In honor of Mother's Day, Tellin' Tales Theatre celebrated mothers and their children of all shapes, sizes and abilities at Fashion Forward: A Mixed-Ability Fashion Show and Benefit Gala for Tellin' Tales Theatre May 2 at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago's Greektown. Ten local designers -- including Megan Smith of Palatine - created original designs based on the fashion dreams of ten mothers and their children with and without disabilities, who modeled those fashions at the event.
Smith designed and constructed ensembles for Emily Holewczynski of Western Springs and her daughter Eileen, who was 13 weeks old on May 2. Smith said, "I am honored to be part of Fashion Forward and to support the work of Tellin' Tales Theatre. I love the concept of spreading individual beauty. As a designer, I never wanted to be famous, I just want the person I am designing for to feel magnificent in the garments I am creating for them."
Smith knew that Emily wanted to look elegant even as her body recovers from childbirth. She said, "In getting to know Emily, we were inspired by old-fashioned sophistication and traditional styling for mother and child (think Downton Abbey). I even created some drama for baby Eileen, with a long gown in a rich gold fabric."
Smith specializes in bridal and theatrical design; her company is White Tree Designs in Palatine. She has also taught family and consumer sciences at a number of high schools in the north and northwest suburbs, and has an interest in students with disabilities. Her husband teaches at Palatine High School.
Tekki Lomnicki, Founder and Artistic Director of Tellin' Tales Theatre, who is from Elmhurst, said: "Whether a mother has a disability or not, Fashion Forward was an opportunity for her to look and feel absolutely beautiful and share the limelight with her son or daughter."
The mission of Tellin' Tales Theatre is to shatter barriers between the disabled and
able-bodied worlds through the transformative power of personal story. It brings together children and adults from both communities to share their stories in theatrically innovative productions and programs to promote awareness, understanding and acceptance. Their next production is DiverCity which runs May 22-24 and features solo works by adult performers with disabilities. Information and tickets are available at www.tellintales.org.