In Review: Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort

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PHXFW Recap: Thursday, Oct. 2

Rows and rows of white chairs surrounded the poolside raised white runway with lights projecting colors of blue and yellow. Music was blaring as girls in sky-high heels texted away on their phones.

This was the scene Thursday night at Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort, when a mix of emerging and established designers around the U.S. came together to kick off the three-day fashion extravaganza, all while focusing on three pillars of the industry: fashion design, education and humanity.

As the lights dimmed at 8:30 p.m., four emerging designers and four established designers showed their collections to an eager and lively crow of bloggers, fashion lovers and photographers. Here are some of the highlights.

 

Charmosa Swimwear

Charmosa Swimwear / Photo by Alisa Stone

1. Charmosa Swimwear- Founder and lead designer Neide Hall sure knew how to put on a show, and by show I mean a group of showgirls donning feather headgear and bedazzled costumes that left little to the imagination while shaking and shimming their way down the runway. That was just the opening act though. Sexy and fun, summer colored one pieces and bikinis followed with a bit of feathers on the models nude heels. Male models also sported patterned briefs-like swim trucks. Each swim suit was unique and had it’s own emphasis on details.

2. Misha Mendicino Designs- Elephants were the main focus for emerging designer Misha Mendicino’s resort style collection, but not just because they’re cute. The collection is based off of raising awareness of elephant poaching, and donates 5 percent of proceeds to helping secure a stable future for elephants. Bright blue and pink patterned maxis, tunics and wrap dresses flowed effortlessly down the runway with some displaying the most important logo of all to the designer…the elephant.

3. State Forty Eight- Emerging designer and co-owner of State Forty Eight Stephen Polando might just start a riot with his line of tees, tanks and sweatshirts that all embrace the great 48th state. This collection is where Arizona passion meets fashion. The pieces in the collections can be worn with anything and to any place. Models channeled the “I just went to the gym” look with leggings and tennis shoes, the “I’m just a frat bro rocking my bro tank” look, and the “dress up a V-neck with a blazer” look. The shirts displayed logos like “State Forty Eight” and the shape of Arizona.

4. Woman’s Touch Apparel- To say emerging designer Jenesis Laforcarde is all about the strong, independent women is an understatement. As the lights dimmed again, a group of girls wearing boots, fishnets, jean shorts, plaid flannels tied around their waists and big teased hair paraded out and danced to the fast-paced hip-hop beats. From the beginning, Loforcarde was sending out a clear message…it’s all about women. Confident models marched down the runway displaying shirts and body suits with loud, in your face phrases, like C.E.O and “I’m a feminist.” Neon, tight and, above all, flawless summarized the feminist collection

5. Diego Milano- The next generation of denim is here, and it has visible inseams, mismatched color pairing, patches, unique textures and pop-out pockets. The collection had a rock ’n’ roll vibe to it, making it clear that these jeans are beyond ordinary. Form jeggings style to boot cut, it was unclear what was sexier, the jeans or the shirtless male models.

 

PHXFW Recap: Friday, Oct. 3

A great new line up of emerging and established designers showed their collections for day two of Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort. Here are some of the highlights:

 

Blackberry Maverick

Blackberry Maverick / Photo by Alisa Stone

1. Blackberry Maverick- The collection was whimsical, artistic, and had a dose of edgy, much like the popular movie Alice and Wonderland. models had dark makeup, gloves, Clark style shoes, and magical hairpieces. Some of the dresses were almost doll like with multiple colorful layers and puffy sleeves. This dress below was the first eye-catching one down the runway, and it’s easy to see why with the bold mix of colors.

2. Àtiz- The Seattle based collection was full of bold statement pieces…I mean look at that amazing flower coat! “It was inspired by the Seattle skyline. The trench gown that you saw, the shiny one, that’s actually inspired by the Columbian Towers, that’s the tallest building in Seattle,” Àti desihner Swati Padmaraj.  While the collection looks like it should be behind a glass window, all of the pieces are meant to be worn for a woman on the go. “My collection is for the global women who likes to travel. So you know she is sophisticated, she is modern…each piece is to do something,” Padmaraj said.

3. Kismit- What do you get when you mix sexy leather, sleek tight pieces and fierce hair….Kismit collection of course! It was all about the va va voom. I have never seen a more edgy pair of leggings before. Models walked down the run way with an attitude that they knew just how sexy and rebellious they looked.

4. Schuylark Design- The New York City collection hit the highest note in use of color. From the  Ombré pinstripe jacket to the beautiful white goddess shirt and pants combination. The collection had a classy feel with great details in shape.

5. Bri Seeley- Established designer Bri was the winner for the 2012 Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week, and after seeing her latest collection it makes perfect sense why. Basic colors of black and grey never looked so good as they did with the collections’ 60’s mod vibe. Lets not forgot the Sole Society shoes!

 

PHXFW Recap: Saturday, Oct. 4

 

Day three, the last night of Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort, was a full house with not only the seats sold out but also standing room. Excitement was in the air as people eagerly awaited seeing the final five emerging designers collections before the announcement of the 2014 Designer of the Year winner.

Before I give away the spoiler, here are the highlights from the each of the five collections.

1. Adoire by Saba- Detailed gowns flowed down the runway mixing old time glamour and tradition. Models donned beautiful side swept hair and simple jewelry, leaving the main focus on the dresses. Two of my favorites were a grey to blue ombré gown and an ethereal white gown that literally caught the breeze. This collection stood out for the unique way the dresses fit on the models’ bodies without revealing too much.

2. Hues of Ego- There was no big ego to be found in the diverse collection, just a message to find your alter ego. Sometimes a girl just wants to be someone else for a day, and Hues of Ego definitely nailed it. The collection was a mix of avant-garde and ready-to-wear outfits in black and white with standout accessories. Assuming designer Natasha Duran Lynch wanted to start off on a high note, the first look down the runway mirrored a Marie Antoinette outfit. With a cotton ball like wig, a glitter encrusted mask and a multi tier tulle dress, the crowd was mesmerized. To maintain balance, a long sleeved crisp white shirtdress followed with silver ball shaped buttons. It was definitely something that could be worn on the streets.

3. Jacqueline Nicole- The collection was sassy and fun with notable pieces like the shimmer pencil skirt, bra-like top and cropped velvet blue jacket, and a black and aqua green sequin dress.

4. Lillienne Lang- The working women was definitely an inspiration for this collection that was full of great structured jackets, pants suits, and gowns. The versatility was key in these looks that can be worn in the office on a date or to brunch.

RAYAN

RAYAN / Photo by Alisa Stone

5. RAYAN- The bold, rich colors and styles of the dresses in this collection were flawless. One of my favorites was a side draped royal blue gown that had incredible movement as the model walked. Another one was a peplum dress, which was a interesting but somehow effortless looking combination.

After the last of the emerging designers finished, it was award time. All the emerging designers were brought onstage and narrowed down to four: State Forty Eight, Misha Mendicino, Women’s Touch Apparel and Blackberry Maverick. After a little suspense, Misha Mendicino won the 2014 Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the year. I’m almost positive that Arizona will be seeing much more of Misha and her designs.