Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nashville Fashion Week: Day 4

Last nights shows concluded day 4 of Nashville Fashion Week. This time the event was held at the War Memorial Auditorium downtown.

As all of the shows have started nearly an hour late, I arrived to the event around 7:20. A reception was held outside in the mezzanine of the Auditorium. Wine and hors d’oeuvres were served and as luck would have it, space heaters kept me warm most of the night. (Wish we would have had some of those at the Wednesday night show!) When the doors opened around 7:50 or so, there was a bit of confusion on which line guests should stand in. By the time the confusion was over and I entered the auditorium all of the front row seats had been taken. However, I snatched up the perfect third row end seat (with no chairs in front of me) that I knew would be a perfect angle for taking photographs. 

The angle that I’m standing is where models came out. They would circle the centerpiece, gliding between rows of audience members and return to the door they emerged from. I sat on the right side of the picture next to the man wearing the black coat.  

Before the show started around 8:30, I grabbed a glass of wine and chatted with a few guests, even posing for a picture for some girls fashion blog. As I waited for the show to start I got to really notice the venue. I’ve only been to the War Memorial once for a Mumford & Sons show, but this was a fantastic location to host a fashion event. I loved the minimal runway centerpiece, lighting, dj spinning hypnotic beats, and seating layout. The arrangement gave all guests optimal viewing of the garments. The whole thing had a very sophisticated vibe.

First designer: Coquette. According to the NFW booklet, “Coquette swimwear by Brooke Shipley is a combination of vintage elegance and modern design that comes together to create one-of-a-kind garments that reflect the uniqueness of the women who wear them.” First, I really like the idea of seeing a swimwear collection this week- it was different than anything else we’ve seen. Second, I just loved this collection. The silhouettes and garment structures were sexy with a wave of retro class. Color pallets included black, white, online gray, metallic silver, blush pink, and neon orange. I adored many of the high-waisted swimsuit bottoms and flirty triangular tops. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about, from a practical perspective, was the cut of the swimsuit bottoms on the rear. I didn’t snap a picture of it, but about 90% of the bottoms cut up, showing a good 3” – 6” of the model’s rear end. Now, for a runway show with teeny tiny models, this is fine, but for the average customer, maybe not so much. I really liked this collection and enjoyed Shipley’s merchandising strategies, pairing the swimsuits with luxurious oversized hats and draping gold jewelry. 

Second designer: Norma Clare. I liked this collection. While there were a few pieces that weren’t my style, I found myself wanting to immediately purchase several of the looks. These vintage inspired garments had clean lines and even cleaner silhouettes. Dresses, tops, skirts, shorts, and rompers in a color pallet of white, sheer pink, dusty rose, cream, light gray, and silky blue were featured. My favorite looks from this collection were sheer tops with shorts, an adorable dusty rose romper, and a gray printed long sleeved dress that would look fantastic on me. I just know it! I appreciated the detailing and silhouette structure of these looks; many of these pieces would work well on a multitude of body types. Too often I see beautiful looks on the runway that I adore, but ultimately know would not look right on me. Norma Clare’s clothes were wearable and universally appealing across several marketable demographics.

Third designer: Juliana Bass. Again, some of the pieces didn’t appeal to me, but the rest of the looks… oh my god. I died. Loved this designer who was selected as a designer to watch by both Women’s Wear Daily and New York magazine. And I can see why. These garments were ridiculously sexy in a total classic and non-smutty kind of way. Dresses, tops, leggings, and skirts were featured in a varying color pallet of black, tan, gold, turquoise, and deep blue. I also appreciated the merchandising strategies behind these looks and the beautiful jewelry and shoes paired with each outfit. I died for the first dress with j. crew-ish tights, the chunky gold necklace on the second model, the flirty white top and black polka dot bow, and the stunning gold dress on the final model. I really enjoyed this collection.


Fourth designer: Katharine Kidd presented by Gus Mayer. This collection was a little too sophisticated for my design aesthetic and there were only three dresses that I would want to wear. With that being said, this was a great collection with an even better crowd response. The tops, pants, dresses, and skirts featured had a dark color pallet of blacks, and deep grays with pops of blue, dusty rose, and muted tan.  Lace, rouching, draping, and criss-crossed patterns were featured on most of the looks. And when the insanely beautiful white dress emerged, the crowd clambered with excitement and several audience members clapped. I would die for this dress. Oh my god…. I also loved the last few dresses shown, including the beautiful construction the designer came out with at the end. Gah. Garments like this made me wish a) I had them, and b) I had somewhere to wear them. Stunning.

Fifth designer: Gustavo Cadile presented by Gus Mayer. According to the NFW booklet, “Cadile’s designs are a collection of late day and evening gowns that combine the spirit of Argentine glamour with European sensibility and American style. Celebrities and fashion personalities such as Catherine Zeta Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Queen Latifah, January Jones and Vanessa Williams are wearing his clothes.” These gowns were definitely celeb-worthy. Utilizing a wide color pallet, this collection featured dresses in hues of blue, green, cream, white, bright red, light purple, black, and fuchsia. I really liked several of the pieces shown, but again run into the dilemma of “Where would I wear this!?” There was also one v-neck bright red dress with an utterly sexy slit up the skirt that reminded me of a Valentino dress I saw about a year ago. Classic. 

I capped off the night mingling with some new and old friends at “Homegrown Nashville,” the after party at Nashville Farmers Market presented by Imogene + willie. 

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