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"Dressed to Kill" Fashion Show Tears Down Walls

By: Marie W. Conway

Date Posted: 1999-12-24

An audience of over 200 people gathered at the Kinser Surfside last Thursday, December 16th, to watch some 30 Navy and Marine Corps service members and their spouses present a fashion show rightly codenamed "Dressed to Kill.” Col. Paul Puckett, Camp Kinser’s Commander, and Master Sgt. Barbara Pace, helped organize the fashion show for the local community, with the collaboration of the Urasoe Rotary Club, the Businesswomen Club of Urasoe Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the US Sailors and Marines.

During the month of September, Urasoe City authorities threw a Full Moon Festival to promote friendship between Camp Kinser’s community and that of Urasoe City. According to Ichino Kuba, Community Relations Specialist at Camp Kinser, "Col. Puckett really appreciated the effort put forth by Urasoe City to host that wonderful festival for the Americans, so he decided to organize this fashion show."

The models wore clothes provided by AAFES, Charlie Wong’s Mandarin Tailor, and Cynthia’s African Fashions. Urasoe’s Businesswomen’s group, led by its chairlady, Setsuko Ai, said they were happy to lend their kimonos and help with the make-up for the special event. Cindy McGarvie, one of the models, told Japan Update the pleasure they had all experienced in getting Japanese and Americans together to enjoy a multi-cultural fashion show.

Everyone of the men and women walking on stage gave their best performance, with a confident, yet playful air.The models’ enthusiasm was contagious; the crowd cheered when their friends and colleagues hit the runway in their unique fashions. Ichino Kuba later revealed to Japan Update that, due to the success of that premier show, Camp Kinser intends to make it an annual event in the future.

Koichi Fujita, an active member of Urasoe City’s Community Relations who was present for the catwalk, holds the view that "the purpose of cultural exchanges is to lower the fence dividing Camp Kinser and Urasoe." Fujita also hopes that American students will in the future be able to tour the grounds of Okinawa Power Company, a facility situated in the Camp Kinser neighbourhood. The Okinawans and Americans all seemed delighted to attend an event full of fun and laughter.

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