Fairy tale meets fashion at 'While You Were Sleeping' runway show and fundraiser

Stylish shoppers and fashion mavens enjoy a fairy tale fashion show at the While You Were Sleeping event on Sunday to benefit Syracuse City Ballet.

Syracuse’s most stylish and best dressed residents convened downtown on Sunday for “While You Were Sleeping,” a local fashion, shopping and fundraising event.

The event was a collaboration between Syracuse City Ballet (SCB) and Kellie Gingold, the owner of Showoffs Boutique and the main coordinator of While You Were Sleeping.

The showcase's title and theme were based on SCB’s upcoming production of Sleeping Beauty; all proceeds from ticket sales will go to the production of the show this March.

Photo: Natasha Amadi
Local children model Indie Kids Boutique's spring/summer collection for girls.

Kathleen Rathbun, the founder and artistic director of SCB, said the event was created in an effort to increase exposure and awareness for SCB while raising money for the company’s show.

“Kellie Gingold approached me about this fundraiser and we thought it would be a great idea because it has arts, it has creativity of hair and design and makeup,” Rathbun said. “It [is] kind of a really great, art-filled fun time that we could use to raise money for the ballet, because arts are always struggling.”

The event space, which carried the scent of roses and chocolate chip cookies and had floral arrangements hanging from the ceiling, featured a runway, dance floor, a snack buffet and vendor stations.

Ballerinas from SCB enchanted the audience with three different performances. Attendees were also treated to a performance by life coach Lisa Romano, who sang “Part of Your World” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

Between performances, local boutiques presented their spring collections. One of these boutiques, Projex214, specializes in casual men’s apparel. Indie Kids, a children’s clothing store, displayed a collection of pastel items for girls and a tan short suit set for boys. Boom Babies presented an assortment of evening gowns and Laura Marino closed the show with her collection of dramatic ensembles straight out of a fairy tale. Like true princesses, the models walked the runway to “Once Upon a Dream” from Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” wearing gowns with layers of tulle, intricate beading and no shortage of sparkle.

“I love Laura Marino. She brings the drama; she never fails,” said JoyLynn Gaj, the show's master of ceremonies. “She does her own hair, makeup, all those outfits are from her rental and she knows fashion. She knows high fashion. She’s very gifted in that area.”

Gingold said she also partners with other local organizations including The Palace TheatreChase-ing Hope 5K Run/Walk and Susan G Komen, Central New York to help them raise funds and awareness.

“It really is about partnership and collaboration,” Gaj said. “Many of these causes that we represent, we try to come up with something that relates back to the cause and find a fun spin to put on different variations of what they’re showcasing. Whether it’s illness, we still try to find some sort of way to honor that while raising funds and get people involved and interested.”

Around the room, local vendors displayed an eclectic mix of products. Attendees were encouraged to purchase items ranging from homemade double-stuffed Oreos, to artisanal soaps and fine jewelry.

“The vendors that we’ve used today are great local vendors within our own community. We have a really strong support with that,” Gingold said. “There’s about 40 different vendors in this community [that] I really enjoy working with and they partner really well together.”

Jackie Cavanaugh, who sat front row at the show and said she regularly attends fashion events at Syracuse Fashion Week, said While You Were Sleeping was the best show she’s ever seen.

“It was like true art where everything came together so well,” she said. “The dramatic showmanship at the end was just amazing. Overall it was very entertaining.”

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