Jacksonville is a casual town. With an ocean on the east end, a river down the middle and plenty of watersports and sunshine, flip-flops and shorts take up space in every wardrobe.
Sometimes, though, we get dressed up.
Tonight is one of those times. Especially on the 200 block of Water Street — Jacksonville Humane Society is hosting its annual Fur Ball Gala at the Omni Hotel, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is performing its annual opera at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. (In case you’re wondering, it’s Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love.”)
And coming in March, we’ll have our very own, inaugural, Jacksonville Fashion Week. We may not surpass New York just yet, but perhaps Atlanta will be on the lookout. Bold new fashion in the bold new city!
UPDATE: There was a small, very small, minority of people who did not dress their best for the opera. They wore jeans. Some wore “designer” (aka trendy and expensive) shirts. (And yes, I put designer in quotations on purpose, not to insult fashion designers but to differentiate them from cheap trend that is thought to be fashionable.) I didn’t notice footwear — there may or may not have been bejeweled flip-flops.
Otherwise, there were many long gowns and cocktail dresses, sparkles and shawls, heels and hose. What a glorious sight — Duval goes Debutante!
Across Water Street at the Omni, even puppies were decked out in pearls, sequins, tutus and jewels. I got only one photo, but it includes three generations of ladies. (Four if you want to count the original owner of the sparkly brooch.)
I think the best-dressed man was my date. He wore a three-piece suit. Prior to Saturday night, I thought men under 65 only used suit vests when the bride insisted on them for the wedding party. We were well matched, he in a black suit with a silver brocade tie and I in a lavender-grey dress with silver accents. It is unfortunate that he was behind the camera.