The show was held at the Crane Center in Philadelphia. I arrived a little early to the event and could already feel the energy and hustle and bustle the second that I arrived. Models, designers and fashion show coordinators were rushing around everywhere, working to create the perfect fashion show. Doors opened at 7pm and the crowd mingled while getting photographed and getting drinks. The street style at the show was absolutely incredible- fur coats, rich shades of lipstick and drop-dead gorgeous shoes presided among the crowd. Unfortunately, I did not take many photos of the street style as my iPhone 4 wouldn't have taken photos that did the outfits justice. I would recommend browsing the hashtag #phillyfashionweek on Instagram for glimpses of the style at the show.
Around 7:45pm, they started seating people around the runway. My press access granted me front row at the show and it was an experience like never before. I have never attended a fashion week before so that experience was a new experience entirely but being seated front row? I can't imagine anything better. I was surrounded by fabulous, stylish people and hip music and in that moment of being seated, I knew that the fashion industry was the industry for me and that I would never be happy working anywhere else.
There were twelve designers who presented collections at the show: Walish Gooshe, Ian Alexander Women, J. Pratt, New Wine Apparel, LAS Swimwear, Mars & Venus, Ke' Collection, Ken Laurence, Bdescai, The JD Collection, Datari Austin London and K. Nicole. From the runway show, I sensed three major trends: 50s influenced silhouettes, color palette of red, black & white, and metallics. Below are a few photos and descriptions of my favorite collections.
Ian Alexander Women (photographed above.) This was by far my favorite collection. Ian Alexander utilized tropical colors in an artistic, watercolor manner that created several stunning pieces. Alexander also employed sheer panels, black & white contrast and words printed on the designs such as "GET IT LIFE."
The collection seems like a contradiction in itself. On one hand, there are pieces that emit a free-feeling, jungle/nature vibe and one the other hand, there are pieces that seem to represent modern city life. The bold orange and yellow colors as well as the painted branches represent the jungle while the harsh combination of black and white and strong use of line represent urban life and the tough daily grind. The juxtaposition of these two different styles is thought-provoking and provides for an incredible runway show and collection in general.
As kind of a side note, I also believe that Ian Alexander chose the best music for his runway show; he played the Hanging Tree Rebel remix by Jennifer Lawrence and it suited his collection perfectly.
LAS Swimwear (photographed above.) LAS Swimwear also sent one of my favorite collections down the runway. They sent a unique line of swimwear down the runway that relied heavily on shades of black, red and white. There was a distinct 50s/60s influence with retro cat-eye sunglasses and oversize daisies on all of the heels. This retro influence was combated with modern silhouettes and modern fabrics creating an interesting composition.
And speaking of those daisies on the heels, oh my gosh- the shoes are the first thing I noticed. Huge platform heels embellished with a large daisy scream "retro" and I don't think I've ever been more in love with a pair of shoes before.
New Wine Apparel (photographed above.) New Wine Apparel also relied on the use of black, red & white. Additionally, they wove metallics and several prints into their collection. The collection was composed of many different casual tops and bottoms such as graphic tanks and leggings. The use of graphic prints and words printed on their designs definitely creates a statement. "PAID IN FULL" and "HOLY" were a couple of the phrases printed on their designs. The designs combined religion and money to create a powerful statement.
BDescai (photographed above). BDescai definitely caught my eye; the collection relied on metallics, modern silhouettes and lustrous fabrics to create a modern, sophisticated feeling. Models also wore what can best be described as sparkly Tin Man hats that helped to portray an almost futuristic feeling.
Ke' Collection (photographed above.) Another one of my favorite collections. This collection is very feminine, luxurious and put-together. It is inspired by silhouettes of the 1950s and plays up that 1950s glam vibe with rich textures such as fur and leather. The collection revolved around neutral colors such as tans, grays and black. The two looks in the photos above are jaw-droppingly incredible. The lady-like first look is somewhat of a Morton Salt girl meets Chanel with the classic silhouette and rich textured fabric; the contrast creates an irresistible aesthetic and I can't stop staring at the photo. I fell in love with the second look because of the gigantic fur collar and vintage appeal.
K. Nicole (photographed above.) The show ended with K. Nicole's collection of lady-like, feminine pieces. Fabrics reminiscent of rich upholstery were used in her structured designs. Floor-length skirts and dresses dominated her collection. Like many of the other designs that night, K. Nicole relied on a neutral color palette.