Day 2 of Phoenix Fashion Week was full of pleasant surprises. So for this post I’m going to review the show from the end to the beginning, because it was the FINALE that blew my mind and really represented the epitome of fashion.
Friday night showcased 7 brands. ARAE, Cute Like Mad, Laura Tanzer, Lousy Rich, and Michi Knitwear were the Emerging Designers; while Dolcessa, Yen, and YAS Couture were the established designers in the evening wear category. Common elements throughout collections were: capes, trains, fringe, tye dye, hi-low hems, and mixed prints. Beyond that there was a variety of product, styles, color ways and detailing. I saw a little something for everybody. Now, as a luxury designer with a concentration in urban couture/luxury branding, I’m hard to impress because I’m hard on myself. Last night I was beyond impressed, I was inspired. But enough about me, I’ll blog about my personal experience after all the shows are over, let’s start with the established brands and talk about the showstopper; YAS Couture.
YAS Couture based in Kuwait is created by fashion designer Elie Madie. This collection was breathtaking. What set it apart from anything I had seen so far was the level of craftsmanship, and Mr. Madi pushes the envelope with his detailing and bling. YES honey these gowns had so much of what I lovem romance, elegance, superb fit, variety, color, beading, fringe, and Swarovski rhinestones, It was over the top, but marketable at the same time. I can easily see any one of these pieces on a celebrity red carpet. Prices ranging in the thousands, or even tens of thousands.
Short gowns, long gowns, rompers, onesies, open back, spaghetti strap, short sleeve, long sleeves, trains, capes, lace, piecing, and every color rhinestone/bead and fringe set on a nude base. Sheers, stretch satin, velvet, lace, and the sheer nude base made for a show stopping lineup. This was the most color I had seen on the catwalk all week. Deep burgundy, red, royal blue, black, yellow, green, white, metallic silver, and metallic goal came together in the opening few pieces and then staggered throughout the rest of the collection. The finale piece was a jaw dropping strapless white wedding gown with a rhinestone encrusted bodice and full balloon skirt with rhinestones that tapered back into a train; and she came out to my favorite song “Fantasy” by Alina Baraz. I couldn’t have been more pleased and speechless. The detailing was flawless, and even on the dresses without bling, Bukey created a 2d effect that gave the pieces a futuristic feel. The ladies looked like glammed out superheroes, but Elie Madi has definitely become this girl’s superman. Kudos to YAS Couture.
The man himself Elie Madi
Yen was a collection out of Dubai that also had beautiful gowns with rhinestones, pearls, lace, sheers, trains and some 2d detailing. Neutral color ways like black and white dominated but these pieces also contained exceptional structure, fit, and elegance.
Dolcessa Swimwear of Las Vegas was last year’s winner of the Emerging Designer Award. This brand is international and has been featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Bright color ways combined with peacock print, stain glass print, snakeskin, floral, tye dye, and pebble print defined this collection. Red, teal, gold, white, black, orange, green, and melon combinations made for edgy pieces that popped. But, I was more impressed with the Brazilian Charmosa Swimwear featured on Thursday night. It offered more of a variety and seemed more fashion forward. However, every designer has to go with what sells, so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Oh yea, the gold belt with the wrap attached was actually one of the best pieces next to the maxi beach dresses.
The Emerging Designer Competition was interesting. M pick for the winner based on marketability was a tie between Michi Knitwear and Laura Tanzer. Both collections were chic, could be marketed to a wide audience and I looked expensive, they looked like luxury brands.
Michi Knitwear of New York City was a collection of knit pieces in a rainbow of colors. I love color, so this was one of my favorites. The dresses, skirts and tops came in a varity of lengths, shapes, and styles; plus they all fit like a glove. The fabric would allow for the collection to be sold to many body types and appeals to a wide market ages 25-45.
The Laura Tanzer collection of Tuscon Arizona was another one of my top picks. These pieces were chic, upscale, and very New York. Her use of layering, trim, color blocking, and mastery of structure is what made the outfits stand out from the rest. Floral prints, pinstripes, and motorcycle jacket lapel element kept classic pieces fashion forward. Dresses, dress pants, blazers, jackets, and skirts could do numbers on Evine.
Cute Like Mad
Cute Like Mad of Seattle had a playful collection of dresses, pants, shorts, tops, and skirts. Their use of leather was fashion forward and edgy, along with my favorite piece which was a top with black fringe shoulders. I also really like this pebbly print that was incorporated into pieces with mixed fabric and lots of gores and piecing. The color blocking and prints are the elements that made the collection show worthy.
Arae of Chicago looked like loungewear or sleepwear with an organic feel. Soft tye dye satin pieces had clean lines and flawlessly lay on the body. It was elegant, and well executed. However there wasn’t the variety that I saw in other collections.
Lousy Rich of Scottsdale, Arizona was the other Emerging Designer but unfortunately I don’t have images. This collection was playful, with a color way of pepto pink, black and sea green from my notes. I must not have been too impressed, but I can’t picture the pieces, but they were in the running so I’m sure it was good.
In the end Evine chose ARAE as the Emerging designer of the year and will be selling their collection on their network.
Transcend The Trends, Beyond New Style Where Fashion Is Art In 3d