Dino Rossi at Fashion First

The last time I was at Showbox Sodo, it was to see Gwar, so Fashion First stood in sharp contrast. I was met by a


Dino Rossi Meets the Fashion Police

Dino Rossi at Fashion First

The last time I was at Showbox Sodo, it was to see Gwar, so Fashion First stood in sharp contrast. I was met by a line of sleekly-dressed women, huddled impatiently in the rain. One woman, obviously unaccustomed to venues like the Showbox, asked, "they're checking ID? That's strange."

Fashion First is a fashion show, auction and benefit (this year for Rise N Shine). Tickets to the event ranged from $50 to a whopping $500. I showed up during the VIP-only hour, meaning that everyone in line paid at least $100 to be here. It was already packed from the VIP crowd alone, but when the general admission ticketholders were allowed in, the crowd burst out onto stairs and wheelchair ramps--I'd managed to wedge myself into the VIP lounge (aka what is normally just "the bar in the back") and stood on a chair to see. The guests of honor are an interesting combination: officers of the Seattle Police Department, and Republican United States Senate candidate Dino Rossi.

Fashion First's "specialty cocktail" list included things like the "Seattle-Tini" and the "Salient6 Pom." I caught one bartender, after someone ordering an SPD Dress Blue, reading off the ingredients (Vodka, muddled lemons, Blue Caracao and 7-up) and say to himself "... REALLY." Naturally, I ordered one. It did not taste like vodka. It did taste like a watered-down Sweet Tart.

The police were basically treated like strippers--when the officers first appeared, organizer Joan Kelley yelled "We need a girl who looks so good she needs to be arrested!" As it turns out, "arresting," in this context, means "gently helping her back into her seat."

This is basically the last event I'd expect to see Dino Rossi attending, though--but apparently, he's a staple of the Fashion First runway. From MyNorthwest.com:

"He rocked the runway, that's why we invited him back," Kelly said, adding she doesn't know any Democrats, but she's willing to include them in the show upon requests (sic).

Okay, so it's kind of an OK thing to do to maybe look a little silly for your friend's charity event--but he did kind of luck out getting this opportunity to try to charm the pants off Seattle and make them forget some really unfortunate details about his record. And Rossi has been known to be at-ease amongst the well-off. Fashion First also happened to be the day after he pulled out the big guns and released his first attack ad of the election against Patty Murray. But ultimately, Rossi got an opportunity to make himself look awesome while taking his noncommittal, noncontroversial stances--in this case, supporting members of the police force.

After a few rounds of different fashion designers, headachingly wacky KIRO talk show hosts Ron and Don came out and introduced the police officers, saying "KIRO 97 LOVES cops!" and asking for a moment of silence for slain officer Timothy Brenton and the Lakewood Four. The moment of silence was made awkward by the zany talk-show-host tone, and then more awkward when it was ended with "... and now they're taking off their guns!"

Officer after officer walked down the runway, Ron and Don narrating their life story--where they went to high school or college, whether they have kids. After the highest-ranking officer, introduced with no context, was Dino Rossi. To the uninformed ear (I was sitting next to someone who didn't know who Rossi was until I told him), Rossi looks like a top cop. He smiled and walked the runway briskly, pausing to sling his jacket over his shoulder. Despite his short runway presence, and the fact that he was in Seattle, the crowd ate it up.

Anyway, I know you all just want to see pictures.

What the rest of the show looked like.

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The Fashion First queen "gets arrested."

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One officer struts onto the runway

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Rossi makes his entrance.

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Losing the jacket. Too golden not to post, even with the lack of focus.

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Getting all the thumbs-ups.

Oh, he had that same schmucky grin frozen on his face for that whole... 30 seconds anybody got to see him.

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