When artist Denise Fike and fashion designer Bela Shehu asked me to join them in bringing to life a flash mob event that would make a statement about women and creativity in our home town of Philadelphia my first thought was "Yes!" and my next thoughts, "When, where, how and what will we wear?" After a few meetings over cocktails we came up with a plan, a date, a look and a name: Phashion Mob. On a steamy day in June of 2011 we met in verdant Rittenhouse Square, a group of over a dozen women from ages of about 18 to 80, dressed in black and sporting hats. We weren't sure what the reception would be of our promenade about town, Philly being a city known to boo even Santa Claus. The reaction was immediate and universal: middle-age men in t-shirts, young girls in shorts and ponytails, everyone wanted to know who we were and what we were doing. Was it a wedding? A movie? A photo shoot? They loved the hats, the clothes, the concept, the hot pink bag of cards we doled out along the way. From the park to a welcoming toast at Joan Shepp Boutique (the spot for high fashion in our city), to the airy contemporary Corner Bar where we stopped for a cocktail break and then to the hot white expanse of James Oliver Gallery, where Denise had an exhibit; we spent the afternoon strolling, sipping, stopping traffic and generally having a fantastic time.
A year later it's interesting to see all that came from this one moment. Collaborations in fashion, art, advertising. Connections in business and boutiques. And most of all friendships. We had the goal of making a statement about style in the city, and wound up making a lot of new friends.
Not sure whether a friend of passer-by on the street snapped this photo, but he or she did a great job capturing the moment. That's me, fifth from right, in the black hat.
"Use the good china for breakfast."