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Clothes Make the Woman at La Belle Paris Woman’s Club Fashion Show

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society,” said Mark Twain.

Proving him correct, the Santa Clara Woman’s Club (SCWC) hosted perhaps its most successful annual fashion show ever — La Belle Paris, an Afternoon in Paris, on March 30 at Mariani’s Inn and Restaurant in Santa Clara.

“The fashion show has been the highlight of the year since I joined the Woman’s Club in 2012,” said 2019 show chair Gwen Freeman. “It is the major fundraiser to support our charitable causes and maintain the old adobe, our historic meeting place.”


The fashion show included a champagne lunch for more than 175 women,  a silent auction and opportunity drawings. It cleared $7,600 for charity. That’s $1,500 more than in 2018. And everyone had fun.

“The social and party aspect of the event is very important,” said SCWC President Lona Ingraham, pointing out that even preparing for the fashion show was fun.

“All the volunteers who got together in small groups to work on the favors, the flyer and program, the centerpieces and the raffle baskets had a good time,” said Ingraham. “Sometimes we forget that volunteers themselves can benefit from stepping up to help, especially with such a fun project.”

The Ever Reddy Trippers, a Red Hat Society chapter from San Jose, had a table next to the runway. They made their own fashion statement in their red hats. They said that the hats mean “love, laughter and fun.”


Fashion Insights

As in past years, the runway fashions were modeled by Woman’s Club members. Their outfits once again came from Designer’s Corner, a high-end, woman’s clothing shop at 831 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose.

Designer’s Corner owner Melanie Devletian helped the 11 models coordinate their casual, daytime business, and evening outfits.

“These clothes are fabulous. Colorful, high-end and very stylish,” said Ingraham. “Melanie works her magic on each of the models, putting together outfits that are flattering and stylish and suit the tastes of the individual wearing them. She has a talent for bringing out a woman’s inner diva.”

Jeannie Mahan, SCWC model coordinator, agreed.

“Melanie helps you think differently about what you can wear,” said Mahan. “She helps to give our models a sense of how you can develop a style to fit your personality. You can look good no matter what your size and shape. ”

Most of the models wore basic black or other solid color pants with dramatic and colorful tops.

“Color is the main thing your eye is drawn to,” said fashion show guest Dorothy Litle. “So first know what colors work with your skin tone. Jewel tones — for example, ruby, garnet, sapphire blue — are the most flattering on most skin tones.”

Litle majored in fashion design at Fresno State University and advised, “Know your body and what looks best on you.”

“The way you look at yourself is the image you project out,” said Litle. “So it’s important just to be your best self and wear something you feel comfortable and confident in.”

“Find your style and stay with it. But adapt it to be up to date,” said Mahan.”It makes you feel good about yourself to go out into the community looking your best. It lifts your mood.”

The SCWC ( meets the first Friday of the month for lunch and a program at the Adobe, 3260 The Alameda. Visitors are welcome. For reservations, call (408) 246-8000.


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