in. Here are Debra Rapoport, Judith Boyd (aka The Style Crone), Valerie and Jean in our version of "street clothes".

Geri Brin, mastermind behind the Fab Over Fifty blog, and the Fab Over Fifty Bash, stopped for a photo with Valerie.

We met three women, all named Judith. ("Judy, Judy, Judy" - what are the odds of that?!) They are  image consultants and have a book on the subject to be published in the Spring of 2013.

We had a little time to spare before the show, so we strolled around the Metropolitan Pavillion, where the FOF Bash was held, to see and be seen. We met these three fabulous sisters and loved their hair.   They were sweet enough to indulge us with a photoraph.

Linda Derector (Out of the Ordinary Eyewear) had a fabulous selection of vintage and new eyeglass frames and sunglasses. AND we loved her vintage Claude Montana shirt. Check out her collection at 

One of Marla's ideas, in showing her latest styles, was to show how they looked on women of different ages. Here are three generations - Tziona and her daughter and granddaughter - all of whom modeled in  the show.

From left to right, Gerri Shute, Lynn Dell, Valerie, Jean, Debra Rapoport, and Joana Avillez, author and illustrator of Life Dressing: The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.

The FOF Bash attracted lots of beautiful, tuned in women.  Case in point: this pair of gorgeous audience members. There were several presentations held on the stage during the course of the day, but we think we might have had the best audience of the day. (Or are we just biased???)


Marla Wynne (right) enjoys a well-deserved moment of triumph, walking down the runway with one of the models.
Our friend Style Crone Judith Boyd came all the way from Colorado to participate.

Debra Rapoport styled her selections with a hat, brooch and bracelet she made herself.

Lynn Dell looks great in black and white, and finishes off the look with a parasol.


This Marla Wynne outfit looks like it was made for Gerri Shute.

Marla featured us together in each of our runway appearances.  We each modeled three outfits and for the first, we both wore the same top and added our own bottom, accessories and hat. Valerie paired the burnt out patterned boat neck tunic with pleated ruffle with a grey wool sleeveless dress by Blayde, Gareth Pugh for Melissa gladiator sandals and Marla Wynne necklace.  Vintage hat by Hattie Carnegie, drop earrings from a flea market, black metal cuffs from Matsuya Ginza.

Jean paired the same tunic with Issey Miyake balloon pants, Marcia Lyons neck ruffle, black patent custom-platform Dansko clogs, MOMA black and white polka dot shibori bag, Victorian straw hat, black Chinese fan and vintage bakelite bangles.

Backstage was quite an experience with a dozen women all trying to change clothes, locate and put on their accessories, shoes, hats, etc. in a VERY short timeframe. In order to keep straight what she was wearing with each outfit, Jean made little "Cheat Sheet" index cards in which she drew each of the outfits and matching accessories. Here's her cheat sheet for her first outfit.

Brett Cooper and his partner were our backstage managers. And what a terrific job they did! They arranged three racks of clothing so everyone had enough space to navigate, kept all the clothes grouped by wearer, asked us in what order we'd like to wear the clothes and decided the order in which we showed, laid out all of Marla's accessories on a table so they could be picked up easily, offered to help us in and out of clothes if we appeared to be struggling, managed a full spectrum of personalities, did all that in a space no larger than two bread boxes, AND managed to smile and be gracious the entire time! We sort of knew there were a lot of logistics involved, but we really had no idea until we saw it with our own eyes.


Without prior consultation, it turned out that we both used red accessories for our second outfits. "Great minds ... "

Valerie modeled Marla's black and white sleeveless tunic and black knit jacket, to which she added her own black pants (Betsey Johnson), red and black straw hat refashioned from an African basket, vintage red celluloid earrings, felt cuff by O-matic, red lacquered Japanese bud vase worn as a necklace and red leather gladiator open-toe boots by Nicole. Check the front row audience reaction to our appearance. We hoped they were laughing with us ...

Jean watches Valerie show off her sleeveless tunic top.

Jean modeled Marla Wynne's black long sleeve tunic and black pants under a long sleeveless tunic. She added her red lacquer coolie hat, red fan, red wooden gum ball necklace and bakelite bangles, red leather shoulder bag and black and white Jeffrey Campbell platform boots.

We had coordinating black and white reversible animal print tops and black tunics as part of our third outfits. Valerie wore the jacket and Jean wore the shrug.

Valerie paired Marla's tunic and black and white jacket with her black beret, black and white felt pyramid pin by Danielle Gori-Montanelli, black and white 'target' earrings, vintage Mexican silver and onyx pin, and red leather gloves with black suede shoes by Arche.

Jean added an H&M long tube skirt, vintage red felted wool hat (from Stacey LoAlbo), lucite and dice Kirsten Hawthorne necklace, lucite skull necklace by Made Her Think, vintage wide lucite bangle bracelets and rings, carved lucite bird cuff by Joyce Francis (one of the FOF vendors), Brooklyn Museum black and white fan, white socks and black and white Underground creepers.

Just before the show, Joyce Francis, who designs Lucite accessories, and was showing them at the Bash, brought several pieces around to us backstage and offered to let us walk down the runway with them. Several of the women wore some of Joyce's wonderful Lucite handbags, and Jean wore this bracelet of birds with the outfit above.


We had a blast and learned a lot.  After the show, we went to dinner around the corner at Cafeteria on 7th Avenue and 17th Street, with Gerri Shute (who flew in from Chicago to model at the event).  We totally spaced the opportunity to take photos to memorialize our delicious meal. Needless to say, once we finally got home and unpacked our things, we were exhausted!

What we wore before the show (our so-called "street clothes"):

Valerie: no hat!  Squid earrings by Olya (Nepinka), unlabeled bolero, Talbot's shirt, bi-layered metal cuff from the flea market, wooden bangle from Japan, red plastic ring from El Museo del Barrio, silver and enamel ring from Pastec, Betsey Johnson pants, Melissa shoes (designed by Gareth Pugh).

Jean:  Ignatius hat, Gauge and Cable peplum shirt, Issey Miyake balloon pants, black patent custom platform Dansko clogs, black leather street vendor cross-body bag, vintage bakelite earrings and rings.


  1. A FABULOUS event!!!! I'm so happy to glimpse Judith and Debra, among others. The outfits look so chic and comfortable, and I love the way they're personalized by the extraordinary accessories. Talk about style!!!

  2. Great photo of four of my favourite dames! Please give Judith a hug for me in case I don't see her when I'm there next week. You did a splendid job of styling Marla Wynne's designs with pieces of your own clothing and accessories.

  3. You covered every detail of the Marla Wynne fashion show with perfection! It was so much fun to participate in this event with the two of you and thank you so much for the mentions. You both SHINE on the runway.

  4. I came over from Judith's blog - what a fab event! Everyone looks fantastic! And how refreshing that the designer let the models work their own clothes and style into the outfits. Hope to see more of these events in the future.

  5. Looking at Marla's pieces in the online shop did not give me 10% of what I can do with them compared to the way you ladies showed them on the runway. Thank you. And thank you for being what you are: a great inspiration.
    Greetje from The Netherlands