“Vintage L.A.” benefits Salvation Army

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Southern California Division partners with Paramount Pictures to present fashion show.

by Beverly Ventriss – 

Above: Actress Tara Reid and designer Randolph Duke. Right: Nick Verreos (center) of Project Runway poses with the show’s models.

Fashion aficionados made it a sport to comb the racks of thrift stores for unique vintage clothing. The Salvation Army, who helped start the vintage thrift store trend, decided to take the idea and run with it.

The first Vintage L.A. fashion show was held in 2001 to raise awareness and support for the division’s Alegria program for homeless and low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS. Vintage L.A. 2006, hosted by famed fashion designer Randolph Duke, sponsored by Paramount Pictures, and featuring celebrities as runway models, took place at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Some of the city’s hottest fashion designers were asked to create new and exciting designs from clothing and accessories found at Salvation Army thrift stores.

“We were honored to have Randolph Duke serve as our host this year, to have Paramount Pictures sponsor the event, and to have some of Los Angeles’ finest young designers participate for such an important cause,” said Lt. Colonel Paul Bollwahn, Southern California divisional commander.

Randolph Duke rose to prominence with his resurrection of the legendary American designer, Halston. Today, some of Hollywood’s top entertainers, including Sharon Stone, Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Anniston and Charlize Theron, wear Duke’s haute couture creations.

“The Salvation Army Alegria program for families with HIV/AIDS is nothing short of miraculous. I consider it a great privilege and necessary obligation to volunteer for such important issues and services that make The Salvation Army the gold standard for doing good,” stated Duke.

Above: Actress Tara Reid and designer Randolph Duke. Right: Nick Verreos (center) of Project Runway poses with the show’s models.

With a presentation of Salvation Army fashion finds and their own clothing, some of this year’s designers were Camille Jumelle of CJ Jeans and Company, David Hwang of Pierce Jeans, Robin Padmore of Dollhouse, makeover specialist Diane Gardner from VH1, and a special guest appearance by Nick Verreos of the cable show Project Runway.

Celebrity models included Tara Reid, Shayna Rose (Days of Our Lives), Kayla Ewell (The O.C., Veronica Mars), and British actor and producer Julia Verdin (Merchant of Venice, Fourth Protocol).

Previous Vintage L.A. fashion shows featured Minnie Driver as celebrity host, Cate Blanchett and Matthew Perry as honorary co-chairs, and Monique Lhuillier, a popular designer of evening and bridal gowns.

Alegria, a one-of-a-kind style village, offers homeless and low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS 16 units of transitional housing, 28 permanent housing units, a 70-child accredited daycare facility, an outdoor playground, and a 24-hour staff who provide an array of services that include health and vocational services. For some families, Alegria is the first home they can call their own.

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