Style Week wrap-up

Our fashion correspondent Courtney Anderson brings us this report from the final nights of Providence’s home-grown fashion show, which took place over the weekend:
StyleWeek’s sixth night of shows led with Providence-based label Phillip Sawyer. Designer couple Phillip and Ahn Sawyer created a sleek, simple, super wearable collection for their Fall/Winter 2011 show. Think lots of sportswear-inspired pieces – collared shirts and slacks for the guys, pencil skirts and cropped pants for the ladies, and structured jackets for all – with a hint of the unexpected (loved the tutu-esque skirt and lace top combo).
Following that was the always-popular Jessica Abernethy. I love clothes that take their influence from bygone eras, and Jessica’s clothes were a straight forties throwback with just enough edge to keep them modern. The models even came down the runway wearing white turbans…took me right back to Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Swoon. 
Last was the “Emergence” runway show by Andrea Valentini (who knew she designed clothes?). Her avante garde style fused slouchy knits with leather for a very unique aesthetic. Her textured handbags and chunky jewelry completed the models’ looks.
And then it was day seven…so sad! The seventeenth floor of the Biltmore was wall-to-wall with people on the much anticipated last evening of shows. Everyone, buyers, sponsors, spectators, celebrity guests, were anxiously awaiting what the three featured designers – Joseph Aaron Segal, Daniela Corte and, especially Jonathan Joseph Peters – had in store. After a bit of a slow start, with the crowd packed in, the lights dimmed, the runway lit up and the evening was off. First up, Segal, was an amazingly creative knitwear show (apparently he makes all the fabrics himself). Models donned super exaggerated chunky knits in a rainbow of neon. Footwear was just as interesting: sweater booties and suede wedges bedazzled with neon studs…amazing. It was literally walking art.
The audience went wild for Daniela Corte’s uber-feminine seventies-inspired show. The label’s looks were so sexy and figure-flattering, I think every woman in the room coveted at least one outfit. My personal favorite was shift dress composed of navy blue and gray horizontal panels, with a sheer strip of fabric about mid thigh.
And then it was the moment all were waiting for. Jonathan Joseph Peter’s TD Bank-sponsored show had a fem-bot theme that he took from head to toe. Models sported metallic helmets, platinum blonde wigs and eye masks. Plastic was incorporated into the clothes as well, in embellishments, straps and waistlines. Beyond those elements, there were few similarities. Some looks were more structured, either strong shoulders and cinched in waists, others featured lots of draping. The finale look was a tiered gown made of hand-dyed green silk, a satisfyingly dramatic way to end the week. Let the countdown to June begin.