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She Was Style Incarnate

October 11, 2012 - Phyllis Sigal
I was saddened this morning to see Marjorie Lyon's obituary in the newspaper.

I have so many fond memories of that wonderful lady, and am sorry it's been so long since I visited her at Elmhurst. She passed away last week at the Home of the Good Shepherd.

I first met Marjorie at Stone & Thomas in downtown Wheeling when I was Lifestyles editor at The Times Leader. She was my contact when I worked on our bridal section or would do any stories on fashion. She was THE WOMAN when it came to style.

Her tiny office was tucked away in the corner of the third floor. It was always crowded with fashion magazines and articles of clothing and accessories.

She worked at S&T for 26 years, and among other jobs, she was the buyer for the Women's French Room. That was the upscale department at the top of the escalator on the third floor, where designer clothes could be purchased for a pretty penny, and service was second-to-none. I remember once trying on a suit for $800 to wear in a fashion show — a St. James Knit. It was gorgeous.

As fashion coordinator and special events coordinator, she took care all the style shows. She would pick out the outfits and coordinate the events as they happened — no easy job with a lot of women wearing several outfits in each show.

One of the biggest shows she was involved with was the Wheeling Symphony's "Symphony in Style" show that was held at the Capitol Music Hall for many years. It was the premiere fashion event in town, with elaborate set design and several clothing categories, such as work, leisure and formal wear.

Marjorie plucked the best models from the Ohio Valley for that show — non-professionals, but as professional as they come.

She knew her stuff; she knew what looked good with what, and what looked perfect on whom.

I still remember her telling me that a woman should NEVER wear control-top pantyhose. "That fat has to go somewhere," she'd say, meaning it usually came over the top of the pantyhose, forming just another unwanted bulge.

Nope, she didn't mince words. Marjorie was straightforward and told it like it was. And that was just one more thing to love about her.

It wouldn't surprise me if she's putting stylish belts around all the angels' robes up in heaven right now. Probably hemming them to a proper length, as well. And she'll be dressed to the nines.

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