Friday, June 21, 2013

IN Fashion Friday: Zoobilation Sparkle

Shoes (Nina Bryyce, Zappos); Dress (Yaprak Design); Necklace (Aronstam Fine Jewelers); Makeup (Makeup By Sparkle); Special thanks to Sola Adelowo of ImageCube LLC for helping me choose the perfect Zoobilation look.
        Coco Chanel once said that "before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory."  I generally think this is sound advice, but fashion rules take flight when it comes to Zoobilation, a wildly popular annual fundraising event for the Indianapolis Zoo. It's described on its Facebook page as "a black-tie, outdoor dining event that highlights 50+ restaurants & raises money to support the care and feeding of the Zoo’s animals & plants, as well as the Zoo’s internationally significant conservation & research efforts."  Tickets sell out within days of going on sale, and it's the kind of event that people clamor to attend whether they are zoo supporters or not because it is just that much fun! 
        This year's theme was "Safari in the City" and, as always, there were many inspired and over the top ensembles on display.  Zoobilation is not your typical black tie affair, and it's not uncommon to see men sporting animal print vests, bold bow ties, kilts, and even madras plaid shorts with their tuxedo jackets.  The women often showcase animal print gowns or  theme-appropriate accessories that might seem garish at more traditional soirees (like my leopard nails and lizard ring), and flip-flops under one's gown are not only acceptable, but expected (I always carry flip flops with me to Zoobilation).  This year, I even saw one risk-taker rocking Chuck Taylor's with a short and sparkly cocktail dress.  I might question that choice for other events, but I'd expect nothing less on an evening where guests were treated to chocolate dipped bacon on a stick (rolled in liquid nitrogen and smoking, no less), glow rings, and the cheesy musical stylings of the Naked Cowboy (in addition to eight very talented bands performing on stages throughout the venue).
        Today's installment of IN Fashion Friday features Makeup By Sparkle and Aronstam Fine Jewelers, two local Indianapolis businesses that added sparkle to my Zoobilation experience.  Sparkle Myers, owner of Makeup By Sparkle, did my glam makeup for the evening in her new Mass Ave studio.  I was thrilled with the smoky copper colors she used to play up the green in my eyes, and her all-natural, vegan makeup line stayed put all night (lipstick included) despite 80 degree weather and copious amounts of food and beverage.  Getting ready in her studio was also a real treat - I can't think of a more fun way to prep for an event than jamming to Prince while she played with lipstick colors I'd never have tried on my own!  If you've never had your makeup professionally "done" before or your experience is limited to semi-qualified department store clerks who make you feel guilty if you don't purchase every product they put on you, I urge you to make an appointment with Makeup By Sparkle next time you have a big event, or if you simply want to learn how to apply makeup.  It's worth the splurge!
        Aronstam Fine Jewelers also amped up my Zoobilation sparkle with a 138 carat, checkerboard-faceted madeira-citrine necklace that perfectly complemented the sunset copper gown that had been hanging in my closet since I was asked to model it on the Stepping Out In Style runway.  Marc Aronstam, owner of Aronstam Fine Jewelers, is as much artist as jeweler, and his unique designs and perspective result in truly special pieces for budgets big and small.  One of his specialties is "reworking" customers' existing pieces to create something fresh.  Aronstam also carries several designer brands, and visitors to the Keystone at the Crossing store are treated like royalty.  Check it out next time you're in the area, or if you're looking for a special piece of wearable art!

        I'd be remiss if I didn't also give kudos to both Makeup By Sparkle and Aronstam for their inspired philanthropy and dedication to "giving back."  In fact, I first learned about these businesses through their support of Dress for Success Indianapolis and Stepping Out In Style (see prior post for more about that event).  It's a pleasure to support businesses that support our community!  From the archives, here's a picture of the dress and necklace from the SOIS runway:
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

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