TRAVERSE CITY — Styles at the Royale Pageant of Fashion have changed since Erin Sullivan reigned as 1999-2000 National Cherry Festival queen.
“When I was a queen I had to model a wedding gown ... With a 20-foot train. And so it was very dramatic. It’s a little more casual, I think, these days,” said Sullivan, who hopped on stage Wednesday during the fashion show past queen’s encore at the Park Place Hotel.
Models, including current queen Meg Howard, her court, former royalty and local residents, showed off outfits designed for an afternoon on the boat to an evening around town. The show, themed “Up North Chic,” featured light clothing from local merchants with colors that pop.
Retailers included Sweet Pea, Captain’s Quarters, Cherry Hill Boutique, Chico’s, Daisy Jane, Diversions, Ella’s, Kay’s/Robert Frost, Miche Bag, TJ Maxx, What to Wear and Younkers.
Howard modeled a cherry print dress from Diversions and outfits from Chico’s. The fashion show is one of her favorite events of the royalty experience.
“It’s a chance for the candidates to have fun and let loose,” Howard said.
Joined by Howard on the runway were candidates Caroline Asiala, Audrey Prisk, Sonya Sayler and Ashley Wade.
Angela Sayler, 2009-2010 Cherry Queen and Sonya Sayler’s sister, modeled a cherry dress from TJ Maxx. She said the show’s theme was fitting for Traverse City.
“I like how their focus this year was on Up North Chic because we’re always trying to keep it fresh, natural Pure Michigan. And then showcasing downtown is a great thing,” she said.