Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Thongs add flash of daring to runway

Whoa, bet this one goes over like a pregnant pole vaulter with our ever-vigilant moral guardians.

We knew that the minute the black thong undies hit our desk.

Turns out one Catherine Hamilton, former owner of Hyde Park's Soho boutique and one of nine competing in Channel 9's bachelorette contest, has a series of Friday night fashion shows at Jump CafÈ, 1203 Main St.

"It's for all women and has nothing to do with being a size 2. It's all about attitude, about coming down a runway and feeling good about yourself," Hamilton says. "Ladies will register at the door and wear something of their own for the show. We want to attract that 25-ish young professional crowd."

The twist? "When they register, they'll be given a black thong, and be encouraged to flash the crowd.

"My idea is to break through that Cincinnati mentality. We have a reputation for being so conservative, and on the surface we are, but we're all thrill seekers at heart. Flash modeling is their chance.

"We're really doing it up, too - professional lighting, all red and blue, fog machine, hot music, videos, the works."

Modeling nights will go on about six weeks with a batch of weekly prizes - bikini waxes, tanning certificates, tequila, $100 - awarded by a team of celebrity judges.

Friday night modeling appropriately begins on Valentine's Day. Registration is

8 p.m., show around 9:30. There's a $10 cover charge.

Cross-culture: And from the artsy front, local artist Jan Brown Checco is working on a deal that will use art - a biiiiig topic in town right now - to bridge cultural differences.

"Clay, Color and Fire" will bring in seven ceramic artists from sister cities of Munich, Germany; Nancy, France; Kharkiv, Ukraine; Harare, Zimbabwe; Gifu, Japan; Lizhou; China; and Taipei-Hsien, Taiwan. They'll be here June 23 through Aug. 1.

Each artist will be paired with a local ceramic artist and work out of University of Cincinnati studios to create a piece of public art for the new Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, going up on the river just east of the Boathouse.

Specifically, they'll create ceramic art to decorate the eight columns on the Friendship Plaza - the park's centerpiece.

"It has eight columns holding it up, so we're working on the theme of unity holding up a building," she says.

The project is budgeted at $123,000. Checco already has $98,000 and is writing grant proposals for the remaining $25,000.

Oh, she's also looking for homeowners to host visiting artists - "it's the only way to really experience a new culture" - and for ceramic artists willing to assist visiting artists. E-mail her at

jbcfas@one.net if you can help.

Whooshing:That would be one Chris Pettigrew, whooshing around Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg.

Turns out he's going to ski 100,000 feet Feb. 22 to raise money for CancerFree Kids.

Here are the numbers: Perfect North's main slope is 400 feet. That means he has to ski it 250 times in the 151/2 hours Perfect North is open. Lots of time on a chair lift, and a plenty sore butt.

But at least he's getting in some practice - he's in training in Canada as we speak. And taking pledges at ellen@cancerfreekids.org.

E-mail jknippenberg@enquirer.com

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