Fashion Statement!

By: Illene Denton

What are you wearing? A vintage dress from the ’80s that my mother [Monica Slater Van Buskirk, gala co-chair] bought at Bergdorf Goodman back when she was an executive with Godiva Chocolates in New York City. It used to be full-length, but people don’t really wear full-length dresses to events like this, so I had […]


What are you wearing?

A vintage dress from the ’80s that my mother [Monica Slater Van Buskirk, gala co-chair] bought at Bergdorf Goodman back when she was an executive with Godiva Chocolates in New York City. It used to be full-length, but people don’t really wear full-length dresses to events like this, so I had it taken up.

And your accessories?

I bought the shoes at Dillard’s in Tampa; the handbag is a vintage Judith Leiber from my mother’s early New York days. She’s kept everything, all this terrific stuff, Hermès scarves—I said to her, “Where has this been hiding!” 

Are those black fingernails?

And toes. I have a little rock and roll side to me; it’s just my thing.

What’s your everyday wear?

I’m a student at the University of Tampa, double majoring in English and writing. I am one of those students who dresses up every day for class, leggings or tights in cold weather, casual dresses in warmer weather. I move through lots of looks; why not experiment?

Your fashion principle?

Instead of buying a lot of pieces, I like to buy one high-quality piece that I can wear through the seasons. This year it was a pair of black leather knee-length boots that I wear my pants tucked into. They’re simple and timeless.

It’s fun to play dress-up.

I loved it! I got to model a silent auction item during the dinner, a white gold and diamond necklace with pink and green tourmalines from Alexander Fine Jewelers on St. Armands.

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