It is an annual, star-studded night filled with an auditorium full of friends, family, and supporters of the Nashville Symphony. The Nashville Symphony’s annual fashion show is a fundraising event that goes directly to support the mission of the Nashville Symphony: to inspire, entertain and educate through excellence in musical performance. Each year the Nashville Symphony provides outreach to over 80,000 people, with 20 free or low cost programs including special events for the community and young people.

This year, the 2017 Symphony Fashion Show presented by Gus Mayer took place at this center, widely considered one of the world’s finest acoustical venues and certainly one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been in. The acoustics were amazing and the décor was fabulous.

The featured designer of the evening was Project Runway’s very own Zac Posen. This young, well-established fashion designer creates incredible works of art made specifically for its canvas, the body. The models were amazingly beautiful and talented and worked the runway flawlessly.

The evening was hosted by the beautiful and talented Allison Demarcus. She is a former competitor in the Miss America competition and wife to drummer Jay Demarcus from the country music superstar group Rascal Flatts.

The night started off with an hour of fine cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the main lobby leading to the concert hall. The show began at 7:30 PM, as exquisite designs begin their parade down the runway. After the fashion show, all the models made their way back to the stage for one final look, followed by Posen in suit and tie.

Demarcus took the stage in a beautiful mermaid bottom gown and looked very stunning. She began to introduce the sponsors and gave special thanks for everything the sponsors did to support the event. She also took time to recognize local celebrities in the audience such as Savannah Chrisley from Chrisley Knows Best, who was wearing an original Zac Posen design, country music superstar Thomas Rhett, and the featured entertainer for the evening, Kelsea Ballerini.

Ballerni is a country music sensation who, in a few short months, has taken the scene by. She sang three songs in front of her thousands of fans and Symphony supporters. One song, “Peter Pan” was accompanied by members of the symphony. Once Ballerni finished her performances—while wearing a gown she joked would cost more than her car— Demarcus thanked everyone for attending and for their support of the Nashville Symphony. According to Demarcus, event chairpersons Shaun Inman and Sheila

Shields raised more corporate support for the 2017 fashion show than any of the fashion shows in previous years.

Gus Mayer, the presenter of the fashion show displayed and sold some of Posen’s fashion and agreed to donate 50 percent of the proceeds from his sale to the Nashville Symphony so that they may continue their mission of providing free music education and performances for the many they provide outreach to each year. You too can support the Nashville Symphony and its mission: visit their website at for more information.





This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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