Island Stylin’: Runway Edition

Unforgettable Fashions from St. Francis of Assisi Parish’s Garden Party by the Sea

By SANDRA WEYANT | Jun 27, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

St. Francis of Assisi Parish’s seventh annual Garden Party by the Sea: A Fashion Show showcased the most coveted summer trends this past Wednesday at Bonnet Island Estate in Stafford Township. The event featured fashions from local clothing boutiques – The Island Shop, Patchington, Sink ’R Swim, Sur La Plage, Tula Boutique and Wildflowers – and highlighted daytime and evening wear for men and women of all ages.

The stunning bayside venue was decorated with bright, cheerful yellow and pink streamers and flowers on the patio, an atmosphere that truly evoked summertime. David Schmid’s Spice Catering provided an elaborate spread of delicious food, such as pasta salads, crab cakes and flounder sliders. Sweet treats – cookies, pastries and cakes – were also served, and there was even a candy bar for guests to take home a goodie bag.

The sun illuminated the Bonnet Island Estate ballroom, which overlooks picturesque Barnegat Bay, while friars, sisters and parishioners from St. Francis of Assisi strutted across the floor decked out in various summertime looks. Announcer Molly Casella narrated the show and described each outfit in detail, and Paul Pestritto, Ray Bohn and Davie Weiner provided musical entertainment for the afternoon.

Father Kevin stepped out onto the runway and made a lasting impression with his grand entrance. He was ready for a day out on the water in a bright blue button-up shirt and matching shorts featuring a sailboat print from Sink ’R Swim men’s shop. He then unbuttoned his shirt to get the crowd’s attention (but the show remained G-rated).

From elegant dresses to casual beachwear, these Island emporiums are stocked for the season with trends you won’t want to miss!

Total White Out. All-white everything is the way to go, so break out those summer whites.

One of the most dramatic looks was a long, mesh white trench coat from Wildflowers, a boutique that sells eclectic apparel and pieces with personality (basically, art you can wear!). The classic shape, designed by Samuel Dong, looked glamorous on the model Theresa, and the breathable, open-weave fabric is ideal for the summer heat. The creative double-layered collar also adds a unique flair to the jacket.

Wildflowers featured two other memorable white ensembles – an off-the-shoulder white knit dress by Israeli designer Alembika and a white long-sleeved tunic and fitted white pants by designer IC. With a sophisticated cowl neckline and flattering silhouette that narrows toward the bottom, model Karen looked gorgeous in this dress! Model Lois wore the white-on-white shirt and pants set and topped off her look with a wide-brimmed white hat with a big black bow. These two outfits are effortlessly beautiful.

For the bride-to-be, Tula Boutique sells a white, off-the-shoulder lace dress. It is tasteful and perfect for all of those pre-wedding activities. Tula Boutique will now be introducing plus-size clothing into its assortment, and owner Chrystie Shimko assures her customers that Tula is a one-stop shop that has something for everyone. The price range has been reevaluated, as well, and all items will be available for $100 or less.

Monochrome Magic. Everything is better in black and white.

Model Janet wore a black and white Asian-inspired jacket from Wildflowers. The jacket, by Moonlight, is lined in red fabric for a pop of color and has authentic chopstick buttons for a one-of-a-kind style. She paired the statement jacket with black full lantern pants by NoBlu.

From Patchington, a store that specializes in modern styles for classic ladies, Melissa looked like a million bucks wearing a white duster with bold black floral details by Resortwear. She paired the jacket with Krazy Larry black ankle pants and a black sleeveless tunic – a great choice for a night out on the town!

One-Piece Wonders. One and done. It’s all about easy dressing in the summer months. Rompers and jumpsuits are simple to style and guaranteed to make heads turn from the beach to the boardwalk.

Sur La Plage, located in the heart of Beach Haven, is known for its wide selection of preppy, must-have brands such as Lily Pulitzer, Roxy and other surf-skate lines that appeal to beach locals and tourists alike. One fun look was the long-sleeved romper, seen on Ali. It is made out of soft cotton, and the colors are vibrant and fun, which is typical of many Lily Pulitzer garments. Add some finishing touches to this outfit with a Mar Y Sol beach bag, and voilà, you’re good to go.

Tula Boutique showcased a one-shoulder olive green jumpsuit that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Model Victoria wore a pair of wedges, and she looked long, lean and lovely. Accessorize with a scarf or a pretty purse, and this look is complete. Patchington also debuted a navy jumpsuit with cold-shoulder details and flattering balloon-shaped pants, a look that can be worn with white tennis shoes or summer sandals.

Stripe Right. Up or down, side to side, stripes are essential this summer, and they are flattering in every direction.

The Island Shop, which opened 73 years ago, has been offering elegant styles and great service for decades, and it is a reputable landmark on LBI. Model Ronnie rocked stripes from head to toe with a black and white striped maxi dress and matching striped beach bag. She accessorized with a black chunky bracelet and black wedges.

Independence Day is right around the corner, and Sue from Patchington chose to wear a patriotic ensemble, a red, white and blue striped V-neck maxi dress. This dress is sure to create fireworks at any barbecue or party.

If all-over stripes aren’t your thing, there are ways to incorporate these fine lines without overdoing it. Patchington highlighted another patriotic look: dark leggings, a red shirt and a striped jacket. This combination is trendy, youthful and comfortable to wear anywhere. Tula Boutique displayed a black off-the-shoulder top with pom-poms and striped white pants, a fashionable look for dinner on the Island with family or a night out with the girls.

