It was definitely hot, around 110 degrees outside. I was panting and puffing to cross the parking lot to enter the Musical Instrument Museum. This was the date for Phoenix Fashion Week to officially announce ten emerging designers at the end of their seven city tours. These ten designers will launch their brand in eighth annual Phoenix Fashion Week, October 3-6, 2012 and compete for a $10,000 prize package of goods and services to help launch their brand.
I went to Phoenix Fashion Week annual fashion show last year (2011) when my NYC fashion photographer friend, Sujit Sarkar was visiting me. I was impressed by the passion of Phenix Fashion Week team members, the emerging designers who wanted to make their brand known and famous and the professional from the local businesses. (In fact, NYC fashion photographer Sujit was so impressed with the show that he wanted to create a new page on his website (www.sujitsarkar.com) to showcase Phoenix Fashion Week 2011). So, I did not want to pass on the event of Announcement of Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designers on June 21st. I was also interested to see the trunk sale of this year’s accessory designers.
As soon as I entered the event venue, I was greeted by the smiling faces of PHXFW crews who handed me a list of this year’s emerging designers. It was already crowded. I could spot my dear photographer friend Rosemary Woods busy with her camera. She comes from a long way to take fashion photographs and just like me, catch up with friends she made at PHXFW meet-ups. She regularly posts photographs in her facebook page.
There was still time for the event to start. So I decided to use my time by learning about the accessory designers and their stories. In the first store, I met by the smiling and eager face of the Designer, Courtney Williams, founder of Bella Argentina. Designer Courtney Williams
founded Bella Argentina after completing her MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is passionate about beautiful (bella) Argentina and with her design, Courtney Williams wants to translate the passion, romance and beauty of Argentina into the language of sterling silver and stones of designed jewelry. Here are few of her pieces but more can be found at Bella Argentina website.
My next stop was the table of melis accessories. I was intrigued by the lather accessory as it matches so well with the Arizona jeans, hat and lather boots style. The designer Melis
Cohen who is originally from Dallas, Texas, is now settled in Arizona. Among her different lines of accessories, I got impressed by the line of skin cuffs that are hand crafted from scrap leather, natural stones, Swarovski crystal and metal studs. I was also told that this cuffs could be adjusted to fit any wrist, including small and thin wrists which are always a hard fit. According to Melis, this line of accessory evolved naturally from her experience and experiment with making jewelry from actual metal, natural stones and Swarovski crystal. I wanted to include few of her pieces in this blog to share my experience with the readers but the complete product portfolio can be found at Melis accessories website.
“Jewelry should never be conservative. Apparel is different. Apparel has a practical element, and there’s a time and place for conservative. Jewelry is never practical; it is decoration, adornment, luxury. It’s purpose is to attract attention, to inspire wonder in the eyes of the viewer.” This is the statement of the Chadwick, the Jeweler. Each of his jewelry pieces are meant to inspire wonder in the eyes of the viewer. I was awed by the imagination and the intricate work of each of the pieces that Chadwick was showcasing in the trunk sale. I wanted to add couple of his pieces in the blog. His work can be found at Chadwick website.
The program started with PHXFW director Brian Hill’s short introduction. He described the process PHXFW has gone through to travel to seven cities to select PHXFW 2012 ten designers. The fashion show ended with a question-answer session in which the designers along with Brian answered audience’s questions. Once again, the event showed the impressive team work and hard work of Phoenix Fashion Week team members.