What: The seventh annual Fashion for Paws runway show
Who: This annual fashion show benefits the Washington Humane Society (WHS), including WHS programs such as humane law enforcement and humane education, which teaches children in DC schools about the importance of compassion for animals and humans alike.
Where: The National Building Museum
When: April 14, 2013. The VIP reception began at 7, and general admission opened at 8. Guests continued to trickle in as the runway show began by 9:15.
Tickets: General admission tickets were $150, while the cost of tables ranged from $3,000 to $10,000.
Dress: Guests were dressed to impress: sequins and shift cocktail dresses for women, and black tie for men.
Cuisine: The food portion of the evening kicked off with appetizers of flatbread pizzas, pretzel crisps with an assortment of dipping sauces, and dog-themed cocktails. Design Cuisine created the dinner menu, which consisted of a baby watercress salad, spinach ravioli, a milk chocolate passion dessert, and a seemingly endless supply of Prosecco. Georgetown Cupcakes made an appearance during the after-party for guests to snack on.
Atmosphere: Floor-to-ceiling white pillars, illuminated with green lights, separated the reception from the dining area. Flowy white drapes filled in the spaces between the pillars. The dinner tables were situated around the runway in the center of the room, with the dance floor just next to the dining space. The tables featured candles, and multiple bars were set up around the floor. The stage was set for a colorful and lively show, and two jumbo projectors hanging on either side displayed the show for standing guests off to the side.
Models: To secure a spot among the stylish canines, all dressed by Wagtime, models had to raise at least $5,000. Along with their pups, men and women strutted their stuff across the round runway, pausing for multiple photo opportunities along the way. The models wore everything from Nicole Miller to Lilly Pulitzer, all from Tysons Galleria, and Toka Salon & Day Spa sponsored the hair and makeup. The show started off with more casual looks—think sundresses and floral pantsuits—and progressed to glitzy floor-length evening wear. The men sported finely pressed suits that were upstaged by their adorable accessories: tiny toy dogs.
Stars of the show: The dogs, of course—both on and off the runway. Before the show, WHS volunteers walked friendly rescue dogs around the standing room area. The dogs sported vests that said “adopt me” and soaked up guests’ attention as the volunteers told their dogs’ stories. Of the seven rescue dogs on site, three were adopted that night. When the show began, models strutted onto the stage with their well-adorned canine companions. Each time the pups wearing ties, tutus, and sequins appeared on the runway, a new wave of “Aww!” filled the room.
Awards: Fashion for Paws also gave WHS a chance to emphasize that their cause is bipartisan. Virginia congressman Jim Moran, a Democrat, and California congressman John Campbell, a Republican, both received Humane Hero awards for their work to improve animal welfare. “The least we can do with animals is treat them humanely,” Campbell said. “Because how we treat animals is also about how we treat each other.”
Takeaway: In addition to the money raised by the models, an online auction and a drawing for prizes including a West Indies travel package and full-body laser hair removal also contributed funds for the WHS, bringing the grand total for the event to nearly $700,000.