Forget Paris; it was a fashion extravaganza in our own backyard. On Sept. 6, the Belmont Village seniors from all four Bay Area Belmont properties gathered at Belmont Village in Sunnyvale for a fashion show featuring sustainable clothing.
“All the residents, the clothing that they’re wearing, are sustainable,” said Adam Dimacali, Belmont’s Regional Vice President of Memory Care and Programs. “Either they thrifted it, or it’s an item or clothing that they’ve had for the longest time.”
With that history comes some great stories.
“I’m a retired physician. And I used to have patients, two men, and one of them, Ralph, would give me every year a silk scarf because I used to always pull my hair back,” said Malathi. “So, I was known for my scarf. And these were scarves that his father had imported from Japan and they were made by prisoners of war in Japan.”
Belmont resident Aaron went with a Western theme for his fashion ensemble. His leather cowboy hat was donated by his son, who had worn it in his younger days. Then, there was the belt buckle that Aaron wore many years ago.
“This is mine. I bought this a long time ago. 50 cents. It was on another belt and guess what, I’ve gained too much weight,” said Aaron with a laugh. “I sure wasn’t gonna squeeze myself to death, so we just switched it over to another belt and it works. It’s working.”
The event wasn’t just fun for the residents but for the staff as well. Some of them walked the runway, while others helped the seniors glam up beforehand.
“[It’s a] time for them to come out of their shell and really just have fun celebrating with different communities,” said one of the staff members from the Belmont’s Berkeley property. “They’re very excited to be part of the fashion show. And I think for them, it’s just to show their creative side, their fun side and having fun with the rest of the communities.”
The fashion show was the culmination of months of planning both by the residents and the staff at the Bay Area Belmont properties. Seniors learned about sustainable clothing in the months leading up to the event, along with the environmental impact of fashion.
And, of course, they had fun along the way. Belmont staff took some of the seniors to Orchard Heritage Park in Sunnyvale for a fashion photo shoot. The images were then used to create a magazine spread.
Local businesses from Sunnyvale and beyond attended the event and shared their sustainable goods with the Belmont Village seniors and their families. To cap off the luxurious event, there were passed hor d’oeuvres created by the chefs from the four Belmont properties.
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