Old fashioned wedding photo
by Jessica Fromm on May 27, 2010
ITS A PLEASURE to see a catwalk where the models dont all look like they come from Ukraine. Thankfully, the Stanford Charity Fashion Show on May 15 featured not just the bone-thin Caucasian girls seen so frequently on runways.
Instead, a diverse array of nontraditional male and female models showed off textile creations by more than 25 designers, representing all levels of the local and international fashion industries.
Billed as the biggest fashion show of its kind on the West Coast, the show brought together almost 2,000 people under a massive white tent constructed on one of Stanford Universitys spacious lawns.
For three hours, the best of the Bay Area fashion crowd observed black, white, East Indian, petite, tall, muscular and even hijab-wearing models strut their stuff on a diamond-shaped runway.
This year, the annual charity fashion show benefited Kiva, a Bay Areabased nonprofit organization that aims to alleviate poverty by giving microloans to entrepreneurs around the world.
After an opening performance by avant-garde San Francisco electronic-dance trio Fans of Jimmy Century (of The L Word fame), the first collection out of the gate was by Tosca Soraya. The Netherlands-born designers jumpsuits and flowing dresses mixed water-colored femininity with sci-fi cuts. Sorayas masterful tailoring was obvious from the textured folds and details sewn expertly onto her leggings and layered skirts.
Palo Alto designer Maryam Garba mixed simple silhouettes with bold geometric, African-inspired prints for an extremely accessible collection that would no doubt look great on just about anyone.
Brightly hued leg wear provided by Tabbisocks was a key element used by several designers that evening. The San Josebased leg wear company had a wide array of Japanese-inspired knee and thigh-high tights and socks that brought a touch of Harajuku style to Stanford.
Emerging Bay Area fashion designers Karen Lum and Alexandria von Bromssen were also featured in the show, while the realm of mens wear was represented by urban clothier Civil Societyand high-end jeans brand Kent Denim.
Though design house SWATI Couture almost didnt make it into the show (they werent listen on the bill due to a before-show disagreement with the university), the Milpitas designers luxurious, Indian-infused designs were nonetheless the highlight of the evening. SWATIs spectacularly detailed, elaborately beaded saris and ball gowns looked like they weighed a ton. In spite of this, the models did a great job sparkling like glamorous disco-balls under the catwalk lights, to many oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
Danielle Pettees whimsical designs closed out the Stanford Charity Fashion show, and for good reason. Though Pettee only started professionally designing clothing a year ago, her unique hand-painted, petal- and tulle-adored cocktail dresses proved that this San Francisco designer is one to watch.