Editors’ Favorite Looks from StyleWeek Season 17
Collections from more than thirteen designers graced the runway over three nights in Providence.
StyleWeek Season 17 astounded guests September 19-21 with the SEED Student Design Competition and continued with shows from thirteen designers, spread out over three nights in Providence. The local fashion showcase was founded in 2009 and is known as New England’s premiere fashion week, held in the Creative Capital. StyleWeek founder and CEO Rosanna M. Ortiz and team dedicate the event to the growth of the designers as artists, and they focus on the business of fashion while boosting economic activity in the city. This year, StyleWeek took place on the third floor of the Rhode Island Convention Center, with an accessory showcase designed by Uniquely Chic Vintage and after parties taking place at Sarto and the Providence Place Rooftop.
Thursday, September 19
By Kaitlyn Murray
Reminding us that summer ain’t over till it’s over, Jeena Ercolini graced the runway with a number of sexy, skin-bearing styles, including high-waisted shorts and skirts, body suits and mini dresses. She also eschewed the “no white after Labor Day” rule, often mixing the classic (lack of) color with various shades of pink for an eye-pleasing design, and even brought us back a few decades with the incorporation of an ascot-sleeve combo and an all-velvet number paired with fishnets.
Tatyana Ayriyan has described her style as “Feminine on Modern Women,” and here, the proof was certainly in the patterns. Not only did she present a number of office-to-evening-ready looks (from mustard yellow maxis to floral-lined gowns to tastefully sheer blouses), but she also debuted a few chic garments for younger women to rock, as well.
Keeping in line with the Seed challenge that kicked off night one, Mikayla Frick followed up with a slew of daring designs. Between her clever uses of tulle, multiple translucent pieces, feminine twists on traditionally male accessories (see: dress fashioned out of ties), material extensions (see: balloon sleeves and trains added to shorts and pants) and contemporary takes on traditional dress slips, there wasn’t a wandering eye in the house.
Friday, September 20
By Grace Kelly
The 70’s penchant for flare-legged bodysuits combined with dazzling clubwear and sexy office attire in a stunning display from Angelica Timas. Models with tightly spun curls breezed down the runway with Tropicalia-inspired music guiding each step. Some of my favorite looks from this collection were the office attire pieces, which blended sexy with sophisticated, like in this black and white number. I love the contrast between the relaxed, comfy fit of the pants and jacket and the sexy, edgy corset. Paired with clean white loafers, and you’ve got a sophisticated but fun take on business casual. Another power-suit here in the middle, but this time in a lush peach tone. I love the trend-forward bike-short inspired pants.
The ’70s were a big influence in the pieces from Carissa Lynne Designs as well, but unlike Timas’ minimalist take, Carissa Lynne went with splashy, flower-power inspired looks. Flared pants, dramatic cuts and bright, summery colors abounded, like in this cute top with an almost kimono-esque shape to the sleeves (left). Beachwear was another focus of this collection, and this stunning dusty pink embroidered cover up (middle) made me wish fall wasn’t around the corner.
In contrast to the bright vibes from the first half of the show, round two was dark, serious and brooding. Christopher Rogers started with a poignant tribute to the gay men who lost their lives in the concentration camps, and this thread carried throughout his somber collection. The bass in the music thrummed through spectators’ bodies as models exhibited a bold collection that towed the line between fashion and art. This first look blended what looks like a priest’s cassock with platform shoes, an austere introduction to the collection.
Devinto rounded out the show with a Victorian-goth vibe that reminded me of Tim Burton’s cartoon noir film, Corpse Bride. Neck-bows and hip frills added flounce and flair while models pointedly dropped their disintegrating white flower bouquets at the end of the runway. This first look added sepia lace to a simple black frock and shorts.
Saturday, September 21
By Jamie Coelho
Zoe Grinfeld’s Vegas casino games-inspired collection included cocktail dresses embellished with a deck of cards and colorful dice, plus a full-length gown sewn with play money and a chain mail top with dangling dice. The designer is a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design studying Apparel Design, and at age fifteen, she won Lifetime’s teen design competition, “Project Runway: Threads.” Since then, she’s been bringing loud and proud looks to wearable streetwear, and putting a creative spin on her lively fashion shows. During this presentation, models rolled giant inflatable dice down the runway.
This Boston designer specializes in custom creations inspired by 1920’s silhouettes modernized for contemporary times. From long flowing gowns to high-low dresses, there’s a piece for every formal occasion. We loved Pasqual’s ombre gowns that begin with bold shades of cobalt or fuchsia and fade to white. Take note brides: We could imagine an epic, cityside wedding with bridesmaids rocking these gowns that they would actually wear again.
Brianna Moon returned to StyleWeek Season 17 after showing two collections in 2010. Her eco-friendly, vibrant designs range from custom work to ready-to-wear including everything from short mini dresses to matching crop top and pants and shorts sets. Her runway show took on a Parisian element with French music, a model holding a chihuahua, feminine details and expert tailoring. Colors featured bright citrus orange, lime green and hot pink as well as muted printed florals. Brianna Moon also designs jewelry and 5 percent of proceeds from her collection benefit the Sojourner House.
Lalla Bee always wows the crowd with her impeccable dresses and gowns that incorporate luxurious fabrics and showstopping patterns. We are in love with every look, including a vivid floral printed shift dress, a pink sateen cocktail dress and this full-length baby blue gown with black sequined detailing. Lalla Bee finished her show off with a blue, peacock-inspired, shimmering number that flaunted its beauty in a classic silhouette that’s very wearable.
Anna Lemley is bringing fashion to the workplace with sleek menswear that’s made sexy through interesting cuts and pairings. Okay, maybe you wouldn’t wear the middle one to work, but the tweed fabric is certainly original for a neck-plunging romper. The rest of the minimalist collection includes trousers, calf-skimming coats and jackets and shorts in muted colors of black, grey, charcoal and sand. The expert craftsmanship is really the highlight here with classic garments that are made to last and styles that stand the test of time.
Peach Carr always brings an upbeat attitude to the catwalk, sending models wearing martini- and lobster-embellished jackets and skirts down the runway. This time around, the highlight is her gowns that can be worn with or without removable puffy sleeves to change up the looks. We love her evening wear with the most delicate patterns that are carefully sewn together. Carr was also a featured designer on season 8 and Season 2 All Stars of “Project Runway,” and Tim Gunn described her style perfectly as “Country Club Chic.”