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Cloe Cabrera

Cloe Cabrera is the fashion and beauty reporter for the Tampa Tribune, News Channel 8 and Watch her style segments Thursday mornings on News Channel 8 Today and follow her on Twitter at Hot Pursuits @CloeCabrera.

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Ben Chmura and friends get their party on at “Project Runway” premiere party!!!

Posted Jan 15, 2010 by Cloe Cabrera

Updated Jan 15, 2010 at 01:46 PM

Last night was the premiere party for “Project Runway” contestant Ben Chmura at Raw Bar Sushi in Tampa. Chumura was the host of the party and he really played the part. He laughed, chatted and posed for A LOT of pictures with friends and fans.

By the time the seventh season of the Lifetime reality show hit “Project Runway” aired on a 50-inch screen television, about 200 supporters of the hometown designer filled the Ashley St. sushi bar.

“It’s wonderful to see everyone here supporting me this way,” said Chmura, 30, of Tampa. “It’s really exciting.”

Chmura is one of 16 aspiring fashion designer contestants on the seventh season of the Lifetime reality-television show. And the first hometown favorite. He can’t divulge how he fares and hadn’t gotten an advanced peek at the premiere. He recorded it to watch at home since he spent most of the night mingling with family, friends and colleagues.

Among those making this must-see-TV were Chmura’s partner, Bobby Pappadeas, his former colleague from Neiman Marcas Linda Zipkin and CeCe Bythewood, one of his accessories designer,  Andrew Ashton and Steven Anderson of La Posh Salon in Clearwater and a lot of other folks you’ve seen around town before but you just can’t remember their names.

“He’s such a talent,” said Linda Zipkin. “A lot of people are talented, but their not nice. He’s very nice and he has a big heart. I really hope he wins.”

Making it on “Project Runway” was a long time coming for Chmura. He tried out three times before landing a spot. When the show got underway at 10 p.m., supporters cheered and applauded Chmura. He could feel the love!

Now all we can do is keep watching and keep our fingers crossed Chmura makes it work right up until the end and puts Tampa on the map for fashion.
Good luck, Ben!

Here are a few pix from the party!


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