Listen up, fashionistas. Start practicing your Charleston and buy some pearls to wear down your back, because this year's RunUp is Gatsby-approved.
When deciding on a theme for the 2012 event, organizers Jordan Dechambre, David Caruso and Libby Castro all agreed that the Roaring '20s have never been hotter.
"Everybody's jumping on board with the theme," said Dechambre. "A lot of what's happening in fall fashion this year is '20 influences. We're seeing a lot of beading, we're seeing dropped waists again and men wearing hats more than ever ever."
"What's going to be fun is to see how people will be focused on '20s-inspired looks," said Caruso.
The annual fashion show and gala will be held on Friday, Oct. 5 at The Pritzlaff, 305 N. Plankinton Ave. A true celebration of Milwaukee fashion, the evening will emphasize local designers like designers like Miranda Levy, Terry Michael Designs, Delanie Couture, Heather King, Linda Marcus Designs, Leslie Randall and Mink by Amanda Egren.
Also participating will be "Project Runway" star and fan favorite Ra'Mon Lawrence and The Pfister Hotel Artist-In-Residence Timothy Westbook.
"What you'll find at RunUp is the closest thing to a New York-style fashion week show that you will see in Wisconsin," said Dechambre.
Other local talent featured on Friday will be Scott Yance, owner of Erik of Norway Downtown. "He's the only stylist in Wisconsin who does hair at Fashion Week in New York, so it's really amazing," said Dechambre. Josie Leon, owner of Blush Beauty, will be creating make-up looks for the models in the show.
Perhaps most exciting of all is the participation of Bjorn Nassett, a stylist at Beauty and a popular Milwaukee drag queen who retired in the 1990s. he's returning for a one-night-only performance with Danceworks.
In addition, five handpicked students from the Mount Mary College Fashion Department will be showcasing their work with a scholarship and prizes awarded to one of them.
But organizers want to emphasize that this is so much more than a fashion show.
"We have beautiful dress displays, we have live music, performance art, dance, a Dior beauty bar - there's so much happening," said Dechambre. And it's all for a good cause, too.
All proceeds from this year's RunUp will benefit the establishment of Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin's Translational Research Unit, which is slated to open in 2013. The center will offer cutting edge treatment and will advance Froedtert in their goal of becoming a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.
"This is something that's so near and dear to all of our hearts," said Dechambre. Castro has a history of breast cancer in her family, and Caruso is a cancer survivor who was treated at Froedtert.
"Froedtert becoming a designated cancer center would be huge for our state," said Caruso. "It will happen in the next two to three years and this clinical trial program is one of the requirements to receive this designation. So it's kind of neat to be a part of that."
Standing-room-only tickets are $35 and selling out fast, but there are still front row seats available for $100 and Reserved Seating for $75. To buy tickets, go to runup2012-estw.eventbrite.com. Visit the event's Facebook page to view an offering of local '20s-inspired evening wear.
Colleen Jurkiewicz is a Milwaukee native with a degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she loves having a job where she learns something new about the Cream City every day. Her previous incarnations have included stints as a waitress, a barista, a writing tutor, a medical transcriptionist, a freelance journalist, and now this lovely gig at the best online magazine in Milwaukee.