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Get your fill of fall fashions at these upcoming events

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week just completed its eight-day run in Manhattan. Now it's time for the Mercedes-Benz of Buffalo Fashion Weekend.

Yes, you read that right.

It all begins at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, where a large runway parade of popular brands available at local stores will kick off the WNY fall fashion season.

The scene: One location. Eleven runway shows. Thirty models. And live music, vendors, exhibitors, promotions and more. The show is presented by RPM Entertainment Productions, a Buffalo special events, design and video production company.

So who came up with this idea?

"That would be me," said Lauren Byrd, event coordinator.

"It started with my own passion for fashion. I know a lot of women in Buffalo who are really into fashion. I want people to be proud of what we have here," she said.

"While we may not have the Armani and Chanel stores, we do have stores or brands that exist in other major cities around the world," she said.

Guess, Banana Republic, Bebe, Trina Turk, Cache, Lucky Brand Jeans and Ann Taylor to name a few.

Participating stores include some from Walden Galleria as well as several boutiques outside the mall -- Lu Modern Classics, White House/Black Market and Leelee. Models, mostly local, are from Exxcel.

"It makes sense for the everyday shopper in Buffalo to see the fashions dressed up on the runways but also to be able to go out and purchase them from a store," Byrd said.

Tickets will be available at the door -- $25 (general admission) or $35 (reserved seating) -- beginning at 6:30 p.m. when doors open.

They also can be purchased today and Saturday right up until show time at Ticketmaster.com and Ticketweb.com.

A percentage of proceeds from the event will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Attendees will receive shopping discount passes to be used Sunday. Visit www.buffalofashionweekend.com for more information.

But that's not all.

For the second year, Elmwood Village Association's Mass Appeal fashion event will feature fashions from Elmwood boutiques and local designers.

It takes place Nov. 6 at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 875 Elmwood Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The event is produced by Erin Habes, a fashion instructor at Buffalo State College and former owner of the Elmwood boutique Sweet'n Dirty, with the help of fashion students.

"It's all the boutiques up and down Elmwood Avenue and all of the salons. It is really a cool, creative community embracing what it is," she said.

The presentation "will be extremely theatrical," Habes said.

VIP seating is available for $100; general seating for $30, and discount seating for $10. Visit elmwoodvillage.org.

Other local fashion events are planned this fall. Here is a selection, but keep an eye on Social Notes in Thursdays' Life & Arts sections for others:

* The Variety Club Women Tent 7 will present its 32nd annual luncheon and fashion show Sept. 26 at Hearthstone Manor, Depew. Kohl's will present the fashions. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Luncheon and show at noon. Basket auction, raffles.

Tickets are $28. Call Deborah Mondo at 668-7642 or Sue Mason at 834-0079. Proceeds will benefit the Robert Warner M.D. Center for Children with Special Needs and other children's charities.

* The 46th annual fashion show and dinner to benefit Girls' Town of Italy takes place Oct. 6 in the Buffalo Niagara Marriott in Amherst.

And what a tradition it is. A second generation of women, who attended the show as girls, is now involved in its planning. This year's chairwoman is local attorney Nicole B. Palmerton; her mother, Kathleen Shafer, has been involved in the event for more than 20 years.

Fashions are by New York-based Ivonne Dome, special occasion designer for Mon Cheri and its Montage, Occasions and Cameron Blake collections, Riverside Men's Shop and Furs by Russell. Tickets are $45; call Kathleen Shafer at 440-7117.

* The Women's Board of Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital will present "Fashion, Food & Friends" Oct. 17 at the Buffalo Niagara Marriott, Amherst. Luncheon and fashion show begins at noon; cash bar and auction baskets at 11 a.m.

The Jacqueline Shop, Pumpkins children's clothing and Pollack Furs will provide the fashions. Tickets are $35. For reservations call 631-3386.

* The Buffalo State College Fashion Student Association is organizing a show for 9 p.m. Oct. 29 called "Sex Street Fashion." It is free and open to the public. It will be in the Social Hall in the Student Union.
* The fourth annual "Catwalk for Charity" with Ryan Miller will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Town Ballroom. The 21-and-older event is presented by the Steadfast Foundation to aid Carly's Club at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

This year's theme is "Rebels with a Cause: A Fabulous '50s Party." Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Individual tickets, $200, go on sale Oct. 12. Sponsorship packages and individual tickets can be purchased at www.thesteadfastfoundation.com.

* "Celebrations" is the theme for the vintage fashion shows to be presented Dec. 5, 11 and 12 during the Victorian Christmas event at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, 641 Delaware Ave.

Featured will be fashions worn for the most special occasions during the 1870s through the 1940s. Visit www.TRSite.org or call 884-0095.

e-mail: smartin@buffnews.com

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