Both fancy and flirty, this season’s hot holiday looks will grace the runway Friday evening during the Fashion Without Limits — Empowering Disabled Maine fundraiser. The event, which takes place at the Avant Center in Westbrook, is sponsored by Fashionable Giving for Life, and will benefit the Ms. Wheelchair Maine Leadership and Advocacy Organization.

“It’s all very beautiful styles,” said Carolina Tanguay, who volunteers for Fashionable Giving for Life and runs the online retailer Lingerie de Amor. “It’s all very tasteful.”

Lingerie de Amor will showcase clothing that can be worn outside of the bedroom, including corsets and holiday-themed minidresses.

Joining Lingerie de Amor on the runway will be a selection of looks from the Restless Threads boutique in Saco. These will include evening wear, coats, hats and more casual looks such as sweaters and tunics paired with leggings.

“I look for things that are different from what you’d typically find around this area,” said Lauren Gurecki, owner of Restless Threads. “I’ve been told my clothes have more of a European flair. I look for styles that are trends in other states that are headed this way.”

Jewelry on the catwalk will come from designer Kavi Cohen. Tove Hair Salon will provide the hair styling, and Bello in Home Salon will provide makeup for all the models.

In addition to the fashion show, the event features an acoustic performance of holiday songs and carols by Andrea Delan and a stand-up routine from comedian Dennis Fogg. Partygoers will also enjoy a cocktail hour with free food and a cash bar, a selection of vendor tables and raffles.

All proceeds will support the Ms. Wheelchair Maine Leadership and Advocacy Organization, headed by Ms. Wheelchair Maine 2011, Monica Quimby.

Quimby was paralyzed five years ago in a skiing accident, and says “it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

As a result of her accident, she pursued undergraduate and graduate degrees. She now teaches at Southern Maine Community College and is director of education at Northeast Technical Institute.

“I want to empower people with disabilities to let them know whatever your goals are, you can do it,” Quimby said.

Quimby’s organization will launch a peer group in January for disabled people. The group will be more social than a typical support group, with outings planned to movie theaters and bowling alleys. She’s also organizing a wheelchair dance and a sports awards banquet.

“One of the things I want to do with the fundraiser on Friday is to promote inclusion,” Quimby said. “I want people with and without disabilities to come together.”

To that end, Quimby will among the models to grace the runway — wheelchair and all.

“I would have never thought of someone in a wheelchair on a runway,” she said. “So that’s exciting.”

 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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