Love that 

Locals talk about how they fell for fashion, from first time to latest crush.

Something in the way she moves … something in the sparkle of those jewels … something about that Valentino red steals our hearts and sets them ablaze.

How many times have we been seduced by fashion? By a dress? By a bag? By some bling? What sparks our attraction? Is it the shape, the stitching, the texture, the print? Or is it the way they all play so beautifully together?

It’s safe to say that the emotion most closely resembling our reactions to fashion is love. And we fall so willingly into it time and time again. In this era, fashion is available on overload, satiating our appetites on runways, in print, in shops both virtual and real-life, and on blogs 24/7.

In a brilliant stroke of luck, I happened to be sitting at my desk, eyes fixed on Facebook, when I noticed that Valentino’s haute couture show would stream live from Paris in moments. I sat back and watched with total, stunned adoration as, one by one, those models drifted forth wearing the stuff dreams are made of.

Shortly after Paris Fashion Week, BuzzFeed.com released a video showing the behind-the-scenes magic of creating Chanel haute couture. Expert hands belonging to patient souls are put to delicate use of the highest order — creating works of art. To sew by hand is to have an intimate relationship with the garment. The result? A love child.

Our love affair with fashion is no casual fling. Our desire runs deep. And we proudly wear our hearts on our sleeves.

Here’s a selection of love stories from some of Tampa Bay’s most fashionable: Cozette’s Boutique owner Cozette Roche; designer Ivanka Ska; hair stylist Bill Baker; model Amanda Faulk; photographer Susan Jeffers; Sherry’s Yesterdaze vintage boutique owner Sherry King; Studio 10 TV producer/co-host and designer Holley Sinn; and The Fashion Movement founder Mr. Lacey B. Smith.

FIRST LOVE

Cozette: I remember looking at my first American Elle and Vogue magazines at 13 years old and seeing my first fashion spreads. OMG! I still remember Yasmin Le Bon photographed by Gilles Bensimon and my idol Renée Simonsen photographed by the unreal Bill King. That did it! I was hooked forever!

Ivanka: Working in the local theater when I was 13, I loved watching how costumes were being made. It was magic!

Susan: I was at News Café on Ocean Drive at the ripe young age of 22 (haha … late bloomer, I know), when I picked up Versace’s look book. A feeling of pure jealousy came over me. I knew I was in love. Luck should have it that Versace himself was sitting just three tables away from me. We got to meet. That was outrageous! My career started in fashion.

Lacey: Watching my mom, a seamstress, making her own patterns and designing beautiful dresses. I admired her creations so much and fell in love with fashion from watching her at an early age.

Holley: I have Miss Holly Golightly to thank for my love of fashion.

MOST LUST-WORTHY ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET

Cozette: I have this spectacular, midnight blue, long haute couture dress by Hervé Leger. Simply sexy. It’s 20 years old and timeless!

Bill: I would say “lost-worthy” better describes my closet. I do have a Zegna suit that I bought for a party at Halston’s in New York that will always remain in my closet.

Amanda: My thigh-high, patent leather, 3-inch platform boots with 5-inch heels. Don’t ask me where I am headed — hopefully on a runway nearby.

Sherry: 1950s faux leopard coat.

Holley: My butterscotch yellow backless Zac Posen dress. It exposes my lower back tattoo, so I can’t wear it under certain circumstances, but oh when I can, I feel like a shiny, golden butterfly.

________ TOOK MY BREATH AWAY

Bill: Cher took my breath away … followed by Madonna and now Lady Gaga. I am fascinated by those who recreate themselves.

Sherry: Barbie’s clothes.

Lacey: The Spathose collection took my breath away the first time I experienced it.

Holley: Emilio Pucci’s 2012 spring/summer collection.

LOCAL BOUTIQUE I AM IN LOVE WITH

Ivanka: So many, but Bella Moda has fringe bags to die for.

Amanda: The thrift store. I’m obsessed with being original. Sometimes you can get really lucky and pick up a vintage Chanel, but also because I support a lot of local charities and it has always been my pleasure to give back!

Susan: La France in Ybor City and Paradise Island on Westshore.

LATEST CRUSH

Cozette: For Christmas I received from my love this amazing, emerald green cashmere cape-type jacket from Jil Sander. I am in Love!

Amanda: If Prada could make me a sassy snake print clutch in red, I think I would die! I have always wanted to own a very luxurious snakeskin clutch, but I just think the color red would “ring the alarm.”

Holley: Oh dear, this is most certainly my new aqua Mary Janes with lace bows and five-inch heels.

Lacey: It might sound simple, but cufflinks are my latest love.

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