Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nashville Fashion Week: Day 2

I’m bummed I wasn’t able to attend any of the day boutique events, but my day was outta control busy. I’m lucky I was able to even go to the runway show last night! And speaking of last night…

I only made it to the Rymer Gallery for the cocktail reception for a half a glass of wine before NFW crew came into the art gallery announcing the show as about to start. I skipped across the street, stood in line for about thirty minutes, then found my seat on the front row. Last night’s venue was vastly different than the Pinnacle. The Arcade boasts two stories of retail space and art galleries that I must admit I’ve only ever been to during Art Crawls. But I thought it was a great place to hold a fashion show as the rectangular structure creates a natural, long runway. And now that I’ve said that, let me go ahead and state the obvious. It was absolutely, ridiculously, painfully, miserably cold. I think we were in the mid-30’s last night and with a two hour runway event held outside, not exactly the ideal fashion weather. Yes, it was terrible. Yes, my feet were numb by the end of the night. Yes, we were all unhappy. Ok, moving on.

As I mentioned, I was sitting in the front row, so I was actually able to grab some photos this time from my shotty camera. (Since, I have decided to break out the ‘good’ camera, no matter how silly it looks with my outfit.) I sat between one of my students and the most adorable little fashion blogger I’ve ever seen (Girl With the Flower). I assume she was a junior or senior in high school because after I told her mom I was a fashion teacher, we got into a conversation about the best fashion colleges to attend.

The runway show as supposed to start at 7:30 but didn’t get underway until around 8:30. Also, since I was sitting right on the runway, I was asked by NFW staff to sit with my legs crossed at the ankles or to the side, as crossed legs may get in the way of the models.

The first collection shown was Melissa Tabor, a Nashville based women’s wear designer. Pieces consisted mostly of dresses, skirts and tops in neutral color pallets of black, white, tan, and cream. I could see how Tabor’s clothes would be very sellable and universal across many target markets. I did like several of the pieces, but personally would have merchandised them up with a little more ridiculousness and flair. The audience seemed to respond well to this collection. Many of the looks would be great to wear to work or on a Friday night. I also loved the final look, which included a long white dress with a deep scoop neck and black sash around the waist. 

The next collection shown was Gado Gado by Belinda Kazanci presented by Posh Boutique. I’m just going to say it… I did not like this collection at all. According to the NFW booklet, this is “a line of contemporary styles with original prints, unique detailing and versatile pieces, inspired by the rich culture of Bali.” I’m not sure if I really saw any Bali in there, but the line mainly featured dressed made from cotton jersey. Although many members of the audience seemed to like the collection, I found many of the looks repetitive, sometimes thinking to myself, “Didn’t I just see that?” Also, I kept waiting for that ‘wow’ factor- that gotta have it excitement that made me want to buy. I just didn’t connect. With that being said, I could see how because of the utility of the fabric this could be a sellable collection that women would want to wear.

The next collection shown was Betsey Johnson presented by Green Hills Mall’s Betsey Johnson store. What is there really to say about these looks? Of course I, and the rest of the audience, loved it. BJ’s clothes are always youthful, fun, flirty, and a little rock and roll. Many of her dresses make me wish I could relive Junior prom and the rest of the clothes make me want to ride vespas to GiGi’s cupcakes with all my gal pals. The pieces shown were varied, consisting of fun prom-ish dresses in pink and blue color pallets, flirty sailor inspired dresses and suits in navy blue, and whimsical prints with hot blue, green, pink, and yellow guns. BJ also went a new silhouette direction with her pants including wrap down legs and all see through lace. I always find it interesting to see what the fun designer will come up with next. My heart did break a little though when the adorable girl next to me asked, “Where is Betsey Johnson? Is she here?” I told her that the clothes were presented by the BJ store and I didn’t think Betsey was here. She seemed crushed, and I did feel bad for the apparent confusion some people had regarding if it was actually Betsey herself showing or just store clothes. 

By the time the Betsey Johnson show ended, the crowd was starting to clear out. And if I wasn’t a die hard fashion fan, I might have joined them. After sitting in the cold for a good two hours or so, I couldn’t really blame them. I did actually see one guest leave the audience and come back with a blanket I think she retrieved from her car.

Ben Sherman was next show and presented by Posh Boutique. I love Ben Sherman and wish I could dress every man I know in his clothes. Absolutely clean, classic, preppy, and utterly sexy. And the male models were lucky this evening because the collection featured long jeans and cropped pants, button up shirts, timeless coats and jackets, and even a puffy vest or two. As most of the collections by designers shown featured garments for spring and summer, I was a little confused by the season of this collection. Is this for next fall? Last fall? Either way, I was totally digging these looks. 

Last and most importantly was the T. Rains collection. If you left the show because of the cold, you definitely missed out. I’ve been a fan of Heatherette for a long time now, but had never delved into T. Rains’ collection. THIS is where it was at! As soon as the first model turned the corner I leaned over to my student and said, “THIS is what I’ve been waiting for all week!” I didn’t necessarily mean T.Rains’ collection itself, but I wanted to see something ridiculous. Something avant garde. Something you would expect to see at a fashion week. And seriously, this dude delivered! The collection was absolutely absurd in the most amazing way possible. EVERYONE had their cameras out for these looks. I’m not even sure how to describe them. Gay cowboy meets Indians meets fur trappers meets the cast of Party Monster. Yeah… actually, I think that’s a pretty good description. Crazy prints, tiny panties, boatloads of fur and feathers, and a giant blue and purple headdress that caused an immediate gasp of the audience. This collection was obviously my most favorite of the night, even though I don’t know if I’d ever wear any of it. But it was like viewing a crazy walking art show in thirty degree weather.

I really liked this shot with the photographers in the background.

Here it comes...

Love this pic of this model.

How ridiculous was this?!?!

View a great video of the T.Rains show from the Tennessean here. Annnndd, you can see me and my bright blonde hair in just about every shot!

Immediately after the show, the crowd dispersed, rushing to warm cars and even warmer homes. And I’ve very much anticipating the events tonight including the showcase of Christian Siriano! Ayyyeeeohhhh!!!