Fashion Week 2011

On the evening of Satuday, May 7, Fashion Week Cleveland had its grand finale, The Black Tie Gala. It was a fashionable array of both Cleveland’s social and fashion scenes combined. The show was produced and hosted by Cleveland’s own Dr. Donald Shingler who has spent the past four years securing Cleveland Fashion Week as the third largest fashion week in the nation. Cleveland may not be on the fashion radar as loudly as NYC or LA, but through Shingler and the amazing talent here, it is proving to be their biggest competitor. Fashion Week Cleveland’s events truly embody Cleveland’s ability to be on top as a fashion-forward city.

The Black Tie Gala was held at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, where guests walked down the red carpet to the pre-show cocktail party. Inside, they were greeted by Fashion Week models, who were adorned in elegant trash bag couture. The cocktail party was not only the grandest mixer of the night, but it was also an opportune moment to peruse the latest styles from trunk shows of retailers, like Dots and Crocs. 

Once it was time for the show to begin, guests were escorted to the runway and seated. After guests were treated to the harmonious music of violinist Andrew Swords, a special “thank you” was given by the public relations representative of Mayor Frank Jackson. Mayor Jackson has proclaimed the first week of May “Fashion Week Cleveland.” Shortly after, the music began and the models made their first appearance, transporting the artistic and radiant collections down the runway.

Corrine Brothers, a fashion student at Kent State University, was the first to feature her collection. Her garments were vibrant, colorful and well thought out. Although her entire collection was wonderful, it was her orange metallic cut out dress that won over the crowd. Between the radiance and sheen of the dress and the high fashion walk of the model, the crowd applauded with excitement.

The second collection to be shown was a knitwear collection by Pamela Truemper. Construction, quality and careful attention to detail exuded through Pamela’s garments. The most memorable piece in the collection was the teal blue cardigan with black satin ribbon details. The sweater paired with a black skirt looked flawless and purely high fashion on the runway. 

Bright, flashy swimwear was the focus of the third collection to make its appearance on the Cleveland Fashion Week runway. Tracey Kiefer truly put the art of design into her swimwear. She used bold flame print material and vivid red colors to capture the audience’s attention. Tracey proved she was no stranger to detail by adding fringe and other embellishments to her garments.

Michael Wilson’s collection gave the crowd a change of pace from the surge of bright color with a muted, organic and very smart design aesthetic. His garments were very cool, with a West Coast kind of vibe. The execution and construction of every garment was fully carried out and cohesive. Wilson’s champagne color evening gown was a complete show stopper. The gown was beautiful and brilliant, a complete "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" feel.

The show ended with a bang, when the models of BBG Couture by Britni Brockler stepped onto the runway. The collection featured some of the most beautifully constructed evening gowns to grace the stage that evening. It was easy to tell that Brockler spent countless hours on the craftsmanship and detail of these garments. The fabrics and colors were chosen carefully as to carry out the image she had created. Not only were her dresses fantastic, but the hairstyles of her models were futuristic and simply awesome.

Overall, Fashion Week Cleveland was a huge success. All of the names listed above are those of the designers that we need to watch. These individuals have what it takes to become very successful in this fashion business. Cleveland is going to continue gaining moment on the fashion lines and through designers like this, people will be coming from all over to witness what this city has to offer next.

Check out photos of the event, courtesy of Mike Cuscire:

Sunday, May 15, 2011