Monday, July 6, 2009

What to Wear This Summer

Lately, Madison’s had no shortage of fashion shows. And that’s a good thing! Stores, models and event organizers have done an excellent job of uniting the fashion community in this city by showcasing beautiful clothing (and people!).

I attended the ENCORE: Madison’s Premiere Fashion Show June 26th at the Orpheum. Organizer Nick Speckmann promised an exciting event with hot summer fashions, so I of course was intrigued. I wondered what would be shown in the middle of the summer when Fashion Week is in the fall and spring?

The show’s looks were a mash-up of chic summer looks, men’s casual as well as men’s suiting and a superb pre-fall lineup from J LaMore. Take a look at the slideshow to see a selection of looks! Photographs courtesy of Larry Chua.

Terese Zache, past Best of Madison winner (as well as a designer by trade herself!), opened the show with looks that will keep the fashionable girl cool no matter her age. Some notable looks: a crisp red and white sundress with coordinating shrug was a polished summer party look; a khaki and white striped seersucker suit was unfailingly preppy; an animal-print tank paired with gray pants was a cool summer day look; a cute belted tunic and trouser jeans would work from day to night. The show was closed (Karl Lagerfeld-style, of course) with a white mermaid-style wedding dress. It was beautiful, and I have a feeling might have been designed by Ms. Zache herself, but I’m not sure.

Bill Paul Studio is known for their prepster vibe, suiting and quality men’s accessories (including excellent silk pocket squares and ties). Looks included casual tee-and-jean ensembles, easygoing button-ups and jeans, a summery washed shirt in vibrant watermelon paired with dark denim and a sky-blue button-up with printed French cuffs. The closing look was a pinstriped suit paired with a smart bowtie. Way to bring it back 1920s style!

J LaMore (also a Best of Madison winner) closed the show with quite a bang. Their line opened with a slide show, showcasing images of several icons from the ’60s and ’70s—people like the Jackson Five, Jackie Kennedy, protesters and more. That prepped the audience for what would be a heavily themed show incorporating bohemian influences as well as a whole lotta Jackie—Kennedy, that is. Tunics, distressed denim cutoffs, maxidresses, cute sundresses and a few suits popped up here and there leading to a very cohesive, well-edited selection of sixties- and seventies-era looks.
Red, white and blue were the central colors, shown in pieces such as a blue trench coat; a red suit jacket with three-quarters sleeves with large buttons and skirt with flared hem; a blue and white flowered sundress paired with red cardigan and a red and white maxidress. But it wasn’t all prim and proper; a black and white leopard-print sleeveless dress with hot-pink belt and straps as well as a black and white cheetah-print three-quarters-sleeve suit jacket with pencil skirt popped up to add a little spice to the otherwise Americana-influenced collection.
Models carried protest signs, surely a nod to the tumultuous times of the era, but also adding a bit of authenticity to the runway show.

Overall the event was enjoyable and flowed smoothly. Models did a nice job, posed well and had nice, even walks. The looks were appropriately Madison—nothing over-the-top, yet still ensembles that were thoroughly wearable. The Orpheum is a very cool place to hold a fashion event as well—the historic vibe as well as ornate, old Hollywood aura just felt right.

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