Emceeing the biggest fashion event in the city

| August 10, 2011
Pictured: The Voice-Tribune’s Angie Fenton, who will emcee Best Dressed 2011. Styling by Douglas Riddle. Hair design: Stephen Lewis, of J Michael’s Spa & Salon; makeup: Jill Higginbotham, of J Michael’s; Sherri Hill gown courtesy of Glasscock; earrings courtesy of Canoe. Best Dressed committee: Douglas Riddle, Tracy Blue, Lauren DePaso, Lori Kommor and Ron Wolz.

Pictured: The Voice-Tribune’s Angie Fenton, who will emcee Best Dressed 2011. Styling by Douglas Riddle. Hair design: Stephen Lewis, of J Michael’s Spa & Salon; makeup: Jill Higginbotham, of J Michael’s; Sherri Hill gown courtesy of Glasscock; earrings courtesy of Canoe. Best Dressed committee: Douglas Riddle, Tracy Blue, Lauren DePaso, Lori Kommor and Ron Wolz.

The Voice-Tribune’s Best Dressed of Louisville Presented by Churchill Downs will be even more spectacular than in years past – which is no small feat. But choosing the right person to emcee our signature event? That was simple.

Angie Fenton is no stranger to the stage and will, for the second time, lend her voice to Best Dressed. As this publication’s managing editor and chief writer, she has interviewed hundreds of people, but this time we turned the tables on her to find out what it takes to emcee the biggest fashion event in the city.

What does emceeing Best Dressed mean to you?
So much. I take emceeing any event seriously, but to know my bosses, Jonathan and Tracy Blue, and the Best Dressed committee trust me with the responsibility is incredibly humbling. They could pick anyone to take on the hosting duties, but they’ve chosen me. That’s really special.

How do you prepare to emcee such an event?
You listen to the committee. I sat down with Douglas Riddle for over an hour going over all of the details about the production of the show and got goosebumps just listening to all that is going into this Best Dressed. It’s going to be fabulous – seriously – and I’m not just saying that because I’m supposed to. It really, really is.

Almost daily, I’ll ask Tracy (Blue), Lauren DePaso, Lori Kommor or Ron Wolz what’s new with the event or seek their insight. I’ve already dreamt about it multiple times, which is good. I do that a lot with work and big events – I’ll dream about them really vividly and sometimes wake up feeling like they were real. I think that is how I get comfortable, though I’ve yet to emcee an event that didn’t at least cause me to feel a bit of nervous energy, which is just fine. It keeps me on my toes.

Will you have a co-host?
Craig Stevenson and I co-emceed last year, but this time around he’s decided to sit in the audience and cheer on his friend, Matt Weber, and the other nominees. Can you blame him? He’s going to have a ball, and he should.

What is it like being in front of the crowd? Are you intimidated?
In a word: It’s electric. Tracy likes me to help out and greet guests well before the show begins, which is always so much fun because I love the fashion and I love the people. Everyone is dressed their best, and they know they’re about to experience something amazing while supporting Dress for Success Louisville, a really important charity. Saying hello to guests helps me to gage their collective energy, which I then try to play off of when I’m on stage.

Is it intimidating? Only a few close friends know I get a little edgy before a really big event or TV appearance and prefer to keep to myself. On Aug. 27, I’ll get up and do my weekly radio bit with Ron and Mel Fisher on 84WHAS like I have for several years, and then I won’t talk to anyone if I don’t have to until the event. I’ll run my dogs in Cherokee Park, I’ll fuss around the house with little errands, I’ll do last minute prep, and then I’ll take some time to feel grateful for the experience I’m about to have, because I genuinely am. That always eliminates the intimidation factor. My job is all about giving kudos: I get to spotlight our sponsors, announce the nominees and winners and then thank people for coming. I get to play a small part in ensuring our guests have a great night. There’s no reason to feel intimidated. Once I’m at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, I’ll have my game face on and no matter what happens, I’ll stay cool. At least on the surface. (Laughs.)

What are you wearing to Best Dressed?
Geez Louise, I have no idea! I’ll wear one outfit walking around greeting people, one outfit on stage and one outfit to go out after it’s all done. I’ve been working out like a madwoman with my trainer Bert Kremer of ProFormance to increase my strength and overall health, mostly, but there’s a superficial part of me that just keeps thinking about what I’m wearing to Best Dressed when I’m doing squats and pushing weighted sleds. (Laughs.) I make no apologies about that; at least it keeps me motivated. I am best dressed when I forget about what I’m wearing and can focus on the task at hand. That can happen whether you’re wearing a tiny dress and stilettos, a pair of overalls – yes, I wear them on occasion – or a $20,000, skintight, hand-beaded evening gown. That’s all I’m concerned about for Best Dressed 2011, that I find something to wear that makes me feel like the best version of me, because then you forget about yourself and can focus on everyone else.

photo by Josh Merideth | contributing photographer

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