Tawnja’s Treasures

On the Runway SectionWriting a column about fashion is a daunting task. Most people’s idea of fashion is dictated by articles and images of what a chosen few oddballs deem lovely: a hodgepodge of wafer-thin, drug-addicted, prepubescent, starved-for-affection youngsters, modeling attire designed by self-indulgent fashion gurus. This column is penned by an Air Force brat, born in the fashion mecca known as North Dakota.The only reason you should continue reading, if you are looking for fashion advice, is that the words I want to share with you are written out of a deep love and admiration—the same that the perfect look conveys to your loved ones. Most importantly, it magnifies what makes each of us one-of-a kind, what lets us sparkle and glow, with an energy only just the right ensemble, self-chosen or sewn, glorifies.Walking the runway as Mrs. Minnesota and modeling designer’s fashions for the past few decades have taught me many things. The first and foremost is that clothes are 50 percent of the equation; makeup and accessories are about 25 percent; and, without a doubt, confidence is the final 25 percent—along with an inherent belief that what you are wearing kicks the ass of everybody in the room!The only thing more satisfying than an event filled with compliments is knowing that you scored such Joan and Crystal (remember Dynasty in the 1980s?) bitch-slapping attire for a fraction of what the cattle, i.e., the fashion-hungry masses, shelled out to buy their way into looking and sounding interesting at parties.Lavender readers are my kind of people: folks who dance to their own drummer boy—or girl; who wear what makes them feel sexy, happy, bitchy, and even understated—yes–understated. Sometimes, according to rumor, less is more. That never has been my bag. Big hair and sequins always have been my best friends.Talking about saving dinero for excellent duds is one thing. Printing out directions to the Treasure Troves is quite another.Enjoy my favorite haunts for breaking all the fashion stereotypes:• Second Debut, 4300 West 361/2 Street, St. Louis Park. All these fashions are donated, and priced beyond your wildest dreams. I found a $4,000 St. John three-piece ensemble for $250, and the money goes to Goodwill.• The Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, 571 Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul. I scored an Escada Sport pair of Ruby red jeans for $9, and all the money goes to fight this rotten disease.• Most of you already may be familiar with Opitz Outlet, also in St. Louis Park, at 4906 West 35th Street. The mother ship for all fashion bargain hunters, it’s where I once bagged a Tadashi gown for $20—almost as yummy as chocolate flavored lip-gloss.Visit my Web site at <www.Tawnja.com> to talk about shoes and bags. Or, read the next “Tawnja’s Treasures” column in Lavender.Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. What kind of self-promoting diva would I be if I didn’t ask you to watch my television show. Pretty please, with Prada on top?And always remember: God loves all his children, especially you.Hugs and kisses!

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