Styling At The Harborside Amsterdam

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Models (l. to r.) Yiota Frezza, Gerry Mulligan, and Dorothy Bheddah wait their turns on the runway in Ann Taylor fashions.

I didn’t know what to expect when I received an invitation to a fashion show sponsored by Ann Taylor at the Amsterdam at Harborside, the continuing care facility in Port Washington.

Although classified as seniors, it was clear from the moment we arrived that age was in no way a barrier to appearing stylish and well groomed. Many attendees were current residents of the Amsterdam, while others were senior women from throughout Port Washington.

What immediately blew me away was the elegance of the models, who were all Amsterdam residents.

Edith VanRaalte, an artist and model in her previous life, was joined by Yiota Frezza, Gerry Mulligan and Dorothy Bheddah to model six completely accessorized outfits from Ann Taylor. The models chose the pieces they wanted to wear and were prepped by an Ann Taylor stylist. The models did their own makeup and hair.

Those in attendance learned that denim is a staple for fall, along with shorter jackets over long shirts. Both have been style trends for a number of years.

In speaking with resident Connie Micelli, a retired gerontologist, we learned that the fashion show was one of many events aimed at residents and prospective buyers. Micelli, dressed in a smart well tailored pant suit which did not happen to be Ann Taylor, stressed the comfort and camaraderie of life at the Amsterdam.

Mary Donovan, marketing director said, “The continuing care concept of living at the Amsterdam appeals to planners, and as you can see they also have panache.”

Donovan and residents are brainstorming events that “will bring in prospective male buyers.”

An Ann Taylor spokesperson who asked not to be identified because she was not authorized to speak on behalf of the corporation, said this show was part of the retailers’ effort to demonstrate that Ann Taylor can dress women of any age.