The atmosphere buzzed with excitement at the prospect of viewing the latest fashions from some of Detroit’s brightest and best upcoming designers, Bridget Sullivan Designs, Ivy’s Custom Corsetry, Everything Alpaca and Chrysalis Fashions. Various members of the local press and Detroit’s Who’s Who of Fashion gathered in downtown Detroit on a balmy September night to mingle, feast on free drinks and eats courtesy of event sponsors, Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine and Al’s Paradise Cafe while guests prepared for a memorable evening of avant garde. What strutted and sashayed down the catwalk was a blend of fashion, art, sound and history (F.A.S.H) inspired by Detroit’s changing cultural landscape.
There was something for everyone under the white tent between Library St. and Farmer St., from haute couture evening wear inspired by the faraway lands of India to luxury winter ready to wear and outerwear for men and women. If it was alternative, sexy or fun you were looking for, then customized solid or printed corsets paired with full skirts short and long is what you got from Ivy’s Custom Corsetry by Robin Richardson. The Sterling Heights based corset line boasted an air of sassiness as well as a tinge of naughtiness present in the bold patterns (animal and floral print) and fabric choices of the pieces that appeared on the runway. In contrast, Everything Alpaca made stylish comfort the focal point of their collection of neutral tone and amethyst colored sweaters, scarves, coats and capes.
Two of my personal favorite apparel companies of the night, Chrysalis Fashions by Mira Bedi and Bridget Sullivan Designs, opted to infuse their lines with lots of color and embellishment. Midriff-baring, beaded modern interpretations of traditional Indian garb combined with water hued flowing silhouettes in rich fabrics such as chiffon and velvet were the dresses of choice for West Bloomfield native, Mira Bedi. Reminiscent of Shakespeare’s epic play, A Midnight Summer’s Dream, Bridget Sullivan Designs dazzled the audience with asymmetrical cuts and floor skimming trains in statement making necklines made up of green, environmental friendly materials. Her designs, not to be outdone in originality and eye catching craftsmanship, have grabbed the attention of Glamour Magazine, Styleline Magazine and the Huffington Post in addition to traveling the world as the go to style choice for Grammy Award winning musician, Esperanza Spalding. By the end of the showcase, the audience was blown away by the immense talent displayed. A collaborative design effort by all four fashion designers ended the sneak peek fashion show but not before patrons were invited for a nightcap to celebrate the success of this awesome event.
The brainchild of founder Leslie Ann Pillings, Michigan F.A.S.H Fest is an annual multi-day event that features artistic showcases, fashion competitions and strolling fashion shows to inspire and promote creative innovation in the city. In addition to the “Runway Industry Showcase,” the weekend long festivities included interactive displays, educational exhibits and digital media enhanced artwork and performances. The series of events created by Pillings triple threat design, public relations and production company, Presence II Productions, has been going strong since 2011 and is steadily increasing in popularity among Detroit’s creative professionals, innovators and leaders. The “Runway Industry Showcase” was held on Friday, September 6, 2013 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Plans for next year’s showcase in conjunction with year long events leading up to the 2014 Michigan F.A.S.H. Fest are already underway.
Fans of Bridget Sullivan Designs, Ivy’s Custom Corsetry, Everything Alpaca and Chrysalis Fashions can view or buy pieces from their favorite designers by visiting their official sites, http://www.everything-alpaca.com/#home, http://www.ivyscustomcorsetry.com/index.php, http://www.bridgetsullivandesigns.com/, and http://www.facebook.com/ChrysalisFashions.