It’s almost here: on Sunday, April 8, The Cooperage will host its second annual fashion show. As with last year’s show, Main Wear Expo is being held as a fundraiser for The Cooperage Project—a community effort, bringing together local vendors and businesses, with the show itself curated by Alessandra Iavarone of the Velvet Maple.
“When I first opened the shop in Honesdale,” Iavarone says, “I got such an overwhelming embrace from all the other local shops and businesses. But of course I was busy right off the bat, so when The Cooperage approached me about… doing something with them to help them raise funds, I realized that it would be a great opportunity for me to reach out to other local shops and introduce myself, and go in and see what the other products are, because I’m a big believer [in] cross-promotion in small towns like ours.”
That process gave rise to the idea of putting on a local fashion show, pulling items from all the local stores and using local models, local salons for hair and makeup, and local food. Iavarone says it is “a fun way of incorporating what I do—which is obviously a lot of fashion branding and style… while including all the other businesses into what we now call ‘Main Wear Expo.’”
The multitude of businesses involved includes clothing shops, boutiques, bakeries and caterers throughout the region, culled from such areas as Honesdale, Hawley, Narrowsburg and Scranton. “We work really hard to build partnerships and relationships with local businesses and non-profit organizations and community members,” says Ryanne Jennings, executive director of The Cooperage. “So we worked with some volunteers, some our board members and our staff, to reach out to them and get them to be part of this event, because it’s a great marketing opportunity for them, and a nice way to give back to the community as well.”
The theme of this year’s fashion show will be “Duets,” where the local models—many of whom presented styles at last year’s show—will take to the runway with friends, family and co-workers, in an effort to diversify the ages and body types presented in the show. Although she could not reveal the details about the specific aesthetics that the show will utilize, Iavarone mentioned that the color blush—“it’s not really a pink, and it’s not really a red, and it’s got a hint of purple”—would play a prominent role.
“We leave the aesthetic up to Alessandra, Katharine Brown from Fox Hill Farm and Jenna Motichka from A Picker’s Find,” says Jennings. “And [among] the three of them, they’re just magicians of making everything look awesome. So I’ll be very curious—it’ll be a surprise to me as well, what the final product looks like. They work really well together, and we’ll be excited to see what comes out of it.”
“Main Wear Expo: A Fashion Fundraiser” will be held at The Cooperage, located at 1030 Main St., on Sunday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $40 in advance and $50 at the door, but are selling fast. For more information, call 570/253-2020 or email info@thecoo perageproject.org.
And if you can’t make it to this year’s Main Wear Expo—or can make it and want to take another look at the fashions you see on the runway—keep your eye out for The River Reporter’s “Body & Mind” section, available in the April 19 newspaper, which will feature a photographic fashion spread based on the show.