On Saturday night, my husband and I went to Rochester, New York for Fashion Week of Rochester – The Final Look. I’ve been experiencing a wave of nostalgia for my early days in design, and was hoping to reconnect with the fashion industry. In my New York City life, the cream of the crop designers inspired me with their runway shows. While I shopped one season’s trends, they teased me with their vision for the next. Sure they exaggerated their presentation to make a point, but it was easy to see where they were going. Those shows are now out of reach, so I was hoping that this smaller city production would be more accessible figuratively (for my organic to opulent style) as well as literally. I was ready for inspiration.
I was rather disappointed.
First of all, Rochester does not have a bounty of original designers. One of the highlights of the show was designer Jenni Button but she is a designer based in South Africa, who happened to have a connection to the show’s coordinators. She brought a mini-collection of beautiful geometric print long wrap dresses. They were a fresh take on the color saturated midi/maxi dress trend.
Tanvi Asher of Peppermint, was one of the local designers to showcase her collection. Like the other presenters, she offered an assortment of looks, rather than a cohesive collection. Still, they were affordable, original designs that should please a number of local shoppers. Most of the remaining presenters were retail stores showing clothing that could have been from last year, or ten years ago.
Perhaps most timeless presentation came from a plastic surgery center whose models presented their “designs” covered in black body paint. For the record, even though you may argue that it accurately represents organic to opulent style, I am not planning to include nudity and body paint in my Fall 2017 recommendations.
My disappointment led me to the question: What is the point of a fashion show? In major cities, it’s where retailers start their purchases, celebrities reserve outfits, the press broadcasts trends, and fashionistas find inspiration. We witness the birth of trends each season. We track them as they trickle down from designer to celebrity to press to retail store.
Given those reasons, was Rochester Fashion Week show a complete disaster? I suspect I’d stir up some controversial comments, and much discussion if I said it was. Sadly, I can’t. For a start, the purpose of that particular fashion week was to raise money and awareness for the Center for Youth. Emotional engagement and entertainment took priority over original fashion. The veterans in uniform received a standing ovation. None of the designers did.
Moreover, I have to give them credit for including models of all ages, shapes and sizes, especially in the current climate of photoshopped fashion shoots, and ultra thin models. Even the professional models were fabulously flawed (yes, they have cellulite too) as they walked down the runway in Embrasse-Moi lingerie.
It wasn’t quite the inspiration I had hoped, but perhaps that is why we need to spread some fashion know how around the country. Why care about how you look? After all, isn’t it about wellness and happiness now?
My Top 7 Reasons
- First impressions count.
- Too may people think they don’t deserve to look good until the’ve lost weight.
- Fashion is one way to give your body a little love.
- You will find your image everywhere, so let’s make it one you’re proud of.
- Between social media, the plethora of designers, the ease of travel, there is no shortage of inspiration.
- Fashion can lift your mood.
- Most of us wear clothes so why not make the most of it?