NEW WINDSOR — Bone bangles, a silver Zuni bird on a Bolotie, and a purple mirror skirt all won applause from a sell-out audience at the Service Center's first international fashion show Saturday.
The show occurred against a background of elaborately carved screens, hand-woven rugs, sweaters and baskets decorating the walls of the center's gymnasium. Terri Meushaw, marketing associate at the center and commentator for theshow, promised the guests a view of an array of items, made by artisans in 40 underdeveloped countries around the world.
She invited them to shop for the items at the SERVV InternationalGift Shop, located at the center, where the goal is to return revenue directly to those artisans.
"I was born in Europe, and I just loved the international look, the colors and the comfort of the clothesI saw here today," said Aliki McDonald of Hampstead. "I also like the fact that the profits from the shop go to underdeveloped countries."
Diane Gosnell, a model and secretary at the center -- which is an ecumenical project of the Church of the Brethren -- said the group should break even on the $5-a-ticket show. "We weren't out to make a big profit, Gosnell said. "We just wanted to make people more aware of what we have to offer."
Many of the more than 200 guests stoppedLinda Jacobson, buyer for the gift shop, as she modeled a skirt, which had tiny mirrors sewed into it. Sun pouring into the room played off Jacobson's hammered brass accessories, which shimmered as she walked.
"Can I see?" echoed from table to table.
"We tried to get agood mix of clothing and seasonal styles, as well as variety among our models," said Jacobson, who added Meushaw scoured the county to find a mix of models.
Aurelie Kuyena, 11, the child of a refugee couple from Zaire who once stayed at the center; Jodia Chinn, a teacher at Manchester Elementary, and Ana Kirculescu of Romania all became international models for the day.
"I even bribed my 19-year-old son,Steve, into modeling," Jacobson said with a laugh. "We didn't want to leave the men out."
Cathy Davis, a tall brunette from Mount Airy, brought her family along to watch her model three different outfits.
Her son, Tony, 4, latched on to her every time she swirled by his table. Daughter Gina, 10, who collects elephants, had put several check marks next to items on the program, which organizers provided tohelp guests with selections.
And daughter Angie, 13, said she waseager to try on culottes.
"That's why I brought my husband, too,"said Davis, as she considered buying a purple and dove gray skirt and blouse she had just modeled.
Many other shoppers joined the Davis family, browsing through the shop.
"I'm anxious to try on that gorgeous black dress with gold applique," said Lynne Schon of Baltimore, on her first visit. "I plan to come back, too."
Exotic dessertscomplimented the international air. As they watched the fashion parade, guests sipped honeyed coriander tea or Paz coffee and sampled sweets from trays of Haitian banana bread, Philippine flan and ful sudani, a Sudanese peanut cookie.
"We wanted the refreshments to add tothe international flavor of the afternoon," said Meushaw, who is already planning another show.