Canine couture: Rescue dogs strut their stuff for a cause

Fashion to the Rescue

Iowa River Landing — Friday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.

Bobber. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.
Bobber, dog model. Bobber loves tennis balls and swimming. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.

Twelve rescue dogs will take a walk down the runway Friday, Dec. 16, showcasing the work of local designers brought in by the Iowa Fashion Project (IFP). Proceeds from the Fashion to the Rescue event will be split between the IFP and the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation (FACF), a non-profit that raises money for the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center (ICAC) animal shelter. The IFP is “a social-good organization that is elevating fashion in Iowa,” according to their website.

Fashion to the Rescue will be held in an empty storefront at 901 2nd Ave. in Coralville, across the street from 30hop. Use of the space was donated by the building owner, Watts Group. Andre’ Wright, Monica Beranek, Paige Hagemann and Melissa Marie Collins will contribute the canine couture, which will be available for purchase after the event. Most of the dog models were adopted from the ICAC.

Executive Director Christine Kimerle said the FACF hosts a variety of fundraisers including trivia nights, wine tastings, ice cream socials and “kitten day,” when they bring shelter cats to snuggle with students during the University of Iowa’s finals week. Kimerle hopes Fashion to the Rescue will become an annual tradition.

Odie. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.
Odie, dog model. Odie’s favorite food is Pasta Diablo from Carlos O’Kelly’s. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.

Cocktail attire is recommended for the 7 p.m. event. There will be complimentary beer and wine, and music will keep things lively. Coralville mayor John Lundell will emcee, and guests can expect plenty of photo ops, including a red carpet entrance with a custom backdrop. A basket filled with gift certificates, drink tokens and other donations from Iowa River Landing businesses will be auctioned off during the night. The final model of the evening will be a surprise.

Kimerle said the show will be “fun and light-hearted. We want to keep the energy up for the holiday season.”

Collins and Hagemann both work for Cedar Rapids’ Delve MIY and Frond Design Studios, Collins as a fabric and garment designer and Hagemann as a graphic designer.

“We are a creative hub for people to just come in and create,” said Stephanie Brandenburg, fabric designer and owner of Delve MIY and Frond.

Collins and Hagemann will show their own work Friday, as well as an outfit they created collaboratively. Collins describes her style as “lady funk.” She enjoys dressing up her own rescue dog, but this is her first professional foray into four-legged fashion, which presents unique challenges.

Their body shape is different,” Collins said. “I have to make sure that they can walk easily in it and that the proportions are correct. Also, it has to be comfortable.”

Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. For $75, guests gain access to the VIP lounge with swag bags and front row seats. The event welcomes dog owners, but requests that they leave their furry friends at home if they are not taking part in the show.

If you can’t attend the event but want to support the FACF, donate online. To stay connected with the Iowa fashion scene, follow the IFP on social media.

Maizie. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.
Maizie, dog model. Adopted in 2013, Maizie loves unstuffed animals with squeakers. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.

(Disclosure: LV sales manager Simeon Talley is a key organizer for the IFP and helped plan this event).

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