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Lunch with the famous Pat Cleveland

There is one day of the year when the moms of Pine Crest Preparatory School in Fort Lauderdale, come together to socialize and enjoy fashion. That day just happened to be Wednesday, April 9, 2014, when Neiman Marcus of The Galleria Mall, hosted a fashion show and luncheon for the Pine Crest parents to raise funds and enjoy time spent together. A celebrity guest made the afternoon even more exciting.

Seen here giving us her views on current fashions is supermodel and designer, Pat Cleveland.
Hope Wilkos

A makeshift runway and dining area transformed the second floor of Neiman Marcus into something right out of a fashion publication. As lunch began to be served, the Public Relations representative of the exclusive retailer took to the stage to introduce a guest that really needed no introduction.

Direct from the pages of Vogue Italia where a segment is soon to be released on this model/designer, Pat Cleveland entered looking long, lean and gorgeous in Herve Leger. She had an indescribable youthful look that was admired by the ladies in attendance. The reception for this star of the fashion world was overwhelming.

Pat Cleveland is a name that sparks memories in the fashion world and keeps it ignited to this day. The charisma and character of this lovely model can light up any room she enters. A woman of color that paved the way for black fashion models of the future, Cleveland made her mark on the fashion world in the 1960's and 70's. She had an intriguing walk on the runway that took on a life of its own and was in demand by some of the most talented designers of all time from Oscar de la Renta to Christian Dior. She not only modeled their clothing, but she too, took to designing and made many of her own clothing. She was a discovery of Vogue and was featured on their pages time and time again. She traveled in circles with Diana Vreeland, Irving Penn and Andy Warhol. One of her claims to fame was dating Mick Jagger. Cleveland enjoyed the limelight and her theatrical style on the runway earned her enormous praise. In 1973, Pat Cleveland was chosen as one of only 30 black models to take part in a special runway event at Paris' Palace of Versailles.

For this very reason, it was such an honor to be sitting as a guest watching Cleveland's presence dominate the runway from the time she walked out. The fashions, which were all available at Neiman Marcus in The Galleria Mall, were dazzling top trends for the arrival of the Spring/Summer 2014 season. Peplum dresses, brilliant colors, floral patterns, chic accessories, silky jackets, magnificent maxis and crop tops paired with the relaxed pant, were all very impressive looks. One of my favorites was the red fringe dress full of fun and a good choice to compliment all the body's curves.

Following in her mom's footsteps, Anna Cleveland also captivated the crowd as she walked the runway in pieces that were especially chosen for her. She had the same style and finesse that shaped her mom's personality. Every outfit she wore told a story through her expressions and her walk. Her personality distinguished her on the runway making her so very different from the rest in magical ways.

The finale gave us body-hugging velvet gowns, sequins and low slung backs, dramatic peplum gowns with ruffled backs and plenty of strapless gowns. There could have been no better note to end the show than when Mom and Daughter sauntered out in exquisite gowns dancing down the runway to 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams. They got the crowd smiling and clapping and took over the stage in an almost hypnotic manner. The women had a bewitching beauty both inside and out.

What a fun and fabulous way to spend an afternoon. Pine Crest Preparatory School will be ready to do it again next year.

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