For Cherry Hill native and Voorhees resident Christine Phillips, on Feb. 7 it will once again be fashion for a cause.
On that day, Phillips will once again be hosting her 15th annual fashion show and fundraiser entitled “Semantics,” with money raised from the event once again going toward an organization working to fight cancer.
This year’s specific cause is the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge, which provides cancer patients and caregivers a free place to stay when receiving treatment in a city far from home.
In addition to the luxury evening wear, bridal couture, men’s haberdashery and other fashion on display, the event also features a four-course meal with catering by Savoy Catering, a DJ, live band, dancing, vendors, a live auction, dance instruction, complimentary swag bags and more.
Phillips describes the event as a wonderful night of fashion and fun, but also a chance to raise awareness for a good cause.
“My dad passed away from bone marrow cancer, multiple myeloma,” Phillips said. “I always try and raise awareness and fund any type of cancer research or anything to do with fighting cancer.”
Phillips said that in additional to her personal connection to the disease, she knows she’s blessed to have so many people willing to come to see her work, when they could just as easily be doing anything else, anywhere else, in the world at that time.
With that sentiment in mind, Phillips said it’s only right to her that she uses her show to give back to others.
“I realized that through this event, it’s like a vehicle to help other people,” Phillips said. “I’m blessed enough to get over 200 people, it’s an awesome night. I’m thankful that they want to come and see my clothing line.”
Phillips said her interest in fashion dates back to her early childhood, with her mother’s side of the family full of sewers and business-oriented people.
She first started sketching at a young age, learned to sew as she got older and did what work she could in her school’s home economics course. By her senior year at Cherry Hill High School East, she received the Golden Key Award from University of the Arts, an award usually bestowed upon students already in college.
While working as a merchandiser and quality control designer, she received a degree in fashion design from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences.
“When I was younger, I hated dresses because I was a bit of a tomboy, but look at me now — I design dresses. It’s crazy” Phillips said.
Since that time, Phillips has worked as an entrepreneur in the fashion business, starting her own company and opening her own business, all the while never forgetting the importance of helping the next generation.
For up and coming fashion fanatics age 11–16, Phillips also hosts “Fashion University, ” a summer camp where she teaches those interested in all aspects of fashion, including sewing, field trips to Manhattan’s Garment District and Philadelphia’s Fashion Row, illustration, pattern making and even the chance to have their work displayed at the Semantics show on Feb. 7.
“When they finish, they make tow garments, I allow them open my fashion show,” Phillips said. “I want them to see how a real fashion show goes.”
For that reason, and many others, Phillips invites the public to come out to Semantics and raise some money for cancer awareness.
“I would like for them (the public) to come out to the show and support it,” Phillips said.
Semantics will take place on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Historic 23rd Street Armory in Philadelphia, with tickets costing $65.
Those looking for more information or to purchase tickets are asked to please visit christinephillipsonline.com/semantics-fashion-show-fundraiser-2715.