A Passion for Fashion

August 6, 2020: Natalie Sillery (front + center) and her ‘Trunkettes’ say its time to go!

SARATOGA SPRINGS – You hear about it all the time from the great athletes. Those who enjoyed a long career, lasting many years. Once their playing days have ended, they still feel it.

The siren call of spring training, of pre-season summer camp. Their energy levels and bio-rhythms know what time it is, automatically. Its time to flex, to shake the off-season’s cobwebs, and prepare for the “big show” to come again.

So it has been for Natalie Sillery and her big fashion show. Each year, for 26 years, the bell would go off, and it would be time to prepare for another annual fashion extravaganza at the Saratoga Race Course.

Natalie Sillery (C) at last year’s Saratoga Fashion Show with friends and supporters June MacClelland (L), and Walt Adams (R) from AIM Services, Inc.

Anchoring the Thursday before the Travers Stakes, the event simply, yet emphatically, known as The Saratoga Fashion Show prospered through years of many twists, turns and other administrative changes at NYRA – through de-privatization, RE-privatization, even losing her runway in the “At the Rail” pavilion to progress, in the form of the new 1863 Club.

But, just as a seasoned pro athlete adjusts to new rules of the game, Natalie always made it work. And so, like those now retired athletes we spoke of at the top, it’s no surprise that around summer’s longest day, Natalie once again felt that siren’s call….

But in her case, there is one big difference: She’s not retired! She still operates her Saratoga Trunk – Ladies Finery Emporium at 493 Broadway.

So, while most of the two-legged athletes (high-heeled and otherwise) may not be seen at the Race Course this summer, Natalie just pivoted and adjusted like a veteran, bringing her fashion show downtown. An “open house,” with all the heavy-hitting powerhouse designers you are used to on display.

The nation, indeed the world may have “paused,” but Natalie did not.

After all, it was the Thursday before Travers, and thus there will be fashion! Enjoy the Gallery.

Arthur Gonick – August 10, 2020

Gallery: Fashion Finale? Hah!

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