I was able to peek "backstage" and watch as the models got their hair styled by the Aveda team and makeup done by Dior representatives who transformed the models into divas for their decided decades. Once their time was up, the designers rushed to fit their models and get them changed and the show started. The models walked the runway, right in the middle of the mall and I can't lie- I felt a wave of fashion nostalgia from way back when mall shows were THEE way to find out the latest fashions for those of us who could not attend New York or Paris lol.
With only five designers each showing one look, the show went quickly but was highly entertaining. The mall was nice and full and shoppers gathered around to watch as the models strutted down the runway showing off the work of their respective designer. I was just amazed that these ladies created complete outfits- some very intricate and detailed and with multiple pieces- in less than four hours!
There was a panel of guest judges including Allison Hess, of FashionablyCleveland.com, and immediately after the last model came off the stage they deliberated and chose a winner; Jasmine Williams of Intrendzick Couture won for her gorgeous black and white patterned 1950's inspired design which included a hat, swing jacket and dress with a contrasting skirt. Her model was styled to perfection and managed to look classy, elegant, timeless and modern all at once! Jasmine's design will be on display at the mall, so make sure you stop by and see it.
I honestly felt like this was a major step forward in Cleveland fashion, because our independent designers are often overlooked and looked over, and it's been underground for too long. People are always surprised when I talk about all the designers and brands that are located here who don't have a brick and mortar store or a large online presence, and it is unfortunate that retail stores and boutiques rarely pick up local designers, but I get it. A lot of times indie designers don't have the funds or the resources to complete seasonal collections in a range of sizes available to the stores.
Most designers I know sell by word of mouth, online or from the trunk of their car like 90's rappers lol. So for this event to be sponsored by Beachwood Place, I felt it was a beautiful move towards recognition and I thought it was awesome. Shoppers were able to see young talent hard at work and if they wanted to, they had the opportunity to see a garment constructed from start to finish and then watch as it was presented on a model. It was genius, really...
One thing about mall fashion shows (and maybe the reason why I loved them so much growing up) is how diverse the audience is, and Saturday was no exception. Kids, teenagers, families, couples, young and old of every color and ethnicity all stopped to watch and I was especially happy to see a diverse range of models and designers too because representation is always important- especially with fashion. All in all I thought it was a wonderful experience and hope they have more fashion events!
And because I am a visual merchandising and retail display nerd, I took a few photos of the trendy fashion displays on mannequins around the mall along with a few pics and videos from the show...
Have you ever attended a mall fashion show? When and where? Leave your comment below!