Last Saturday, October 22nd, I attended the Haute Ohio Magazine Launch Gala and it was a magnificent, high fashion classy affair that catered to the often overlooked Midwest high fashion industry. It was literally what the game had been missing. Spearheaded by Jackie Bertolette- designer, photographer and creator of the Haute Ohio Magazine- this fashion show was an eclectic mix of design, construction and style that served as a platform not only for Ohio designers, but models, hairstylists, makeup artists and photographers.
The event was held to celebrate the launch of Haute Ohio Magazine, a publication dedicated to showcasing Ohio fashion and Midwest talent while putting the spotlight on the creative teams behind the scenes. It includes high fashion photography, original garment design and regular columns and articles dealing with fashion (yours truly has a fashion critique article in there as well!).
Held at the Radisson Inn in Eastlake, Ohio, the show was broken down into three sections: Kids/Menswear, Emerging/Unconventional/Plus and the grand finale featuring established designers and brands from our area. And we were privy to an exhibition in the back of the room with garments provided by Project Runway contestants Valerie Mayen, Nathan Paul, and Joshua McKinley Cook. Ohio's got talent...
The designs in this show gave us everything from baroque and rococo Marie Antoinette designs and gowns with hundreds of hours of beadwork and hand sewing (haute couture in it's grandest, most explicit form) to dark gothic and modern steampunk looks with dashes of ready to wear pieces and sustainable fashion styles in between. They had designers there who were industry vets and a few who where showing their collections for the very first time. And they all came together and represented Ohio and Midwest fashion in a way that I have not seen in a long time. I was proud to be in attendance!
I'm going to say that I feel like this event will eventually become THE premier fashion event in Ohio, if Haute Ohio can keep it going and get bigger and better. This is Columbus Fashion Week and Cleveland Fashion Week combined and so important for us fashion creatves because as much talent as we have here- many of our photographers, designers, models and hair and makeup artists will never get a chance to participate in- hell, to keep it all the way trill- in Cleveland Fashion Week, let alone New York Fashion Week or any other out of state fashion event. We won't even get started on the subject of getting your work submitted to fashion publications as a contributor smh...
This was a great event and I plan on supporting the shit out of it because quite simply I have to. We need events like this to showcase our talent here in the Midwest and let them know how we do, what we do. With the spotlight on our sports teams, the constant rebuilding and restructuring of our city, and the emerging fashion, art and night scene here, Cleveland is definitely going through a Renaissance period that probably won't be acknowledged for another twenty years or so. With that being said, I am happy to attend events and contribute to the documentation of the talent arising from my city.
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