Syracuse, N.Y -- Opening night for Syracuse Fashion Week on Wednesday night featured a new type of fashion show for the audience: the strolling show.

"Fashions at the Mansion" featured a range of clothing and accessories, including fashions by The Changing Room, Frameology, Lillipad Designs, Fashion Fox Designs, Georgio's Furs, Kenn Kushner Designs and Michelle DaRin.

The show was more casual than ones Syracuse Fashion Week has done in the past; the models left the catwalk to intermingle with the attendees at the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion. Lisa Butler, the executive director of Syracuse Fashion Week, said the idea of this event was intended to be more laid-back than other opening-night events.

"We see it as easing into Fashion Week," Butler said. "We also wanted to introduce people to the mansion."

During the cocktail hour, attendees enjoyed a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres at the while listening to live music by singer Joanna Jewett and pianist Andy Rudy. Vendors at the event included It Works, JPhii Jewery Young Living Essential Oils, Younique Cosmetics, Jamberry, Stella 7 Dot and Primo Studio.

During the modeling -- or strolling -- portion of the night, guests could purchase clothing that the designer brought with him or her, or even purchase a piece right off a model.

It was model Khalia Muhammad's first time participating in a fashion show like this. Muhammad, a sophomore at Syracuse University, wore glasses by Frameology and Georgio's Furs and said she appreciated the retailers' attitudes.

"It makes you want to do it that much more when you really like what you're wearing and the people behind it," Muhammad said.

Butler said the event was not only to kick off the spring iteration of Syracuse Fashion Week, but also to rouse support for the preservation of the Barnes-Hiscock House. The building, at 930 James St., was built by abolitionists in 1853 and is listed today in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Syracuse Fashion Week 2014 Opening Gala

Syracuse Fashion Week kicks off with a runway show at the Landmark Theater.Janice Fabrizio of Skaneateles and Jean Vella, from DeWitt, attended Fashions at the Mansion because they enjoy the location and make a point to come to events held at the Barnes-Hiscock House.

"It's so different and unusual for Syracuse," Vella said "It's beautiful."

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The event made use of all aspects of the house: the first floor for mingling and modeling, the second floor for vendors and the third floor as changing space for the models.

One new addition to this week, Butler said, is the Reclamation Runway at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Sunday. All of the models in that show will be either breast cancer survivors or women currently undergoing treatment. They'll be modeling pieces created specifically for breast cancer survivors, like swimwear, lingerie and sportswear.

Syracuse Fashion Week shows continue through Sunday, April 24 to raise money for the Food Bank of Central New York.

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Contact Ashley McBride: Email.


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