Event Review: Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012 (New Orleans)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 The Wearhouse District


[photo from Minority Weirdos: www.minorityweirdos.com]

Unfortunately, New Orleans Fashion Week took some steps backwards this season. Last March we were blown away at the professionalism and talent that we witnessed at Fashion Week. This season, we still adore everyone that was a part of the production, but there were certain instances that should not have happened.

New Orleans Fashion Week's runway shows were held in the Patrick Taylor Library of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art by the NOLA Fashion Council.

The parking was a disaster; there was no valet. Crossing the street with no crosswalk provided three nights of terror in a row. But, we guess we won’t hold that against them.

The doors opened at 6:30 every night; the check-in was easy. The lounge area was nice. They provided an open bar and excellent coffee services. On the second day, there were smoothies from Smoothie King given out in the lounge, which we enjoyed very much, but not on the third day. However, my only problem was last season was catered instead of the open bar, which we actually preferred. The catering seemed more fitting for the event. Whereas an open bar just makes the event seem less serious, and more geared towards entertainment. It seemed like a downgrade.



[One of amanda deLeon's looks; Minority Weirdos: www.minorityweirdos.com]

The layout of the show was also different from last season. It was a short, straight runway instead of the long, rectangle-shaped runway from last season. The shorter distance may have made it easier for the designers to display larger collections, instead of just 20 looks.

Sure, the new straight runway is more traditional, but it did not work for the venue. Straight runways are always a “don’t” if the platform is not raised. The rectangle-shaped runway should have made a return, and so should have the projections on the back wall of the runway listing the label or designer’s name during the shows. It is very important to have this for both photographers taking pictures of the looks and the media in the audience taking notes.

This new layout made it difficult to see if you were in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th row, since it was not an elevated runway. Also, we are not sure why press was not accommodated with better seating arrangements. It is a shame when the model’s families and friend’s get better seats then magazines covering the show. Grant it the models are very important to the show, it is not about the models it is about the garments they are wearing. This did not happen for every show, but some of the audience members were cheering during shows when certain models came out. Can you say inappropriate fashion week behavior? It was probably the open bar that got to them.

The good news is for some shows we were able to get a better seating without any problems by asking the coordinator. We were very thankful for that.

Although there were plenty of stumbles and the memorable wardrobe malfunction, the walks of the collections were a success. The lighting was great, the separation of the lounge from the runway area was great, and we loved checking out the buyers’ market downstairs. We had fun, and enjoyed the various collections by the different designers. We were able to celebrate the end of Fashion Week with a wrap party at the Eiffel Society, where we were able to personally congratulate the designers on their fantastic collections.


[Dalton Primeaux and Veronica Cabral at the wrap party]

Overall, the biggest complaint is that it seemed like this season the point was missed. Fashion Week is
about fashion, and this seemed to be more geared towards entertainment.

The cheering crowd and the open admission caused New Orleans Fashion Week to lose some of its credibility and professional style. Fashion Week's runway shows are partly an art exhibit, but mainly a business transaction documented by the media. They should have remained exclusive to buyers, media, bloggers, and sponsors. If you are serious about developing a fashion industry in New Orleans you have to prove it. If you want to just provide entertainment, admit it.