Seniors Strut their Stuff at Glamour Fashion Show

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

The red carpet was out. The stage was decorated with black and white flower arrangements. The beverage fountain was flowing with punch and the refreshment table was tempting.  The audience was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the “models,” cell phones at the ready.

This was what greeted me when I attended the first Fifty-five Plus Glamour Fashion Show hosted by Quality Independent Living. Annette Nichols, executive director, explained the idea behind this event. “I see so many young people who visit and they’re all dressed up. I thought it would be fun to encourage our residents to dress up, too.”

Annette convinced several residents to participate as models and arranged the red carpet, decorations, sound system and music, photography, refreshments, and mistress of ceremonies. The models selected outfits from their own wardrobes and lined up, waiting for their turn to enter through the double doors and show off their style.

Mistress of Ceremonies Carol McDowell immediately set the stage for the afternoon show by “laying the ground rules.” She asked, “Are you comfortable? Relaxed? I want you to relax, sit back and enjoy yourself!” And we did!

Eight models, all over the age of 55, participated in the fashion show: Hattie Covington, Magdalene Fleming, Yvonne Glenn, Josephine Gwynn, Pantherine Head, Ernest Little, Ronald Wallace and Jackie Wilson. Josephine Gwynn started the procession as she rolled down the red carpet in her motorized scooter, wearing a beautiful dress with matching hat, and was an immediate hit. During the second half of the show, she took a moment to stop and sing an impromptu song, delighting the audience.

Ms. McDowell provided commentary as the models walked across the carpet: “How good does 55 look!” “This girl had it going on at 18 and still has it going on!” She called attention to one model’s stiletto heels and the audience voiced their approval. She mentioned another model’s favorite movie was “Where The Boys Are,” which elicited laughter. A couple models walked with canes, adding an air of sophistication.

The models wore outfits ranging from casual to church clothes, workout wear to suits. During intermission, while the attendees enjoyed punch, cheese and crackers, fruit and cupcakes, the models changed into their next outfits.

Cameras and phones recorded photos and videos as the models strutted their stuff on the runway and afterward, when they gathered for a group photo for the photographer. The models appeared to be relieved when the show was over, but the audience loved the performance and several people asked if there would be a repeat. Annette assured them that this would be a recurring event.

We were left with inspiring words that summed up this exciting afternoon:

“Live your life and forget your age.”

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.”

For these lively and active seniors, no truer words could be spoken.


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