So StyleWeek kicked off on Sunday and Courtney Anderson brings us this report:
StyleWeek Providence kicked off its second series of runway shows and other fashion-related events on Sunday night and I was lucky enough to attend. I went to several of the shows during the inaugural event in June, and what a difference six months makes. In addition to what I’m presuming is the benefit of more support in the form of donations and more companies eager to get behind an event that has already proven itself to be successful the first time around (although let the record show that RI Monthly was there from the beginning), the StyleWeek team has added Project Runway alum Jonathan Joseph Peters to their roster, and I’m guessing that it was his creative influence that was responsible for many of the changes that I saw last night. The most remarkable of those changes was location. Shows now take place in the grand ballroom at the Biltmore. Between the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer an (almost) 360-degree view of the surrounding city, the gilded ceiling and the chandeliers that hang over the runway, it was a truly impressive setting uniquely juxtaposed with the fashion coming down the runway. The staging had also been kicked up a notch, with an all white backdrop replacing June’s black velvet curtains, and a sleek frosted glass runway.
Three very different designers sent collections down the runway last night, which was a smart way to show the spectrum of local talent that will be presenting throughout the week. First up was Sam Mendoza. This time around he was all about the draping, which really shined in his gowns, long, flowing numbers in liquid silk that billowed out beautifully behind the models as they made their way down the runway.
The second show of the evening was presented by Avni. Her collection combined Indian and menswear influences, and included heavier wool separates, like jackets and shorts, as well as hand-dyed silk dresses, tunics and pants.
Lastly was Yellow Clover by Sarah Elizabeth, which was a favorite of many in the audience – not surprising considering that hers was by far the most straight-off-the-runway wearable of last night’s collections. The tone of her collection (super girly with lots of whimsical details) was clear from the moment the first look came out. The outfit, a black silk jacket and floral velvet skirt, was sweet, but became something special as the model passed by the front row and a panel of ruffles along the back of the skirt was revealed. I’m hoping that was just one of many sweet surprises to come this week.
Look for more updates here throughout the week!