EL CENTRO — In anticipation of finding beautiful attire that would look great on them, many Imperial Valley women attended the Air Show Gala: Fashion Show and Ladies Night Friday evening at Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro.
Terri Rogers, president-elect for the El Centro Chamber of Commerce, referred to the fashion show evening as “ladies night.” The ladies and participants arrived wearing casual and business clothes and were welcomed with an array of hors d’oeuvres served at the former Rue 21 building. Champagne and wine bottles were available in ice buckets.
Vendors specializing in beauty products and services were situated along the walls and responded to queries on trends in fashion, shoes and accessories. The women sat along the stretch of a red carpet catwalk as models paraded casual, business and formal clothes.
Alicia Swaim, general manager of the Imperial Valley Mall, said three business tenants of the mall provided clothes for the volunteer models of the fashion show.
La Boutique provided formal wear, while New York Co. supplied the business wear, and Charlotte Russe provided casual attire. Swaim, also a board member of the El Centro Chamber, said La Boutique offered a ten percent discount for customers who show their tickets for attending the fashion show.
As models approached the runway, military personnel from the Naval Air Facility, El Centro, assisted them as they stepped onto the elevated red carpeted catwalk. Several times, models held onto the arms of the uniformed Navy personnel as they walked together to the delight of the audience who responded with cheers, applause and approval.
According to Rogers, 20 U.S. Navy sailors, both men and women, attended the fashion show to escort the models as well as help with the event.
AZ1 Jean Gilles Kelly, who is from Fort Lauderdale, FL, was one of the volunteers. “We provided any help that they needed. We are here to support them,” Kelly said. Kelly, who has been serving in the U.S. Navy since 2005, said his family is safe after the recent hurricane that hit Florida.
AO1 Jeremy White, U.S. Navy, is from Orlando, FL. The audience cheered as he escorted models along the red carpet. White joined the U.S. Navy in 2006.
As the fashion show finished, loud cheers of approval echoed throughout the room as Rogers announced, “After the fashion show there is dancing. And guess what, these sailors are here all night.”
The military personnel, all 20 of them, stood on the red carpet and received deafening cheers from the ladies. Finally, Rogers said, “Let’s thank them for what they do for our country. Thank you.”
Rogers said the fashion show gala is the kick off to the Chamber’s Annual Air Show Gala for the Blue Angels Squadron that is scheduled for February 2018 at NAF El Centro.