StyleWeek Season 21 Delivered an Avant-Garde Atmosphere and Spicy Heat
Designers Hope MacDonald, Tatyana Ayriyan, Amy Page DeBlasio and Jacqueline Monez of JACQUELABEL presented their collections on the Capital Grille catwalk.
From avant-garde showstoppers and sexy and sophisticated menswear to floral, flirty dresses and edgy jogger sets with matching evening gowns, StyleWeek season twenty-one had looks for everyone. The four runway shows were presented outdoors by local and regional designers last week on the Capital Grille patio in Providence.
The runway presentation included collections from experienced designers Hope MacDonald, Tatyana Ayriyan and Amy Page DeBlasio, who have all previously shown with StyleWeek, as well as a StyleWeek runway debut by Jacqueline Monez of JACQUELABEL, who recently graduated from Mass Art and previously participated in StyleWeek’s SEED student design competition.
The biannual fashion event has hosted three “micro-fashion” runway presentations outdoors at the Capital Grille amid the pandemic, but plans to return to the Rhode Island Convention Center in 2022 with a five-day schedule of fashion shows.
“Having our StyleWeek micro-events at the Capital Grille has become such a wonderful tradition. This event allowed us to continue to keep fashion alive in our city during the pandemic,” says Rosanna Ortiz, president and founder of StyleWeek. “Watching our community come together and celebrate and support these designers is the entire reason for these events. Celebration, community and art.” styleweeknortheast.com
Jacqueline Monez’s avant-garde creations under her line, JACQUELABEL, wowed the crowd with molded bodices that accentuated curves combined with flowing, romantic fabrics. Other looks were structural wonders that looked like orchids and flowers in bloom. “My collection was focused on fairy tale daydreams using a futuristic approach of fashion,” says Monez. “I used pleated fabrics, molded top breastplates and incorporated laser-cutting.” We can see a celeb working her designs at a future MET gala. The designer is a Council of Fashion Designers in America (CFDA) Future Fashion Graduate 2021 and a graduate of Massachusetts College of Arts and Design with a BFA in Fashion Design and Fibers. Her show was presented by renowned local handbag designer Kent Stetson. jacquelabel.com
Tatyana Ayriyan’s collection is sophisticated and understated with crisp white dress shirts combined with navy or black trousers, tailored dresses and a faux leather corset that all put a sexier spin on menswear. “I like to add various details to my pieces that distinguish them from the classics. I like to use asymmetry in pieces, and also mix different types of fabrics together,” Ayriyan says. “It’s important to me that the products I make sit on a woman perfectly and underscore her identity. Ayriyan describes her work as “Classic high-end feminine style with a little modern twist,” and she uses fabrics like cotton, silk and chiffon to create her designs. Favorite looks included a black, sequined LBD (little black dress) with a plunging neckline and a hot red, off-the-shoulder cocktail number that channeled Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I also loved the floor-length navy, belted shirt dress with a thigh-skimming slit and puffy sleeves. tayriyan.com
Hope MacDonald’s medium is vibrant color. She is a painter who describes her designs as “wearable art designed for optimists.” The textiles in her collection were derived from a painting that she dreamed up during quarantine while living with her mother during the pandemic. The painting took two years to complete and is part of a series of bold and vibrant floral paintings “inspired by the concept of love and respect for the divinity and resiliency of plant life,” MacDonald says. From the painting, she created a vivid, tropical floral print in a color-combo of sky blue, cobalt and magenta as well as several other colorful versions of the painting, which she executed in a mirror repeat effect inspired by kaleidoscopes. She even included swimwear for men to complete the hang-ten vibe. “The goal for this collection was to celebrate my brand in my beloved hometown while showcasing the new pieces that I have available to order, all handmade in New York City,” she says. “The prints were created from my original painting, Hope is a Flower, which can also be purchased and re-printed on canvas in a variety of sizes.” Fabrics included sheer voile, shiny charmeuse and a suede microfiber. “I wanted to highlight the colors and details within the prints while also experimenting with texture,” she says. MacDonald’s collection is zero waste, American made and vegan. “It represents a commitment to my craft as a painter and designer, as well as a commitment to my customers to assist them in living boldly and consciously,” she says. instagram.com/hopemacdonald
Amy Page DeBlasio, also known as APD, sent modern looks down the runway featuring a mix of paisley and leopard prints, a custom APD graffiti print and green and brown jacquard fabric on everything from jogger sets to evening gowns. The ethical luxury design label was founded in 2017, and each piece is a wearable work of art with an edgy, urban attitude. DeBlasio put a lot of thought into the clothing, music and model interactions for her runway show. “I wanted the audience to be totally immersed in a curated and theatrical experience and really feel APD,” she says. She relied on her intuition to put together the presentation. “I go with my gut and try not to hold back,” DeBlasio says. “I wanted to create a fun and edgy, but sophisticated, intentional, cohesive and bold collection while staying true to my brand.” She showcased her custom APD Graffiti print on a windbreaker set and closing gown that both drew gasps from the audience. “These fabrics I chose look great on both men and women. I’m known for pairing different fabrics and textures together that most people wouldn’t think could work together in the same garment,” DeBlasio says. “What a great feeling to see my artwork come alive and my choice of prints and fabrics come together on that runway and have people react in such a positive and affirming way.” From cocktail dresses to jogger sets, prepare to be the colorful conversation piece in the room when wearing APD. amypagedeblasio.com
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