StyleWeek Celebrates Ten Years with Masked Fashion Show

The SEED Student Design Competition and Kent Stetson were the featured runway shows for the tenth anniversary of StyleWeek.

Kent Stetson’s runway show. Photo by Myke Yeager.

StyleWeek Northeast celebrated a decade of fashion in Providence last week with a socially-distant and masked runway show held outdoors on the patio of the Capital Grille in Providence.

The audience was smaller than usual and the event was one night only due to current COVID-19 restrictions, but the intimacy of the gathering brought greater meaning to the ten-year-anniversary celebration of New England’s premiere fashion week. Founded in 2009, StyleWeek Northeast (SWNE) is a professional production of fashion runway shows that focuses on the business of fashion by promoting art and design while making an economic impact on Rhode Island.

“Thank you to those who could attend and to those who watched our live stream of our SEED Student Design Challenge with the Lincoln School and for Kent Stetson’s awesomely artistic runway show,” says StyleWeek founder and CEO Rosanna Ortiz on Instagram. “Thank you to all for the past ten years and for all those who supported and believed in me.”

StyleWeek kicked off with the presentation of a Style award in memory of Stephanie Elizabeth Anderson, who died after an illness this summer. The award was presented to Ting Barnard, owner of Ting Barnard’s Studio, who has always been a huge supporter of StyleWeek and its emerging and established designers and the StyleWeek SEED Student Design Challenge.


The StyleWeek SEED runway show. Photo by Myke Yeager.

Audience members enjoyed the SEED runway show presented by students from the Lincoln School in Providence. Aspiring designers used recycled and repurposed materials, including plastic netting, tin foil, duct tape, streamers, vinyl records and more to create beautiful wearable art. The “SEED Student Design Challenge” is part of StyleWeek’s annual presentation and it is dedicated to the advancement of emerging student designers. The competition is part of the STEAM-based course, the Art of the Assemblage class at the Lincoln School, and it focuses on the engineering of fashion. The night’s winning design was created by London Cambra.

View a gallery of images from the runway shows.

After the SEED Show, creative handbag designer Kent Stetson presented “Grey Areas,” an artful collaboration of film, music and fashion rolled into a videography presentation that was produced by Ian Travis Barnard. The film showed Kent’s trademark handbags transformed into wearable art. Models emerged from a blighted urban wonderland wearing garments that resemble drapy leather bags and envelope clutches sporting some of Stetson’s most popular graphic designs, including doughnuts, neon graffiti, martinis and more. “All of the pieces for Grey Areas were made using remnant materials that I dug out while cleaning during quarantine,” says Stetson in an Instagram post.

For the runway show, he sent many of the same designs featured in the film down the runway, but also added some delightful surprises. Stetson channeled Ruth Bader Ginsburg with one look that featured a black-and-white beaded and chain neckpiece paired with a robe and matching wig. He also had models breaking out of beaded door frames, paintings and canvases. Paintings and digital prints were Stetson’s original medium before he became a coveted handbag designer. He simply turned the canvases from his paintings into handbags. His very first bag was constructed from a digital print of a blue sky with white, puffy clouds that he admired while lounging in a hammock and vowing to quit his job and change his life forever. There was no looking back and he continues to move forward pushing boundaries with every year that passes. Cheers to StyleWeek for helping to make that happen and for launching so many successful designers’ careers in fashion.


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