On August 2, Michelle Pajak-Reynolds had the privilege to be the first independent designer featured in the Pro-Football Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary Enshrinement Festival Fashion Show Luncheon held at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio. This show started in 1963 with 300 guests and has grown to 3,500 attendees, making the Enshrinement Festival Fashion Show the largest fashion show in Ohio.
The invitation to participate in this golden anniversary show came in late February, after returning from her successful NOLCHA New York Fashion Week Fashion Lounge event. The Michelle Pajak-Reynolds runway collection included six looks, five were featured in the show and one was shown during the 24 national chain and independent retailer introductions.
The Canton Memorial Civic Center has main floor and arena style seating and the central stage featured a large raised square platform with runways on two sides. Stage Director Laura Zaleski of Zaleski Productions organized the show into seven thematic scenes, including dance and musical entertainment. “This style of stage production is best suited for large statement pieces so I decided to showcase the most dramatic pieces from my Petals and Opulence collections” says Pajak-Reynolds.
The Michelle Pajak-Reynold collection closed Scene 4 “Brilliant Black Nights and White Hot Days” with models walking to Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” In order to maintain a uniform look and keep the audience’s attention on the jewelry, the models were dressed in the same black strapless knife-pleat maxi dresses. Since everyone shared models, the hair and make-up looks were very similar featuring smoky eyes and romantic hairstyles. “There was a full dress rehearsal the day before the event and we ran through the 90-minute show twice. Having a rehearsal day was a huge help, especially for perfecting the models’ quick changes, and provided everyone with the opportunity to make last minute adjustments” say Pajak-Reynolds. During the show, film crews were positioned around the stage and broadcasted close up images of the fashions on the jumbotrons arranged throughout the venue.
For Pajak-Reynolds, this was the first time to show her designs alongside national chains. “The Enshrinement Festival Fashion Show had a high entertainment aspect, which was a very different experience from my formal collection presentations at New York Fashion Week”, says Pajak-Reynolds. ” It was wonderful to see my pieces on stage and the opportunity to share my haute couture jewelry designs with such a large number of guests and VIPs was a great experience.”