A Night of Glitz and Glamour on the Kingsley Manor Catwalk

Not many people can say they’ve walked a fashion show on a Los Angeles runway, but thanks to Kingsley Manor Life Enrichment Director Michael Essex, 10 Kingsley residents can claim such an experience. Partnering with LA Fashion Week, Kingsley Manor welcomed residents and guests alike to a special fashion show on March 21st presented on the senior living community’s rooftop overlooking the Hollywood sign.

Michael was inspired to put on the fashion show at Kingsley Manor, a senior living community in Los Angeles, because older generations are so often forgotten by the fashion industry. “I wanted to bring awareness to fashionable seniors,” Michael noted. “[Acting is] one of the few industries where you see seniors represented but you don’t see them much in fashion. I want to showcase older adults who love fashion.”

A Fashion-Filled Evening

For residents participating in the fashion show, the afternoon kicked off with having their hair and makeup professionally done by stylists who work in the film industry. After getting gussied up, Michael and four wardrobe stylists styled residents in special outfits chosen specifically for the runway that night. 

While resident models were busy getting ready, the Kurt Szul and Friends jazz band set the mood with soft tunes while guests snacked on hors d’oeuvres out on the Kingsley Manor patio. Fifty Kingsley Manor residents were joined by sixty outside guests in the audience to witness this fun and fashionable evening.

The show kicked off by showcasing clothing designed by Preston Douglas, who specializes in creating clothing pieces for dancers. Professional dancers hit the stage featuring Preston’s designs, dancing their way down the catwalk to showcase the versatility and movement in his pieces.

Following the dance portion of the event, the show paused for an intermission accompanied by music by DJ Daniel Gonzalez. With spirits high from the first half of the show and inspired by what they had just witnessed, guests broke into an impromptu dance party, moved by the DJ’s tunes.

The dance-filled intermission set the perfect stage for the second half of the show dedicated to the resident models. Michael notes that some of the residents were shy at the prospect of walking in a fashion show but his favorite part of the evening was “seeing residents blossom into the night” as they got more comfortable.

The resident portion of the show was broken into two sections, the first group of residents was styled by Michael while the second group was styled by volunteer wardrobe stylists. Participants walked and rolled down the runway, flaunting their outfits and bright smiles. Michael shared that “one model took it upon herself to kick it up a notch and stole the show. She had feared that she wouldn’t be able to fully participate but she took the moment in and completely embraced being on the runway.”

The audience and residents alike had a great deal of fun at the event and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. “[The residents] want to do it again,” Michael shared. They’ve even asked to do another fashion show as soon as this summer. “I can’t even put into words how great it was,” Michael shared, reflecting on the event. “It brings me so much joy to see our residents light up.”

Future Events at Kingsley Manor

Michael is busy planning for upcoming events at Kingsley Manor. Currently, he is working on a Light Up the Block festival in August that will shut down the block in front of Kingsley Manor and transform it into a block party. Michael is looking to “light up the block with positivity,” and plans to feature local performers and invite the wider East Hollywood community, including the city council. To keep up to date with events at Kingsley Manor, check out the Kingsley Manor Facebook page and the senior living community’s website.

The fashion show is just one example of the eclectic events available to residents at Kingsley Manor. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of senior living in Los Angeles, check out our blog post all about the highlights of living at Kingsley Manor in East Hollywood.

Join Our Community!

If this dynamic lifestyle sounds appealing to you, we invite you to take a closer look at our community. We’re more than just a senior living community in Los Angeles, we’re a family. Experience Kingsley Manor for yourself by booking a tour.