MARCO ISLAND — Bistro Soleil at the Olde Marco Inn hosted a fashion show Thursday, to benefit the American Cancer Society’s upcoming Relay for Life. About 115 women, and two intrepid men, lunched on quiche and watched a parade of women’s clothing, provided by Joyce McFarland of the Marco Island Clothing Co. Fox-4 News anchor Patrick Nolan returned as the emcee for the event, keeping the ladies entertained with his less-than-encyclopedic knowledge of fashion.
“Always at the forefront of a casual lifestyle, Tommy Bahama knows it best when it comes to looking good while staying cool and comfortable,” Nolan read from the cue cards provided by McFarland. When it came to the “cotton knit bandeau sundress,” though, he balked. “What’s a bandeau, anyway?” he asked to laughter from the capacity crowd.
A swimsuit with an underwire bra provoked another ad lib. “I’m glad my mother isn’t here,” said Nolan. “She always told me, ‘don’t say the B-word, Patrick.’ ”
The clothes ran the gamut from cocktail dresses to casual, everyday attire and swimwear. Designer Frank Lyman was featured in a number of the ensembles, along with accessories and shoes, all from the Marco Island Clothing Co.
After a lunch of individual, and very tasty, individual quiches, which are featured in the cookbook being sold to raise additional funds for the cause, the models, Sue Holewinski, Joanne Blau, Mary Ann Pierson, Kay Halpin, Maria La Palermo, and Wanda McCasland, were ready in another set of outfits. Dessert was courtesy of Joey’s Pizza.
“All of these clothes are to fit the Marco Island lifestyle,” said McFarland. “We don’t do ball gowns. It’s casual and dressy, but it has to be comfortable and flattering.”
Before the show, Bistro Soleil co-owner Lisa Meurgue became emotional as she spoke to the group, thanking them for their ongoing support. Diagnosed in 2008, she is a cancer survivor, as is her father, who was one of the two guys on hand. Lisa lost her sister to the disease five years ago, she said. Margaux Meurgue, Lisa’s daughter, was also in the room, and husband Dennis was in charge in the kitchen.
Privately, Meurgue offered a special thanks to Joyce McFarland.
“She’s the one who came to me and said, ‘let’s do a fashion show,’ and raise money to fight this,” said Meurgue.
“I told Lisa all I knew how to do was fashion,” said McFarland. “I just wanted to help her out. Everybody loves Lisa. We’re all here to support her.”
Of course, what the models wore was only part of the show. The ladies were wearing their own fashion statements, and none compared to Table Five. There, each woman had a spectacular hat, from Cathy Auten’s pink number to a small floral garden worn by Maxine Shapiro.
“I didn’t even have one,” said Shapiro. “I came without a hat, and they gave me one.”
Funds raised from Thursday’s event will go to the Relay for Life, which will be held at Marriott’s Crystal Shores on April 14.