Tropical Fever. Tropic like it’s hot!

Father Jim wore an ensemble from Sink ’R Swim men’s shop, a store that caters to all men with its abundant apparel, shoes and accessories, and he looked ready to relax on the beach, piña colada in hand. He modeled a Tommy Bahama tropical palm print shirt with deep blue shorts, a wide-brimmed sun hat and a pair of white sunglasses.

Sur La Plage featured a lightweight white dress with an all-over multicolor tropical print by Roxy. It’s paradise in a dress! This young, fun style is ideal for a cruise in the Caribbean or cocktails at a beach bar. The white Lily Pulitzer halter dress from Sur La Plage has a similar effect. Model Hope wore this pretty dress, and it is designed to complement the shoulders and draw attention to the sides with its pink and green tropical leaf print.

Keeping up with the tropical theme, Wildflowers displayed a Hawaiian-inspired sleeveless dress with a solid pink skirt bottom. The top was black with green and pink blossoms, and the origami-influenced skirt featured intricate folds that can be unbuttoned for a simpler look.

Keep It Casual. Let’s get back to basics.

Comfort meets fashion with the simple T-shirt dress from Tula Boutique, a wardrobe staple. The lightweight material keeps you cool during your daytime activities. Model Kaitlin wore adorable wedges with this dress, but anything goes. Wear it with flip-flops or heels – your choice.

Remain Neutral. Bright colors are great, but nothing represents sandy shores more than neutral beiges.

Janet modeled a casual-chic outfit from Wildflowers in neutral colors. On the bottom, she wore beige pants by Mesmerize, a popular pick in the store, that have a tiny front slit to make them stand out. She wore a white sleeveless tunic covered with a beige and white sweater by Potorti. It has long side vents that make it comfortable, but not too heavy to wear in the heat. She carried a matching nude handbag and jazzed up her look with a long brass circle pendant.

Be a Work of Art. Dare to be different.

One of the most original tops we saw was a hand-painted shirt from Patchington by Impulse. The white short-sleeved top has a bold center blue flower and gorgeous surrounding embellishments, and once you see it, you can’t look away.

Can you feel the beat? We could never forget the music note print black and white bubble hemline coat and matching dress by designer Samuel Dong. The coat has long cuff sleeves, a belted waist and a high collar that can be popped for even more drama. The dress has a fun wire collar that can be bent into different shapes – feel free to experiment! With a sleeveless silhouette, fitted waist and knee-length bubble hemline, this dress is appropriate for all body types. Tune up your style with these original pieces. Try them out together (you can never have too much of a great print) or wear them separately.

Live in Full Color. Brighten up your style (and your day) with these show-stopping outfits.

Sister Pat was pretty in pink in a chiffon striped multicolor blouse paired with fuchsia pants and a fuchsia hat from The Island Shop. Hope resembled the prettiest of sunsets in her sherbet-themed maxi dress from Tula Boutique. The vibrant mix of oranges and pinks makes this a standout style. Wear it to your favorite LBI restaurant!

Got the blues? Patchington has the best kinds. Melissa modeled a navy and white printed dress that can be worn to the office or out and about. It’s comfortable and dressy enough for special occasions, like a beach weddding. Sister Kathy was stunning in a floor-length cobalt blue dress and white and blue cardigan on top from The Island Shop. Blues, pinks and everything in between, add some color to your closet.

Black Is the New Black. Every woman needs a little black dress, and Tula Boutique has sexy-chic options for date nights and special occasions. The off-the-shoulder design can be worn on or off the shoulder. Hope wore it slightly pulled down to show off a sparkly necklace and completed her outfit with a pair of high wedges.

For a classy-yet-casual look, try an all-black jumpsuit with a printed silk kimono on top, as seen on model Nicole from The Island Shop. These pieces are gorgeous together or apart. Nicole also modeled another one of our favorite looks of the evening: a black dress with embroidered pink and red roses on the hemline. She styled the dress with a wide-brimmed black hat, bright pink pumps and a black necklace and bracelet. She looked as if she stepped right out of a catalog!

Black is timeless and works wonders for every body. Find it anywhere and everywhere.

Nautical by Nature. For shore … nautical styles are required for beachside living.

Anchors aweigh! Father Scott’s Castaway Nantucket blazer from Sink ’R Swim is dapper and a must-buy for any boater or fisherman. The blue jacket with tiny white anchor designs looks clean and sharp when worn with a solid white undershirt. It is definitely a conversation piece. Pastor Jim matched Father Scott with his anchor-printed shorts and Tommy Bahama blazer. With these novelty patterns, there is no way to go overboard. Set sail in style!

Sur La Plage, like its name “On the Beach,” featured a striking turquoise shift dress that made us think of warm Caribbean waters and ocean breezes. With white shiny sequin accents, this dress was as cool and gorgeous as the sea.

St. Francis of Assisi organized this function as a fundraiser for its community programs, but it benefits the public, too, by bringing attention to the fabulous boutiques LBI has to offer, allowing new friendships to form and, of course, giving men and women some wonderful fashion tips. Pay a visit to these stores as often as you can – you won’t be disappointed! LBI is one stylin’ island.

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