Philly Fashion Week

By Nichole Capizzi
September 24, 2012

Fashionably speaking, Philadelphia is no New York City, but that doesn’t stop it from trying.

As New York Fashion Week ended, Philadelphia Fashion Week made its seventh annual attempt to recreate the fashion frenzy in a less snooty, smaller manner.

The featured fashions seemed to quickly go from flashy to trashy. The show was 90s fashion inspired, featuring harem pants, skin-tight jeans, platforms – and some inappropriately hooker-esque, oversized dresses. My disappointment began with the choice in location: Kensington may be a part of Philadelphia on the map, but it doesn’t hold the same glamour that Center City would have captured.

The local fashion mania ended this weekend as Philly Fashion Week 2012 wrapped up, hosting its final two runway shows at 2424 Studios in Kensington on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Open to the general public for free, the first of Saturday’s two shows was the “Haute Runway Show: Fighting HIV & AIDS Thru The Decades of Fashion.” The event was meant to serve a dual purpose, to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and to celebrate corresponding fashion through a nostalgic blast from the past. All of the looks on the runway were from local designers and local boutiques.

After a half-hour delay, the show began with co-hosts Roxanne Wolf, of Gilead Sciences and Rakia Reynolds, President of Skai Blue Media. Reynolds started Skai Blue Media, her boutique public relations agency.

“This afternoon show was all about raising awareness for HIV and AIDS in the epidemic that has really surrounded our country and we infused it with a little bit of fashion to keep the audience on their feet and engaged,” Reynolds said.

The show, originally said to be 45 to 90 minutes long, began and ended abruptly. With 6 models and more PowerPoint presentations than fashion, the show from start to finish lasted no longer than a brief 20 minutes.

Audience members had only one word to describe the show: “short.” Melanie McCoy, Temple University student and fashion blogger, was one of the many spectators who stated disappointment in the length. Philly native Marla Harris was “disappointed that it wasn’t better attended.”

Fashion shows aren’t easy; they can be costly and take a lot of work to produce. Fashion is making a home for itself in a whole heap of new places, with shows thriving and streets bulging with outfit inspiration. Unfortunately, Philly still has ways to go before establishing itself as a fashion force to be reckoned with.

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Nichole Capizzi

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