Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seattle Fashion Week 2011: Finale Recap

Last week, I experienced one of the craziest days of my life and it has seriously taken me this long to recover. My day consisted of the following items but not in this order: child sized fruit kabobs, one red-eye flight, 2 quick trips into the city, soccer practice, a Well-baby check-up & Seattle Fashion Week 2011 Finale Night. To avoid all the stress that last Friday was I choose to focus on fashion. Seattle Fashion Week Finale Night ended my very hectic day and it was a welcomed respite from the craziness. At least for me it was. For everyone else, staff, models, crew, and make-up artist it was methodical madness. I have been on the other side of the fashion world and with this very same event. It gets intense to the last minute but this time I was merely an observer and it felt so good to be just that. I was able to take in the sights, sounds, emotions and glamour that make up what a fashion show is all about. Having time to allow all of the excitement to sink in, I was left with a few very important pearls on fashion that only Seattle Fashion Week would have the ability to do.
Brazilian designer Anna D. kicked off this year's show. Anna Diklhuber is a Seattle local and this years Comcast Student Designer Competition Winner. She was inspired by forest, leaves, anything nature and it’s relationship with modern technology. She says “ I am so obsessed with pockets. They are utilitarian and everyone carries their cell phones, iPhones, and everything so pockets are great." Anna D. was so greatful to have & very quick to point out her “supermodel,” Ashley Robinson wearing a gray mini dress with those signature floppy pockets and birds nest-like hair. I was able to interview this "star of the night," Seattle Storm starter Ashley Robinson. A very bproud Anna D. stated, "Doesn't she look like Grace Jones?" And she absolutely did. Just weeks away from WNBA training camp, Ashley Robinson was both excited and nervous for her first fashion show. ”I am not used to this much make-up but this was such a dream. Every girl dreams to be in the spotlight of fashion as a model. I am so thrilled to be working with Anna and being a part of this night.” Supported by fellow teammates Tanisha Wright and Camille Little, the 6’4” beauty handled the runway like the champ she is (The Seattle Storm are currently the WNBA Champions). Anna D.'s signature dress was reminiscent of a peacock with full-on flowing tail. It was lovely and is pictured at bottom of post.

Hair & make-up were done by Gene Juarez and, as always, was on point. They use their own amazing products which are made with all-natural ingredients boasting chemical-free properties. Being talc, fragrance, oil free, dye-free and non-comedogenic keeps the make-up
looking fresh for long periods of time which is especially helpful under the hot lights of the runway. They created large golden lit eyelids and these nesty bouffant hairdos working under the pressure of just minutes.Their design boards read like a fairy tale full of bold colors and Earth elements. Mother Nature was the the creator of all things fashion this night and I loved it. Gene Juarez’ very highly skilled staff was able to put a stylish twist on all things natural.

Tanya Friberg’s THE FINERIE showed her collection of luxury designers that are sold in her Seattle boutique. Wearable pieces were exhibited and my favorite shown here by designer Yoana Beroschi sells for $700. (Oh! pocket change...but honestly a steal for a piece like this) It is made from the most billowy-soft crinkled raw silk. It is so perfect for summer and brilliant for THE FINERIE to show this piece. It’s fabulous and feminine but also we see the return to the
natural elements with the silk. Boutiques are a dime a dozen and buyers have thousands of designers and styles to choose from. THE FINERIE has chosen local designer and celebrity Heili Aun Nalla’s line HEILYKE. With the intricacies of nature as inspiration, her creations abound with wear-ability and classic lines most notably her luxury jackets. THE FINERIE sells Heili’s designs further deepening the local connection. It takes a keen eye to obtain pieces like this to sell. Tanya Frieberg who was amazingly resourceful that night, in between calmly calling out hair & make-up countdowns, stated, “I try to find elegant pieces that are also wearable. Seattle has the ability to be as fashion forward as we want. At THE FINERIE, we try to focus on exquisite fashion and hand-select each piece in order to create inspirational and timeless wardrobes.”

Gabriel Choy, brought it in my opinion as only Seattle can. (Seen here with Fuze sponsor) Though I did not attend the Men’s Event, the women’s events that I did attend were beautifully run and I heard through the grapevine that Men's were the same. Choy was aided by the gorgeous gem that is Maile Cabral Edwards (not in photo) whose management company, Cabral Edwards Management, spearheaded the entire weeks events. She happened to be an amazing point of contact for the entire event & personally gave me my Press Pass. The collaboration CEM Management clearly worked. The chosen designers were locally based for the most part, and if not, stayed true to the ethical and creative characteristics that make Seattle fashion so unique. Yearly fashion shows take a lot of time, effort, support, sweat and tears but the end product is well worth it. Each year, Gabe manages to grow these series of events as they get stronger turnout and more engaging designs each time. The very fact that it is still produced is quite encouraging. Seattle has the ability to create a huge change in the fashion world as we have done before (where do you think flannel got it’s late 90’s cool factor?)

Fashion attendees sometimes seem a bit aloof. Insanely flashing light bulbs can be overwhelming and the runway fashions are usually not wearable or affordable. So why do we attend these shows & what do we learn from them? Besides the pulsating music...We attend to stay abreast of the ever changing fashions and see what pieces give us inspiration from season to season. Gene Juarez’ brightly colored style palette for Anna D., The House of Isaac Andrew’s (HOIA) leather trimmed slacks, and Alexandra Parry’s sky-high heels and solid black designs leave us with fresh new ideas for our own wardrobes.
In relation to shopping, Seattle Fashion Week brought my focus to what is important in choosing a wardrobe which is seeking out local, eco-conscious designers that maintain a very relevant and significant place in the fashion world. Looking beyond the mainstream of fashion not only keeps us up to date but also in tuned with the world, artists and designers around us.

Model line-up & Ashley Robinson photos by Joshua Trujillo for
Gabe/Fuze photo by Christopher Chapman
For more photos of Seattle Fashion Week go here.