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Viewing of 50 Years of Fashion, an Et Cetera Inc. celebration

50 Years of Fashion album by photographer Amy Mortimer HERE.

By Paula Pyzik Scott

Cindy Luginbill, emcee of the May 10 Et Cetera Inc. event 50 Years of Fashion, compared the preparation for the 50th anniversary celebration to organizing a wedding. Shall I compare the fashion show to summer’s (wedding) day? With apologies to Shakespeare, I shall.

Did you get an invitation?
The Icon was relieved to have a press pass for the Sunday afternoon gathering and that no gate crashing was required. The event was sold out, with supporters of Et Cetera Thrift Shop, Book Reviews Etc. and Bluffton Ten Thousand Villages filling the venue. 

In addition to the much anticipated style show, guests were treated to food and beverages during intermission, had access to a designer purse silent auction, and had the chance to browse and shop displays and sales from the three shops that are located on Bluffton’s Main Street.


Something old
Joining Luginbill at podiums flanking the stage were Et Cetera Shop manager Chrissy Lugibihl and shop greeter Tim Byers. Lugibihl first appeared in the character of initial Et Cetera organizer Lois Krieder to a round of applause. “You’ve got groupies, eh?” noted Byers.

Thus began a tongue-in-cheek telling of how the thrift store was created in January 1974 to fund the purchase of fair trade items for a gift store. To see the entire show and to hear the full story, visit the 50 Years of Fashion - Et Cetera Shop, Inc YouTube channel HERE.

What followed were many costume changes for Lugibihl, Byers and their models. Next out of the time machine and onto the stage came Et Cetera Shop volunteers Dottie and Gene in polyester double knit leisure suits from the 1970s. Lugibihl described the swinging of the fashion pendulum, with notes on the fabrics, fit, brands, celebrities, etc. that impacted styles ranging from glamorous to casual. A royal wave from Princess Diana shared the stage with Byers cracking jokes in red Mickey Mouse footie pajamas.

Something new
A twist on the fashion show theme was the periodic invitation to get up and dance. YMCA by the Village People, the Macarena, the chicken dance and the floss dance were among the songs that surely also were enjoyed at wedding celebrations throughout the five decades, Musical interludes also help remind the audience of how all kinds of fashions change.

During the 1980s segment the audience was reminded that this was the era when McDonald’s introduced Chicken McNuggets. Can you remember a time without chicken nuggets? It was announced that Happy Meal prizes, a common donation to the thrift shop, would be given out to guests.

Something borrowed
With a dozen or so volunteer models sashaying across the cafetorium stage, there were plenty of borrowed feathers on view. Mild mannered Blufftonites were transformed into British royalty, a Jane Fonda-esque figure in aerobic exercise mode, and a character out of Miami Vice.

These picture-perfect representations of each decade were created with glasses, jewelry, shoes, scarves, wigs and other props. Tansformations were so complete that the Icon did quite a few double takes. 

Something blue
There were moments when the trip down memory lane took a somber turn. Byers recalled watching the catastrophic explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle in 1986 with his class of elementary school students. Similarly, Luginbill noted that all who remember the three attacks of September 11 know exactly what they were doing when they first heard the news.

The future of fair trade
Following the fashion retrospective, an international fashion show took the stage. Ten Thousand Villages manager Wendy Chappell-Dick spoke about the impact of the non-profit Fair Trade shops which pay a fair wage to the women who make their products. These crafts people can afford to feed, house and educate their families, unlike sweatshop workers who aren’t paid a living wage. 

“This is the advantage of being 50 years old,” Chappell-Dick commented; “We can see that this works. She encouraged the audience to consider the impact of apparel purchases and to spend more on ethically sourced clothes, while buying less–unless it was at the Et Cetera Thrift Shop.

This was followed by a parade of models in contemporary and traditional fashions from around the world.