The late Michael Jackson had a large influence on music and fashion. Only he could wear one glove and high water pants with glittery socks and be classified as “bad.” His jackets always had a military flair and quiet as it’s kept, often the jackets he wore most recently were actually jackets designed for women.

SOME SMOOTH “CRIMINALS”—Alex Matthews, Oscar Petite Jr., Art Outen, R. Daniel Lavelle, LaMont Jones Jr., CL Gunter and Jack Simmons.

On March 6, at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel, the Friends of the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading and Cultural Center held their 21st annual fashion show and luncheon, themed “This Is It!” Models stepped to “I’m Bad,” “Thriller” and “Smooth Criminal” in fashions from Dales Maxima, Dress Barn (Miracle Mile), JCPenney (Monroeville Mall) and New York, New York (Station Square).


New to the runway were Clarence Gunter and City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle. Returning for repeat performances were Marsha Charlie, Shirley Douglas, Kimberly Billiard Greene, Lauryn Harwell, Betsy Hunt, Stephanie Simmons, Wrenna Watson, LaMont Jones Jr., Alex Matthews, Art Outen, the Hon. Oscar Petite, Jr. and Jack Simmons.

The show featured cool jackets, classic suits and sexy dresses with Jackson’s music as the soundtrack. The hon. Bill Robinson was back as the witty master of ceremonies. After cheerful greetings from Yvonne Addison (president, Friends of MLK Reading and Cultural Center) and an invocation from Bernice Laley of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, the 300- plus crowd enjoyed a musical treat from soloist Anqwenique Wingfield.

PYT’s—Betsy Hunt, Stephanie Simmons, Wrenna Watson, Shirley Douglas, Lauryn Harwell, Marsha Charlie and Kim Billiard Greene.

State Rep. Jake Wheatley brought remarks and as a past MLK model said he retired from the modeling profession. He quipped it is much harder than it looks.

Event co-chairs, Parthenia Brownand Andrea Griffin, say they will do it all again next year in April.

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