This past thursday, Buffalo was hit HARD with a snow storm. White blanketed the roads, transforming everything into a Winter Wonderland. Inside the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, the beautiful white outside was mimicked inside -except it was much warmer. PEAR Event Planning Agency held a fundraiser on behalf of Child and Adolescent Treatment Services, Dialectical Behavior Therapy department. The event encouraged people to talk about mental illness and how it impacts everyone. Shannon Lach, the founder of PEAR, was impacted by depression and anxiety previously and the DBT program helped her significantly. It was incredible how genuine and heartfelt all of the speakers were at The White Party. Darnell Barton, an NFTA Bus Driver who saved a woman from commiting suicide back in the end of October, was the guest of honor. I had the honor of attending due to the fashion shows held by 3 local designers, but I got so much more out of it than just beautiful clothing.
(All photographs were taken by Victoria Benetiz)
Guests were invited to bid on auction pieces, nibble on delicious appetizers, and indulge in pear champagne: the signature drink of the night before the fashion shows. Although the weather kept some people away, everyone in attendance looked simply ravishing in their black tie attire. I mingled with other local bloggers: Victoria, of Victoria’s Broke Secret and Lindsay, of Nickel City Pretty for most of the night. We were introduced to fashion designers, Molly of Once Vintage, Katie of KatieGariepy, and Shana of Thomas Lee Designs… let me tell you a little more about the last two designers!
Katie wants to help change Buffalo’s fashion industry as we know it. When interviewing her, she struck me as an ambitious young women, with big goals. Although Katie is originally from New Hampshire, she has plans to stay in Buffalo, as it’s a city she has come to love. This designer utilized a great deal of hand appliquè and detailing in her garments. Her fashion show looks were some of my favorites because of their dainty floral accents. She advises other up and coming designers to find a role model and start slowly, but be willing to put everything into it! Katie has been designing since age 16, using nature and blogs as her main source of inspiration. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Design from Buffalo State College, in contrast to Shana whom was taught to sew by her grandmother. Katie is always looking for new ways to expand and wants to help her 20 something career driven demographic to have fun, while staying true to themselves.
Shana is all about making the dress that YOU want. Therefore, after opening up shop in Olcott, NY 8 years ago under the name Thomas Lee Designs, Shana has made the drastic decision to leave the ready to wear, everyday clothing industry and enter into custom bridal. Shana’s Bridal Designs will hopefully be located in Lewiston, NY on center street. She is currently looking for the perfect facility. Shana’s decision to change into special occasion gowns, specifically for weddings, comes from her love of draping, silk, lace, and feathers. Her favorite materials and styles are not always practical on a day to day basis. She pictures her client as a woman in her 30’s, that is artsy, and knows what she wants. Shana and her parents (they have financially backed her ventures thus far) have great faith in her ability to fulfill a bride’s vision for her big day.
Would you prefer to buy from a local designer, like Katie, or Shana, or an established brand like, JCrew?