After taking a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, She’s International Boutique is bringing back their annual fashion show tea party just in time to celebrate a big anniversary.
For the last 20 years, She’s International Boutique has taken pride in providing our community with luxurious, unique fashions from all over the world. This big milestone is made even more special, as this year, they’re also celebrating the comeback of their annual tea fashion show – an event that sold out in just eight days!
“We’ve never had that happen before!” says Diane Speaks, the boutique’s owner.
This year’s tea fashion show will take place on March 26th at the Taubman Museum of Art, which happens to be one of Speaks’ favorite places in the entire Star City.
For Speaks, art and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand. Her connection to the arts started when she was a little girl visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art with her aunt. When customers walk into her shop, they immediately see the influence. “A lot of people, especially men, will come into my store and say ‘this looks like an art gallery,’ and that’s just such a compliment to me,” says Speaks.
Before the fashion show begins, guests will enjoy afternoon tea inspired by Speaks’ fond memories of living in England during her childhood. “I would say afternoon tea is my most favorite thing to do ever,” she says. “I just love sitting down and relaxing and sipping afternoon tea.”
This year’s attendees are in for a treat, as Mark Baldwin from Blue Ridge Catering has put together an incredible ensemble of all the traditional tea party eats: pastries, scones with preserves and Devonshire cream and of course cucumber sandwiches. “That’s a must when you have afternoon tea!” says Speaks.
In addition to tea, an assortment of wines and other beverages will be served.
One of Speaks’ favorite parts of the whole event takes place when models hit the runway to show off the eye-catching, out-of-the-box styles she hand selected herself and had shipped in from all over the world. Expect to see elegant pieces ranging in size from 0 to 22 that can be worn to weddings or into the office, and if you’re on the hunt for a new party dress, look no further than the new high-end line specially imported from Columbia. Attendees will also see fashions from Italy, Greece and Alabama, among others.
All of the items worn on the runway will be available for purchase at the shop, but be sure to move quickly if something catches your eye, as there are only a few of each item.
This year is the first time the event has been sponsored by local businesses, and Speaks is so grateful for their support.
Shiree Carr of The Roanoker Magazine, a publication of LeisureMedia360, is one of many who were more than happy to sponsor the tea fashion show. Carr and Speaks first met at PWR (Professional Women Resources) Roanoke and became fast friends. Carr was recently promoted to Vice President of LeisureMedia360, and Speaks couldn’t be more thrilled for her.
“I am really proud to know her,” she says. “She’s very hard working and I’m very proud of her as far as getting this position at LeisureMedia360. That’s huge!”
Speaks would also like to extend her sincere thanks everyone in “Roanoke, Salem and surrounding areas for helping [She’s International Boutique] help others.” Through the Mill Mountain Theatre’s Matching Gifts Program, the event’s presenting sponsor, Pinnacle Financial Partners, will be donating a portion of the proceeds to helping inner city children see live theater performances. United Way of the Roanoke Valley will also be giving back to the community through funds raised by helping homeless children enrolled in Roanoke City Public Schools.
Check out She’s International Boutique’s unique fashions and more on their website at shesinternationalboutique.com.