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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fashion flowers at Scottsdale show

    It’s a bit of a shame really that Phoenix, though developing into one of the nation’s major metropolitan areas, is not more of a fashion mecca.

    With this year’s second annual Phoenix Fashion Week, however, strides are being made to change that.

    John Galliano of Christian Dior couldn’t make it last Thursday – OK, that’s a joke – but there was one celebrity sighting; Wes and Johanna of “”The Real World: Austin”” sat right across from where the Arizona Daily Wildcat was seated.

    Although the fashions that were shown down the catwalk were mediocre, the ambiance of the evening was elegant at Scottsdale’s Calero Resort and Spa, 4925 N. Scottsdale Road. All in all, it was a valiant effort for an evening of style.

    The show began with a children’s fashion line, Binky Couture. The audience oooed and awwed as young girls walked down the runway in Juicy Couture-like sweat suits and ringlets.

    Just as we were getting nervous that we were quite possibly at a fashion show that was targeted solely at juveniles, our complaints were silenced when designer Allison Leigh’s collection came on.

    From the first look, a cream fur coat with a toggle fastening that was outfitted with brown boots, to a sparkly backless cocktail dress, almost everything in between was modern and fresh.

    Leigh did, however, have a mishap or two, including a matching two-piece floral ensemble. Although the designs were not the most innovative, her skill at styling was apparent – a top with a cutout at the chest paired with a pleated polka-dot skirt, for example.

    Things took a turn toward a more athletic side when the iFemme collection came out, a line of iPod friendly sportswear by Brian Hill, designer and director of Phoenix Fashion Week.

    As the audience nodded their heads toward the beat of the new Jay-Z track “”Show Me What You Got,”” models strutted out in Lycra track pants and jackets, all with pockets made suitable for an iPod.

    Many of Hill’s looks were paired with retro-looking Keds, which was cool. However, where the designer fell short was in the length of the pants: Almost all of the models exposed their ankles down the runway, implying a flash flood was on the brink.

    After the show’s intermission, Kieran Rai showed her line Sir Alistair Rai, a collection of yoga aesthetic daywear.

    A pale pink sleeveless wrap dress with a peace symbol on the front is a perfect example of the casual elegance and political messaging that Rai puts forth.

    Others aside from Phoenicians have caught on to Rai’s concepts, which are branded on her clothing that is sold internationally and to stars like Angelina Jolie and Shannon Elizabeth.

    As far as how her T-shirts, tanks, linen dresses and menswear have caught the attention of celebrities, Rai doesn’t have much of an answer.

    “”If I could give a formula, I would, but I have no idea,”” Rai said. “”They are not hard messages to sell to a liberal crowd though, and (celebrities) probably want to be a good influence.””

    These messages of “”peace and passive resistance”” are ones that are influenced by the likes of Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Hindu deities. The Los Angeles native says, however, that the particular collection she showed Thursday evening was predominately Gandhi-inspired.

    I’m not sure if Gandhi would have ever worn the purple metallic booty shorts that were shown, but he probably would’ve approved of the white ribbed tank top with “”peace love happiness”” written across the front.

    Joy Li was the last designer to show, and she made a dramatic closure.

    A chiffon-looking hot pink mini halter dress was beautiful but a bit short, even for the likes of Scottsdale girls.

    Then there was a contemporary-looking white Grecian frock with black crisscross straps in the back.

    A white blouse with hook closures paired with a black miniskirt, tights and riding boots looked very cool.

    Although much of what Li showed was well done, her collection as a whole lacked any element of cohesiveness.

    Then again, who needs to have their collection follow any sort of thematic narrative? It’s just Phoenix, after all.

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