Fashion, celebration, and music! The Reading Symphony Orchestra League’s 12th annual fashion show was somewhat unusual this year because of the celebration of the Reading Symphony Orchestra’s 100th anniversary.
Vintage fashions from the early 1900s, with trailing skirts and broad-brimmed hats, were on stage for the opening act and took the audience back to the time of the Titanic.
A small group of men and women modeled the clothing while acting as if they were at the symphony 100 years ago. They sported traditional accessories of the era such as opera glasses and women’s gloves.
The event included a silent auction, a raffle, a luncheon and the fashion show, called Symphony of Style.
The Reading Symphony Orchestra League (RSOL) held this year’s show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Wyomissing on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Volunteers for the show like to help out because they love the show. Many participate every year.
Kathy Kleppinger, the fashion commentator, has come back to help year after year.
“I commentate every year, and it can be hard when there are multiple stores that provide outfits because it is a lot to coordinate and remember,” says Kleppinger.
Once, a mishap caused her to have to describe the clothing a model was wearing from memory.
Luckily, she knew enough about the fashions to keep the show going.
“You definitely have to like fashion to be a part of this show,” Kleppinger said.
She tried modeling one year, and it just was not for her.
The fashion show committee asked her to be the commentator at the show because she had a talent for it and enjoyed doing it.
The local stores that provided the modern fashions modeled at this event included Bella Jules, Boscov's, Bruno Furs, The Charlotte Shoppe, and Jan Rae and the Carriage House from Spring Township.
Jane Cambria-Gill, of Sinking Spring, volunteered to model in this year’s fashion show. She wore several different outfits from Jan Rae. One outfit was manufactured in America, which made it especially appealing.
Another volunteer, Ruth Berube, volunteered to be a dresser. She helped the models change after each segment. There were numerous clothing racks in the dressing room, each holding a different local store’s looks for the models.
Berube says she likes to help with the fashion show because it is for a good cause and she loves the fashion.
“The models usually need help with zippers and buttons on the dresses, and there’s also a lot of jewelry and accessorizing to help complete the outfits,” Berube said.
Janae Sholtz, another model volunteer, got involved with the fashion show with her husband, Kyle Scroggs, the development director at the symphony.
He writes grants and works with sponsors and donors to provide funding for symphony events as well as raise money to keep the symphony operational.
This was Sholtz’s first year in the show. She and Scroggs moved to the area just two years ago when she was hired at Alvernia University.
The ladies of the RSOL asked her husband if she would like to participate in the fashion show this year.
Sholtz says she agreed for two reasons: “I have always been an arts enthusiast, and the symphony has always been one of my favorites. I have been going to symphony performances since I was a little girl; my mother and grandmother would take me. And second, I love fashion! I thought the show was well organized, well attended, and the clothes were really great. Every time I turned around, I saw another outfit or beautiful dress that I wanted!”
This benefit was organized by the RSOL, and all of the proceeds were donated to the Reading Symphony Orchestra. The mission of the RSOL is to promote the Reading Symphony Orchestra through planning different project and activities. These events include youth concerts, a symphony lecture series, special dinners, galas, trips and the annual fashion shows.