House of Ruth's Crabaret

If Ayana Lugo's large metal cuffs bring to mind Wonder Woman, that's exactly what the 38-year-old Mt. Vernon resident intended when she put together her outfit for Crabaret, the annual summer party that raises money for House of Ruth Maryland programs that serve victims and families of intimate-partner violence. The executive assistant to the president of Premier Rides -- the Baltimore-based company that creates amusement park rides and attractions -- had just been researching the comics superhero that day. She became inspired by those magical cuffs and by the character's origins in Greek mythology. But Wonder Woman's wasn't the first "uniform" to inspire Lugo's style. She says sometimes she gets fashion inspiration from sports figures' styles. "I love sports...I ran track through college. I love track and field uniforms over uniforms of any other sport," she says. "People remember [1980s track and field star Florence Joyner] Flo-Jo, when she did the one leg on and one leg off [uniform]. Women track athletes do their nails in crazy ways. There's so much fashion on the track of track and field, that -- on top of loving the sport -- I was motivated to stay in it because of the fashion. It's awesome." HER STYLE: "Probably a little more over-the-top than necessary. I don't mind standing out a little bit." HER ENSEMBLE: S-Twelve crystal and grommet-embellished multi-color print maxi-dress she bought in Las Vegas three years ago. Hammered brass double crescent earrings she got in Puerto Rico. Mixed metal multi-band cuff she found at a boutique in New York City. Large enamel and metal cuff she bought from an artist in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Gucci baguette bag that was gift. Gold ankle bracelet and wedge thong sandals decorated with brass plates, both gifts from her mom. THE SECRET TO HER STYLE: "I almost always add one additional accessory when an additional accessory is not necessarily necessary. That's me." NEVER NAMBY-PAMBY: "I'm motivated by strength. I work out. I believe in women being strong and keeping themselves up and together."
Photo by Karen Jackson, for the Baltimore Sun
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