Doggies on the Catwalk fashion benefit receives new leash on life at GPB


In its third year, the Doggies on the Catwalk benefit
fashion show received a stylish upgrade to the multi-million broadcast studios
of Georgia Public Broadcasting Friday night.

The annual fundraiser for Pets Are Loving Support features
the dazzling design work of Grady High School’s talented Urban Couture fashion

>> See more photos from the event

In its first two years, Doggies was held at the Grady High gymnasium. 

This year, the show was recorded to air across the state on
January 20 at 8 p.m. and January 24 at 7 p.m. on GPB-TV.

“We haven’t raised the bar this year, we’ve flown over it,
thanks to GPB,” Urban Couture director Vincent Martinez told Intel as guests arrived on a red carpet, past
swirling spotlights on 14th Street.

Backstage, celeb models, including V-103 FM morning man Frank
, Atlanta actress Catherine
, CNN meteorologist Rob
, and philanthropist Angela
were busy bonding with their
canine companions.

But as usual, there were a few fashion faux paws when it came time for the couture-clad canines to
strut their stuff on the catwalk. retail reporter Jessica Dauler had to borrow a pooch from pal KC Public Relations
Kristin Cowart after
Dauler’s beloved
Sasha demonstrated
some “behavioral issues” that prevented her from participating.

But Cowart’s dog Gatsby arrived on stage with Dauler sans

Cracked host and CNN anchor Holly Firfer: “Gatsby, you’re naked!”

In the audience, Cowart had a hand over her mouth.

“My first thought was ‘Gatsby has eaten his outfit,’” she
told Intel. “It’s not out of the realm of possibility. This dog has eaten a
sock, Miracle-Gro, and a pair of $20 bills before.”

There’s a diva on every catwalk.

And Wilhelmina Slater’s Manolos may have been filled this
year by Doggie celeb model and Atlanta designer Wendy Babchin.

Explained Grady Urban Couture student Savanna Sweeny in an interview set to air on the GPB special:
“She’s very opinionated but I welcomed her feedback. She also chose her color.”

Backstage, Intel heard whispers that Babchin’s “opinions” so
unnerved the high school student at one point, her mother had to fire off a
scolding email to Grady administrators.

But the gorgeous end result on Babchin and her adorable
companion Jazz wowed the crowd.

And while he declined to give us a peek inside his
gradebook, Martinez told Intel at the post-show cocktail reception: “Judging
from the expression on my face, you can probably guess what final grades my
kids will be receiving on their fashions tonight.”