Ethnic Flair Marks Islands Runway Show at Fashion Week El Paseo
Fashion Event Article Posted April 1, 2010

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Ethnic Flair Marks Islands Runway Show
On the third night of Fashion Week El Paseo, a tribal style shimmered and prevailed.

Truth be told, of anything listed on Fashion Week El Paseo's weeklong lineup, we were most excited for the Islands of the World runway presentation, which took place last night under the big white fashion tent in Palm Desert. Why? Because everywhere you look, from popular fashion blogs such as Jak and Jil to the pages of Elle to the streets of Los Angeles, ethnic tribal dressing is in full effect.

And the featured designers of last night's show, each a winner of UNESCO's Islands of the World Fashion Week 2009, came from exotic locales including Bali and Madagascar, to show their worldly wares. And they didn't disappoint.

Nadya, a Balinese designer who crafts her goods by hand from a garden studio in Puri Naga, showed flowing, woven silks that not only represented her homeland, but stayed in step with modern American trends, too. A long, whispy cream and gold iridescent skirt was slightly reminiscent of the hippie-esque, Halston confection worn by actress Jenna Fischer to this year's Golden Globes.  While a delicate linen and silk, thick-strapped tank top could have had a place at Woodstock.

Jamaican designer K-bobby, who won an Emmy in 1994 for hairstyling on the miniseries Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, graced the runway with his goods, too. And the mostly formal pieces included a bevy of taffeta gowns fit for a bridal party. Standouts included a maroon-hued, asymmetrical halter dress with a fringed neckline that, surprisingly, wasn't overpowering but suited the delicate dress just fine. For men, vests were the piece to beat with one version featuring a quirky, summer-at-the-cape madras collar while another got the soldier treatment in a green camo color palette.

Representing the Bahamas, where one usually goes for nothing more than a hangover, was handbag designer Harl Taylor. His colorful, woven straw creations of varying shapes and sizes came complete with ornaments of swordfish, turtles and seahorses and seemed to satisfy the ladies in the front row themselves decked out in desert resort wear. Taylor even sent lads down the catwalk carrying murses that's man purses made of straw. And yes, they featured said fruits de mer, too.

The evening's standouts were looks from designer Eric Raisina of Madagascar, and the collection debut from Valona Wynn and Gayle Weintraub's V&G Accessories.

Raisina studied his craft in Paris and spent time living in Cambodia, where he became an expert in working with Cambodian silk. His first look slightly mimicked Balenciaga's sculptural, floral mini-dresses of a few seasons past. But moving forward Raisina's pieces were decidedly his own. Second-skin ruched dresses made the need for a good wax and shave on the part of the wearer imperative. A sheer, short sleeved grayish-blue cardigan featured squares of matching silk. And Raisina clearly knew his audience, who seemed to marvel at the cropped silk pants they were surely plotting for use at their next casual luncheon.

As for V&G's accessories, we're currently on the hunt for the burnt orange, fringed leather necklace that looked more like a cool, hippie neck brace than a piece of jewelry.

We have no doubt that it will be our favorite spring piece.

Fashion Week El Paseo Day 2 Designer Inspiration Like the desert's own personal Project Runway challenge, night number two of Fashion Week El Paseo took a decidedly do-it-yourself twist. Only instead of aspiring fashion designers competing for the affections of supermodel Heidi Klum, this group was comprised of 23 of the desert's leading interior designers tempting their fate in front of a panel including ex-catwalkers Beverly Johnson and Cheryl Tiegs.
Fashion Event Article Posted April 1, 2010

El Paseo Retailers Fashion Week Runway Looking Hot It takes a lot of chutzpah to pull off a runway show featuring 16 retail stores ranging from children's wear to jewelry and everything in between. But that's exactly what Palm Springs Life Fashion Director Susan Stein did last night at Runway Bar El Paseo, the official kickoff to Fashion Week El Paseo.
Fashion Event Article Posted April 1, 2010

Fashion Week El Paseo FIDM Debut 2010  I already have orders from some of the models, said budding knitwear designer and recent FIDM grad Julia Nish. The California native's collection of knits was the standout showing of Fashion Week El Paseo's FIDM Debut 2010, which featured collections by nine of the school's third-year design students.
Fashion Event Article Posted April 1, 2010

Hip Beachwear Men's Night Wins the Crowd Oh, this guy is hot, said an attendee of last night's Jamie Paul Holahan show at Fashion Week El Paseo. She was of course referring to the models, particularly the dudes, who stole the show away from the clothes.
Fashion Event Article Posted April 1, 2010

Colleen Quen Puts El Paseo on the Fashion World's Map  Being at Colleen Quen's runway show Saturday night the marquee event of Fashion Week El Paseo make one feel like they were some place other than in the desert. The designer's masterful, exotic eveningwear transported the audience to a catwalk in New York, or even Paris, where the materials are lush, the tailoring impeccable, and the designs eye-popping in an artful, organic way.
Fashion Event Article Posted April 1, 2010


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