The Latest StyleWeek Featured Crafty Student Designers and Festival Ballet Dancers

The night also involved four runway shows by established local designers including Alexandra Renee Bianchi, Anna Lemley, Tatyana Ayriyan and Zoe Grinfeld.

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StyleWeek returned to the Capital Grille patio in Providence last night with a series of six shows. It kicked off with the SEED Student Design Challenge featuring the work of Lincoln School high school students, followed by an emotionally moving presentation by Festival Ballet Providence dancers and four runway shows by established local designers including Alexandra Renee Bianchi, Anna Lemley, Tatyana Ayriyan and Zoe Grinfeld. We took in every moment from the front row, while applauding some of the guests’ fashion choices as well as the featured looks on the models.

Lincoln School high school students once again commanded the SEED Student Design Challenge using repurposed materials to create beautiful dresses, bodices, skirts and pants. Materials included plastic sheeting, garbage bags, newspapers, magazines, paper towel rolls, compact disks, a whole lot of duct tape and more. The winner was Sophie Rockwell who designed this two-piece halter and skirt in aquamarine and navy.

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Sophie Rockwell won the SEED Student Design Challenge with this look. All photography by Myke Yeager Photography.

Here are more student designs featured in the SEED Student Design Challenge.

Festival Ballet Providence

Next up was a musical performance by Josh Knowles on the violin with vocals followed by an interpretative dance with Festival Ballet Providence dancers moving to the beat of drums with the beautiful Superman Building and State House as the backdrop.

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Then four established designers, including Alexandra Renee Bianchi, Anna Lemley, Tatyana Ayriyan and Zoe Grinfeld led a sequence of runway presentations.

 

Alexandra Renee Bianchi

You might remember Alexandra Renee Bianchi from winning the SEED Student Design Challenge seven years ago with her wedding dress made out of coffee filters. It was one of the most memorable SEED designs ever, and it still stands out in my mind to this day. Alexandra finally made her return to the runway, executing classic gowns for any sophisticated event as well as dresses with sensual details for those who dare to bare. Some of the dresses had high-low hemlines (my favorite is that royal blue sexy number) and others exhibited swan-like grace in monochromatic white with feathery details.

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Alexandra Renee Bianchi’s winning SEED design from seven years ago.

Alexandra Renee Bianchi’s current collection:

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Anna Lemley

Pittsburgh-based designer Anna Lemley went with simpler looks in solid colors of white and black and a splash of emerald green, allowing midriff hemlines and cutout details to be the focus of each design. She is inspired by the minimalist aesthetic, letting each woman stand out on her own through clean lines and form-fitting silhouettes.

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Tatyana Ayriyan

Tatyana Ayriyan always presents a prolific and elegant runway show that astounds the audience with the amount of sheer work she contributes to StyleWeek. These classic, sophisticated looks are meant for every woman who wants to keep it conservative but with just a touch of sex appeal. Less is more, in my opinion, and we all agree that her designs inject just enough mystery, which is 100 percent fire. Me and my friends all agree that we would wear Tatyana’s blouses and dresses out for a night on the town.

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Zoe Grinfeld

Zoe Grinfeld’s show was the most fun of the evening with garments that channel a 1970s David-Bowie-esque flair. I sat on the edge of my seat, trying to spot the materials she sewed together to create dresses, pants and tops. I saw everything from a jewelry box full of Grinfeld’s grandmother’s brooches fastened to a top and jacket (she recently passed away and this collection paid homage to her through incorporating her things) with a repurposed tablecloth skirt to a collection of swinging keys hanging off a dress like tassels. There were dozens of colorful, retro neckties sewed together to create an entire dress. Heard from the audience: “It’s like every single person was made to wear each look.” The cool thing is that each and every item Grinfeld repurposed to create a new, cohesive look could probably tell a story. Each necktie was worn by someone else at some point, and each piece of jewelry may have been worn by her grandmother or another person at a different point in time. Grinfeld must have hunted for brooches, neckties and keys at thrift stores and garage sales for years to amass enough materials for her incredible collection. Her search proved worthwhile.

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