Lorna Mae Devera woke up at 4:30 a.m. Saturday to secure her spot as first in line outside of Nordstrom the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.
Devera, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, arrived at 5:35 a.m., ahead of more than 500 other women who descended upon Nordstrom for the Fall Cosmetics Trend Show, an annual ritual for in-the-know fashionistas.
Part fashion show, part sales pitch and like one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, the show is the ultimate girlie-girl experience.
“It’s all about current fashion and what’s new in the makeup, skincare and cosmetics industry,” said Kyra Minick, assistant manager of cosmetics at the Pentagon City Nordstrom. “Usually the industry experts who attend Fashion Week in New York come here and attend our trend show. Our customers want to look beautiful and be current.”
This year’s theme was Red Carpet Glamour, a nod to the fashion industry’s return to Old Hollywood glitz.
Host Tawni Hart energized the crowd by asking them to repeat “Today we are all celebrities!”
To emphasize that point, Hart made three wardrobe changes, each spotlighting a trend in fall fashion. Her first dress, a silky royal blue number exposed one shoulder. She followed this with a silver sequenced shirtdress, and ended the event in a 1960s-style A-line tweed dress.
Carole Brown of Alexandria arrived early but was waiting for a girlfriend who was driving in from Woodbridge.
“I want to grab a seat up front because up front is where you get all the freebies,” Brown said before the show began.
For many, the freebies are the main attraction. All attendees received a free handbag as they entered the show. They chatted while enjoying a pre-show continental breakfast with gourmet coffee. Once the lights went down and the music went up, the ladies let loose.
During the show vendors gave away thousands of dollars in free makeup, skincare and beauty products. Women screamed for joy as their names were selected from a drawing. They dashed toward the stage as if they were on "The Price Is Right."
The bigger the prize, the louder they screamed. Christian Dior gave away a replica of the necklace worn by actress Charlize Theron in the company's latest ad. A chorus of sighs rose from the audience when one woman won a jar of Crème de la Mer, a face cream that retails for more than $200.
As for the trends: Gray and glitter rule, and that includes on the eyes. Smokey gray eye shadow in matte and metallic finishes gives eyes a smoldering sexy look. Purple reigns supreme in all shades. Deep plums on eyes lined with charcoal gray work well with neutral lip color. Red lips remain en vogue, from cherry to fire engine red. Faux fur and colorful stilettos are must-have accessories.
It was the fourth trend show for Devera, who loves “spending quality time with females. This allows me to express my feminine said, the other half of me,” she said, acknowledging the difficulty in projecting fabulousness in military fatigues.
Devera will be deployed to Afghanistan within the next month.
The news made its way to Hart, which prompted the host to call Devera to the stage to give her a “Red Carpet Moment”.
As women stood, cheering, applauding, whooping and hollering, Devera sashayed down the runway, looking every bit like a celebrity.