Thursday, February 28, 2013

Philly Fashion Week 2013

Since we started this blog nearly a year ago, we have always looked for ways to incorporate our love of wine and food with fashion. After all, what more could a woman ask for?? Well, we have some exciting things in store for you in the near future and we kicked it all off last weekend when we attended our first official fashion event as Vino & Vintage. Of course, we would have loved it if it had been NYC Fashion Week, but being from Philly, we figured Philly Fashion Week was a good place to start. (Next year, look out for us in NYC!)

All of the Philly Fashion Week 2013 events took place at the Crane Arts Building from Thursday, Feb. 21st through Saturday the 23rd.  We hate to start off our review on a negative note, but they really need to find a new venue for Fashion Week. We were surprised it wasn’t held somewhere in Center City and when we looked the address up on the map, we were a little hesitant to attend at all. Not the best of neighborhoods. However, the big event began on the first night with the "PFW Accessories Party" and, well, who are we to say no to accessories?

We arrived a half-hour early to secure close (and safe!) parking. Once inside though, we were again a little surprised… and disappointed. The “red carpet event” that was promised consisted of a small room with about 9 tables of local vendors (though the invite said 20) displaying their products. There was a small strip of “red carpet” and a backdrop by the door to pose for pictures. There was a DJ in the corner which was nice, but the music was too loud for the small space and there was absolutely no area where anyone could even imagine dancing in. 

Considering this was supposed to be a party, we were looking forward to some hors d’oeuvres and a nice glass of wine or bubbly being passed around. No such look. The only things being offered were some samples of Coconut Water at the Vita Coco booth. Huh? There was also no one to greet us when we arrived.  No check-in, no coat check, no hospitality. It felt like the party had no host. Hey, it’s all in the small details. If the whole event was directed more toward people involved in organizing Fashion week, then perhaps they should not open it up to the public and media...or maybe charge a small fee to get in and do it bigger and better! That’s just our opinion. ;)  

All was not lost though.  There were some very unique items and designers in the small bunch. In terms of accessories, we did not feel there was a lack of nice pieces and pretty or creative items. They were all actually very good. We just expected MORE designers and other types and varieties of accessories.  Only 1 shoe vendor…say what? We did score on a couple fabulous jewelry finds. Showroom 77 had some beautiful pieces on display and for sale. 
We bought this incredible ring for $15! 
Perfect for accessorizing your wine glass! ;)

A few other accessory designers that stood out:
Kevin Molnar Designs- unique eco-friendly jewelry


Venus Visuals handcrafted jewelry & unique imports
by Imani Bilal

Most clever goes to the designer of Game Jewelry who makes her cute designs out of Lego pieces.

There were supposed to be some live make-up and hair demos going on though we never caught any. There was, however, a table where you could get some free gel manicures.



Highlight of the night (yes, we’re being sarcastic) was when Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA made an appearance and posed for pictures on the “red carpet”. Here she is with designer Kevin Molnar.
Well, after wandering around in circles looking at the same stuff over and over again, we finally decided it was best to leave and get something to eat…and a damn glass of wine! ;)

On to the runaway...

On the 2nd night of Philly Fashion Week, the “Ready-to-Wear Runway Show” was held. Unfortunately we were unable to make this event at the last minute.
*Designers/lines that were a part of this show: Dramatik Fanatik, Ian Alexander, Alicia Pinckney, Shavonne Deann, Las Swimwear, Lady Embellishment, Suede Square, Lili Daliessio, Anthony Eastwick, Walish Gooshe, Marina Makaron Moscow

The 3rd and final night was titled “Couture Runway Show”. We were so excited to see the high-end fashion lines from 10 National and International Designers. Let us fast forward by saying that the fashion was indeed unique and fierce (with only 1 or 2 disappointments). Some of our favorites came from Li Jon Sculptured Couture who designed some unique and sexy outfits made of chains.  Enjoy the complete slideshow of all of the events, models, outfits and accessories at the end of this post.
*Complete list of designers/lines at the Couture Show: Li Jon Sculptured Couture, Ayo-Lee Couture, Nicole Sauter, Ray Vincente, Todd Anthony, Bishme Cromartie, Justin Farnham, Closet by Christobal, English Clientele, Lillie Designs

While all the designers displayed endless amounts of creativity and beauty, the night itself was a bit of a train wreck.  If we had gone to the Friday show, we’re pretty certain we never would have made it back on Saturday. The event just seemed unorganized and again proved that a new venue is needed. The place was packed with people and it got very warm in there. The runway show began about an hour late. There were not enough seats for everyone and people were standing, looking for chairs, forming their own rows, sitting on the floor….just wrong. As part of the press we were allowed to enter first and had some good seats set aside. The VIP ticket holders followed and seemed less than enthused with their gift bag goodies. Finally the general admission ticket holders were allowed in after spending almost 2 hours in the holding room where you had the option of a $5 beer or some funky punch drink from the tiny bar. There was a small table with some food being served, but after seeing someone’s plate we decided to just skip it and eat later. The only plus was that a couple of the vendors from Thursday night were there again and we purchased a nice nude lipstick from Backstage Cosmetix. We also scored yet another beautiful ring. Remember, accessorize that wine glass...wait, there was no wine. :-p
With Official Sponsors like PHL17, PECO, Wilhelmina, and Banana Republic and tickets costing $40 or $150 for VIP, we just expected a little more. Granted, a fashion show is all about the fashion. Though, we gotta ask...what was up with the Marge Simpson hairdo all the female models had going on??? 
We don't mean to disrespect anyone, we just want to keep it real. We are very grateful to have been able to attend the event. There's just a lot that could have been done differently to make the experience a little more fabulous for the guests. There was an official after party to close the event at the Sugar House Casino following Saturday’s show, but we decided to head home instead and crack open a bottle of wine. Toasting to a better experience next time! Cheers!


The End.
~Vino & Vintage