CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “White hot” is certainly one way to describe the women behind this week’s powerhouse Girls Night Out event.
Girls Night Out: White Hot Soiree is hitting the capital city Aug. 2, and will once again take place at the Executive Air hangar at Yeager Airport. The event benefits the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program. An estimated 1,500 women will attend the summer’s biggest “party with a purpose,” dressed in sensational all-white attire. The party takes place from 5 to 10 p.m.; general admission passes cost $125.
To pull off an all-white ensemble, you’ll need the right hair, the right makeup and at least a little bronzer — not to mention the right outfit!
GNO volunteers and board members Anna Payne, Cheryl Sullivan, Karen Farmer and Laura Miller recently gathered at Angela’s Salon in Kanawha City to preview some of the hottest white fashions in Charleston. Heidi Dylan Boutique, Caché, vintage boutique Collage and the YWCA’s very own Past & Present clothing shop provided white-hot ensembles for each woman to sport in style.
Heidi Dylan Boutique’s style is described as “gypsy glam,” and can be found inside Uncork & Create on Quarrier Street. Featured fashions from Heidi Dylan Boutique include a lovely lace Boho dress, a gorgeous empire waist satin dress — perfect with an accompanying statement necklace, a stunning off-the-shoulder top paired with white skinny boyfriend jeans, as well as a gorgeous ethereal maxi dress with a statement-making back.
Past & Present, a YWCA gently used clothing shop features a unique variety of gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, shoes and gift items. Featured fashions include a constructed, modern satin and lace blouse paired with white skinny jeans, a metallic and white leather belt that is the perfect pairing for any white top, dress or suit, and a white eyelet lace tank that provides the perfect breathy, Boho look for the night out.
Collage, a unique vintage boutique on Quarrier Street is the perfect place for vintage treasures and is sure to provide a one-of-a-kind look that no one else will be wearing. Featured styles include a vintage lace and beaded gown with an accompanying satin slip and a vintage white, full-skirted dress with a princess neckline.
Caché, at Charleston Town Center Mall, provided a glitz and glam look for the soirée. Featured fashions include a breezy, accordion-backed tank paired with white trouser shorts, perfectly fit white jeans paired with a ruched, bejeweled tank, a knockout dress with flowing top and accompanying fringed skirt (perfect for dancing), and a curve-hugging sheath dress with flattering ribbing through the waist.
After bejeweling the ladies in necklaces, bracelets and sparkling evening clutches, their looks were complete and they were ready to shine in their all-white attire.
“White is such a versatile color,” said GNO Chairwoman Amanda Easter. “I feel like everywhere I go, I see white clothing and have to have it!”
Easter, whose energy and passion for the cause is contagious, supervises marketing for the event but during the photo shoot served as set dresser, hairstylist, makeup artist and so much more.
White is the fashionable theme for the evening, but don’t confuse theme for purpose. Girls Night Out is all about women helping women with power, passion and purpose, by raising funds and awareness to eliminate domestic violence.
An assemblage of 1,000 women united in white attire is designed to create a visual solidarity showcasing the support system the YWCA provides to women in our community and nationwide.
“We don’t want women to be intimidated by the all-white attire. Don’t worry about wearing a cocktail dress or buying something new for the event,” said Honorary Chairwoman Karen Farmer. “Just throw on a white tee and shorts or jeans and come as you are. A sea of women united in white for one cause.”
Farmer, who has been involved in the event for the past 14 years, is now serving as one of two honorary chairwomen. She says the event and its beneficiary is a cause that grabs your head, then your heart, then your stomach, until finally you realize it’s taken over your body and is now a part of you. “All of the sudden you’re just in,” she says.
Now the state’s largest women-only event, GNO began in 1998 as a series of cocktail parties among a handful of girlfriends determined to support victims of domestic violence. It has grown by leaps and bounds since then, and has raised more than $1 million to sustain the YWCA Charleston’s Resolve Family Abuse Program.
Funding from Girls Night Out has significantly built program capacity by expanding staff to increase and improve services, maintaining the Hope House shelter, strengthening security to protect victims and staff, and growing outreach and awareness, organizers said.
The mission of the Family Abuse Program is to eliminate domestic violence by encouraging social and institutional change through leadership, education, empowerment and community collaboration. It is the only accredited domestic violence program serving Boone, Clay and Kanawha counties — and is the only one of 14 such programs to serve the entire state of West Virginia. YWCA Resolve accepts anyone from anywhere, and provides continuum of services to victims and survivors of domestic violence.
The photo shoot came together with the help of several area women who understand firsthand the challenges women face in owning and operating their own businesses. It was hosted by Teddy and Angela Atkins of Angela’s Salon on MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City. Terry A. Pack from the Face Place and Ashley Edwards from Ashley@Bridge styled Karen Farmer’s hair and makeup, and Amanda Easter of Inside Out Creative handled set dressing and other invaluable assistance, along with help from Jamie Miller, owner of Collage, and Mitzi Brammer, owner of Heidi Dylan Boutique.
For more information on Girls Night Out, visit www.gnowv.com.
For more information on the YWCA Resolve Family Abuse program and other services offered by the YWCA, please visit www.ywcacharleston.org.
Morgan Robinson heads up the WV Style Team and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter: @charmcharleston.