This past Sunday, I attended a fashion show event benefiting VCU Alum and all around amazing person, Lindsay Ess. Lindsay was diagnosed with Chrohn’s disease while attending college here in Richmond Virginia and pursuing her degree in Fashion Merchandising. However, through much dedication, faith, and perseverance, she was still able to accomplish quite a lot and inspire so many, despite complications causing the amputation of both her lower arms and legs. Lindsay Ess is the epitome of “overcoming one’s obstacles no matter what”, something far too many of us take for granted.
Although she was diagnosed, she managed to become fully involved with the fashion community by educating and facilitating various charity fashion shows. She is an example of how you should continue to work towards your dreams and live your life no matter what, because eventually all of your dreams will flourish in front of your eyes. In September 2011, Lindsay received a double hand transplant in Philadelphia, a dream of hers since her diagnosis.
I’ve only been introduced to Lindsay briefly during her Don’t Hate Celebrate Fashion Show with the Gay Community Center of Richmond in 2010. This show really inspired me and made me feel grateful for all the little things that we often overlook. It was then that I truly got a sense of what it means to grab life by the balls, and do what brings you joy. To see her for the first time, living her dream and doing what makes her happy, motivated me to my core. Although I don’t know her personally, I could not pass up on the opportunity to attend this benefit event and support in whatever small way I could.
This event was set up in such a lovely way, from stage to presence. It was an immaculate presentation. During the event, I was getting a formal vibe. This was something not indicated in the invitation, so I couldn’t help feeling a little under-dressed. The fashion designs from some very talented designers were the highlight of course, being adorned on some of the most adorable models I’ve seen in Richmond in a very long time. These were some of the most talented young people, and it was such a pleasure to see the designer’s work and watch the models work the runway. In addition to the fantastic clothes and jewelry, we were also entertained by Susan Greenbaum and Ameera Lewanna, a treat to break up the runway show.
My only concern during this amazing event was the tone. Often through out the show, the guest that I invited had to confirm with me, that the beneficiary of such a wonderful celebration did not “pass away”. I was shocked, checking my program continuously to verify for myself. The way the hosts were speaking, the presenters talked in past tense, and the crowd seemed so stern and focused, it did have a “funeral-like” vibe. Granted, I did not know any of these people personally. I just did not want to assume that RVA Fashion lovers and experts are somber and straight-faced, especially since this was a moment of celebration and love.
The producers of the events wanted to support a motivator, an inspiration, a teacher, and a friend. This was so amazing that they were able to raise over $3, 000 to help her. Because of this, I wanted to see more smiling faces, hear more excitement at the beautiful creations walking down the runway, and cheer that we all have come together for such a phenomenal person and purpose. Although it was quiet and not as riveting as I would have liked, it truly was a great event and for an especially great cause. I’m sure Lindsay is going to deeply appreciate it and bask in the notion that she has a truly gifted group of friends that care for her deeply. A blessing, I’m sure she already knows.
A special shout out to the producers of the event, the models, the performers, hair and make-up, and all of their sponsors.
You can continue to donate to Lindsay Ess via the invitation link http://www.lindsayess.eventbrite.com/ for up to the next week (information given during the show).
To see more photos from the event, check out our Facebook fan page at www.Facebook.com/GaptoothDivaOnline
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