StyleWeek Northeast: Jess Abernethy, Maria Del Carmen Mercado and Marcel Plante

Opening night kicked off with wearable separates, stunning gowns and avant-garde dresses.


Opening night of StyleWeek Northeast: January 2013 kicked off with wearable separates, stunning gowns and avant-garde dresses by local designers.

Jess Abernethy

Resident StyleWeek Northeast designer Jess Abernethy changed up her aesthetic this season by featuring mod looks in bold colors and patterns, accented by florals. Inspired by the 1970's film Mad Max and a futuristic theme, she sent models in edgy platinum blonde wigs down the runway. Some of my favorite pieces included a high-necked black and white dress with a sharp diagonal pattern, an extreme high-waisted yellow and black pencil skirt and a pair of glossy copper leggings paired with a beautifully tailored white coat that ties in the front. I also liked the black leather animal skin embossed dress with brown satin skirt. All of Abernethy's looks are wearable for the working woman who likes to follow her nine-to-five gig with a night on the town.

Maria Del Carmen Mercado

Maria Del Carmen Mercado’s work is worthy of awards season. I could just see one of her vivid green or magenta evening gowns floating down the red carpet at the Golden Globes or Oscars and being bombarded by paparazzi and E! television reporters. Every MDCM show is more impressive than the previous season. This one sent models down the runway to the sounds of a simple bongo drum, and each woman walked with an air of confidence and pride. The green ruffled gowns with asymmetrical skirts were my favorite, but the magenta number was also a showstopper. Up close, you can see the craftsmanship and care taken with the sewing. Every hem was immaculate, and they fit the models perfectly.


Marcel Plante

The crowd was ready for a thrill by the time Marcel Plante readied his looks backstage. Last year, he featured jaw-dropping androgynous models that commanded the ballroom by the force of his incredible talent (see Casey Nilsson's post here). Plante’s cache is the avant-garde, and this time he chose all-female models, decking them out in drag makeup and fitted, sexy cocktail dresses with unusual necklines in colors of red, black and gold with plenty of animal print, leather and fur embellishments. Each woman wore a gag around her mouth; a statement to let the fashion speak for itself? One dress even featured a black rope twirling around the waist and up the body, the beginning of which ended up like a noose around the model’s neck. My favorite dresses included a red leather number with a serpentine shape around the chest, like a snake’s tongue. Another hit included the leopard print dress with unusual shoulder cutouts and long sleeves, paired with a fur stole. The creative furry jackets resembled unruly gorilla fur. Maybe Plante visited the Roger Williams Park Zoo for inspiration? Either way, we loved it. Plante’s talent is tremendous, and we hope to see him take it to the next level in the near future.

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