Winning designs in Hampton Roads’ biggest fashion art contest got their big reveal during a new format for 2020: Bra-ha-ha Reconstructed: Virtual Awards Show. Instead of the typical large gala, the program was recorded before a limited audience and posted Friday to Bra-ha-ha’s Facebook page.
The 13th Bra-ha-ha included nearly 80 creations awarded among 11 categories, including several new ones. Models, who were all breast cancer survivors, strutted the runway in the winning designs, but with an additional adornment this year: a protective mask. The grand prize winner received $1,000.
In a year with so much heaviness, Bra-ha-ha’s pivot to a streamlined format allowed the fundraiser to carry on at a time when its fun approach to a serious matter is much needed. Bra-ha-ha includes a series of events put on by Chesapeake Regional Health Foundation to support breast health care for patients in need. It includes a 5K run, an auction, mini fashion shows and a culminating awards show followed by a weeklong exhibit of all the entries. The contest is designed to allow participants to reflect everything from humor to sentimentality in the theme of their designs. This writer has been a judge practically since Bra-ha-ha’s inception, and majority of the entries seemed more highly involved than previous cycles. Maybe it was because of COVID-19 and the opportunity to ponder more deeply on matters of well-being as a creative outlet.
In any case, here are the winners. Inspirations, as submitted to Bra-ha-ha by the contestants, are included with the first four categories. The awards presentation can be seen on Bra-ha-ha’s Facebook page, and the bras will be on display at Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10. More information about Bra-ha-ha can be found at brahaha.org.
GRAND PRIZE: Fighting the Injustice of Cancer
Bra designers: Nancy Parr, Amy Floriano and Stephanie Pass of the city of Chesapeake’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office
Inspiration: We honor and remember all the women who awoke the dragon warrior inside us all to fight against the injustice of cancer. All women must have equal access to mammograms and breast health care. The women whose names are on the metal plates inspired and continue to inspire girls and women everywhere. We are all Dragon Warriors fighting for ourselves and others.
MOST CREATIVE: No Bugs in the Jugs
Bra designer: Darlene Groves and Marcia Wilkins of Chesapeake Regional Surgical Specialists
BEST CRAFTSMANSHIP: Don’t Koi Around with Cancer
Bra designer: Lisa Cardona of Chesapeake
BEST DECADE INSPIRED: Boob Tube
Bra designer: Susan Jutras of Newport News
Inspiration: Stay tuned to your beast health. Report to your screening station for a yearly mammogram. If stormy weather is in the forecast channel your inner strength and dial into your network of support throughout the episode. Know you are a superstar!
BEST HOLIDAY OR SEASONAL INSPIRED: Beetleboobs
Bra designer: Cristina Stiller of Chesapeake
BEST BEACH OR ISLAND INSPIRED: What’s Inside?
Bra designer: Susan Bowyer and BJ Watson of Virginia Beach
BEST SPORTS INSPIRED: Kettlebell Strong
Bra designer: Elsie Baker of Chesapeake and the Great Bridge Woman’s Club
BEST SCHOOL ENTRY: Fight Like a Lil’Hawk
Bra designer: Angel Abbott of Southeastern Elementary, Chesapeake
BEST DIGITAL BRA ENTRY: Time is Priceless
Bra designer: Kendal Whitaker of Chesapeake
BEST YOUTH ENTRY BRA (13 & UNDER): Give Thanks Everyday
Bra designer: Jada Langkil of Chesapeake
BEST BUSINESS: She Shed (TIE)
Bra designer: Caron Jones and Dominion of Pathology Laboratories, Norfolk
BEST BUSINESS: Protect Your Motherboards (TIE)
Bra designer: Global Technical Systems, Virginia Beach
BEST ENTRY BY A CHESAPEAKE REGIONAL DEPARTMENT OR STAFF: She Believed She Could…Sushi Did
Bra designer: Jesse McCoy of Chesapeake
HONORABLE MENTION: Astronomical Strength
Bra designer: Jayme Alencar of Chesapeake
HONORABLE MENTION: Taking A Bite Out of Cancer
Bra designer: Chesapeake Center for Student Success
Jamesetta M. Walker, 757-446-2211, firstname.lastname@example.org
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