Couture isn’t just for people. Four Legged Fashion returns with designer duds — doggie-style
FOUR LEGGED FASHION
Dallas Trade Mart Grand Pavilion
2100 N. Stemmons Freeway
May 14. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets from $75. 214-634-0204.
At most fashion shows, the stars are the designs — and the designers.
But that’s not necessarily the case at Four Legged Fashion. There, it’s models who drive it. And they’re all dogs.
But that’s a good thing.
The second annual fundraiser — which this year includes many enviable auction packages for humans, and features a disco theme — gives doggie style a new meaning, with poochie poseurs who wouldn’t dream of walking a — gasp! — "catwalk" stealing the show.
And the star of the stars is Frank.
Frank is an unlikely runway superstar. He started out life barely holding onto it. When he was a 12-week-old pup, he was hit by a car, crushing his rear quarters.
"I had a broken ankle, thigh, hip, fractured pelvis and toes — nine breaks in all," says Frank through his interpreter Terri Tomlinson, who also chairs the event. "They put rods and plates in me. I was on a morphine drip and spent three-and-a-half months at the vet hospital. They didn’t think I would make it."
But he did, then he fell into the laps of Tomlinson and her partner Melinda Webb, who just days earlier had lost their 13-year-old sheepdog.
"Our house felt so empty. We took in Frank to foster, but I said after the second day he was never leaving. He was everything we had wished for," Tomlinson says of the healer-lab-shepherd mix. ("He just a black dog," she says of his pedigree.)
Eventually, Frank found his way to being the spokesmutt and senior runway model for the "canine meets couture" event. It’s not a role he relishes.
"I don’t really care for the clothes, though I kind of like the leather coat covered in studs and grommets [I'm wearing in this show]," Frank says. "Terri had to work with me to get me to move on the runway at first. But I realize now that when I’m working I must wear clothing. I know I’m doing good."
He was so hard to manage during rehearsals, one organizer asked Tomlinson, "Would it be too gay if we had a male model walk him down the runway?" She laughed. "Look what he’s wearing — he looks like he should be at TMC," she says. A male escort was OK’d.
Frank has taken to the fashion aspect over time. He’s a frequent "speaker" at events throughout the year, talking about fashion and animal rescue. And some clothes have growled… er, grown … on him.
"I love Finley— that’s the designer I wore last year," he says. "That look specializes in men’s shirts and ties — it’s very masculine. Like me. And I have some black-and-white paisley to wear off-season now."
He also admires a black ball gown with huge crystal neckline designed for a brilliant little cocker named Dixie Chick. "She’s all that," Frank says with a snap. "It looks like something Sue Ellen would wear on Dallas."
There’s gotta be some gay guy who wants to snatch that up — maybe even one who’s not a dog owner. After all, fashion is fashion … no matter who wears it. •
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 14, 2010.