Birmingham Shops Help Charity Gala Attendees Primp and Prepare

Several Birmingham shops and boutiques played key roles in dressing those going to the North American International Auto Show's Charity Preview Gala on Friday.

The Charity Preview Gala for the North American International Auto Show is Friday night, and Birmingham retailers are helping Metro Detroiters get dressed.

In an interview with the Detroit News, co-owner Karen Daskas said she's been helping women from all over Detroit and the Metro area get ready for the gala.

The Charity Preview Gala, which hopes to raise more than $3 million for children's charities, takes place from 6-9 p.m. Friday at the Cobo Center. Attendees will see new cars and trucks before the show officially opens to the public.

Daskas — who won't sell the same dress to different women attending the same event — told the Detroit News that the rules for black-tie events are changing. No longer are women expected to wear floor-length evening dresses or separates. Now, dresses that come to the knee or midcalf are more than acceptable, she said.

"You want to be able to wear your clothes again," Daskas said. "How many times in the course of a year does an event call for gowns?"

Those seeking comfort and fun include Royal Oak's Linzie Venegas, who told the Detroit News she's been going to black-tie events since she was a little girl.

"With a short dress, you can dress it up a lot, or you can dress it down," she said. "I also like the shorter dress because you can have more fun with shoes."

The men are not to be forgotten on the Birmingham fashion scene. Jeffrey Nelson, owner of , told the Detroit News for another article that his store has seen an increase in tux and rental sales.

"We've been fielding 20-30 calls a day," he said. "We know ticket sales are up just by the type of calls we are getting from new costumers who are attending (the) charity preview for the first time."

And according to the Detroit Free Press, ticket sales are up. Ticket sales for the galas are up 20 percent from the same time last year.

Thinking about checking out the Charity Preview Gala? Tickets cost $250, $240 of which is tax deductible. The auto show is open to the public beginning Saturday through Jan. 22.


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