Doing good in style

College fashionistas strut their stuff for local clothing bank

by julie imel

You may call them philanthropic fashionistas.
A group of students at Misericordia University is taking their sense of style and high energy to the runway on Friday night for a special event to benefit A Common Thread, a free clothing bank at St. Vincent De Paul Kitchen in Wilkes-Barre.
“A Stylista Strut Runway and Trunk Show” will be held in the Muth and Huntzinger Rooms 217-218 in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall on the university’s campus in Dallas. The event is open to the public, and there is no fee for admission. Organizers ask that guests bring gently used items of clothing for A Common Thread.
We recently caught up with the young ladies behind the fashion show as they prepared for their big night on the runway. As we learned, this event is as much about encouraging others to be open minded and giving, as it is about the latest fashion trends.
Michele Drago, event organizer, enlisted the help of a few close friends, including Julia Truax, Kaleigh Reynolds, Gia Mazur, Audra Wehner, Emily Santory, Stephanie Bellino and Caitlin Sorrentino, just to name a few. “I have wanted to plan a fashion show since my freshman year in college,” Drago said. “I took on three fashion internships this semester — they’re all virtual — and with my internship at College Lifestyles I was asked to plan an event at my school. The fashion show was just perfect. I collaborated with The Highlander, the student newspaper, where I have a fashion column, and we contacted six boutiques to get interest in the show, and then I contacted student models.”
Local boutiques participating in the show include Buka, Earth and Wears, Sophie’s Closet, The Snooty Fox, Love Want Wear, Tululahs and Outrageous, offering guests a variety of style options. “We have stores offering everything from a California, hippie feel to stores that are consignment shops that will have a wide variety of clothing, and then there’s another store that’s very feminine, very college casual,” Drago said. An Avon representative will also participate in the show.
Expect to see some of the latest trends that will be popular on college campuses this winter. “We’ll show college trends, and what you might wear to an internship interview or what you’d wear to class, or for a girls’ night out with friends.” To complete their look, professional stylist Maria Bonacuse will be on hand to create the perfect hair and make-up for the models, and music for the show will be provided by a DJ from Cougar Radio, Misericordia’s radio station.
The event also features a trunk show, with vendors selling their items at the event, and there will be prize giveaways, including a Chi hair straightener. The first 35 people through the door will receive complimentary swag bags filled with discounts, coupons and more. (Here’s a hot tip on the swag bags: Jay McCarroll, winner of Project Runway Season I, has provided coupons for discounts for his online accessories).
Refreshments will also be provided.
This is first year for the Stylista Strut Runway and Trunk Show, and Drago hopes it will be the first of many campus fashion shows. “We’re hoping to make this a tradition, and if it’s successful, I plan on having another one in the spring.”
In addition to collecting clothing donations on the night of the show, students will continue to accept gently used clothing donations for A Common Thread in the weeks to come in The Highlander office on campus.

If you go:

What: Stylista Strut Runway and Trunk Show to benefit A Common Thread clothing bank at St. Vincent De Paul Kitchen, Wilkes-Barre.

When: Friday, Nov. 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Muth and Huntzinger Rooms 217-218 in Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall at Misericordia University, Dallas.

Tickets: Free admission. Guests are encouraged to bring gently used clothing donations.
Information: 674-6372 or To read Drago’s fashion columns, visit

Style do’s and don’ts

Our friends at Misericordia offered a few fashion tips to stay in style on campus and in town this season:


  • Wear running shoes with skinny jeans.
  • Wear shorts with “Pink” or other words on the back paired with UGG boots.
  • Wear embellished denim skirts or denim skirts with fringe.


  • Wear leggings with tunics (a great alternative to sweats).
  • Wear leather and lace.
  • Wear high-waisted skirts, pants.
  • Smarie93

    Very excited for the show! Wishing all models and organizers best wishes!