Nicolena Stephan
Positive Detroit Guest Writer

Milan, Paris, Los Angeles and New York City have one major thing in common: They’re fashion hubs. Detroit isn’t one of the first cities that come to mind when we think of fashion, and that’s exactly what the executive committee of Fashion in Detroit (FID) is trying to change.

The very first FID event took place October 1 – 2 at the Detroit Zoo. According to its Web site, FID is a bi-annual two-day fashion event created by Project Runway’s Joe Faris to put a fashion spotlight on Detroit and create a venue that fills the needs of many locally based designers and the Detroit fashion community. The executive committee’s goal of bringing this event to Detroit is to rival other Fashion Weeks across the country.

I had the opportunity to attend the October 2 runway shows as a Positive Detroit contributor (it was weird to be on the other end of the spectrum wearing a press badge!). Now, I won’t claim that I live and breathe fashion, or that I’m a devout fashionista like Angela from Angela’s Eye, but I do invest a lot of thought into creating a wardrobe that reflects the fashion trends of the season. I was beyond excited to experience this first-ever fashion event and share my thoughts on the spring 2010 collections from various designers.

After trudging through the rain and doing my best to avoid splashing mud on my suede booties, I ended up missing Joe Faris’ show. Here’s a breakdown of the remainder of day two’s runway shows:

Kevin Christiana – contestant on Project Runway season 4, head designer and partner of the labels CHRISTIANA ZINN and MYNT 1792. Kevin’s show featured some of his MYNT 1792 collection.
MYNT 1792 is a lifestyle brand created by New Yorkers and inspired by Gotham City’s culture. It includes a combination of unique fashion and well-tailored designs for men and women. This collection featured a lot of skinny pants and 1980s inspiration, like leather, spandex, Michael Jackson inspired cropped jackets and studded vests and jackets.

Thanks to the lovely Stephanie Casola, I got to go backstage and chat with Kevin about being at FID. Kevin and Joe Faris hit it off immediately when they first met, and Joe told Kevin he should be a part of the first ever FID. Kevin said while Detroit is best known for its contribution to the music industry, music and fashion go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense for Detroit to rise up the ranks of the fashion industry. Shorts are Kevin’s favorite item to design and sell because they’re always adorable and easy to shop for online. While in Detroit, Kevin checked out Mon Jin Lau in Troy and Chen Chow in Birmingham.

Carhartt – 120 years in business, located in Dearborn, MI, designer of workwear and outerwear pieces that are known for durability, comfort and quality of construction.

Carhartt showed off some of its items that weren’t the traditional workwear and outerwear pieces. The new line featured a lot of plaid, leather jackets, studded belts, dark denim and cargo paints (spiced up with gladiator style shoes), cropped and tall boots and vests. The pieces were relatively plain without a lot of intricate detail or design. These outfits gave off a comfy chic, semi-grunge vibe.

Femilia Couture – established by designers Fotoula Lambros and Emily Thornhill in January 2007, leans toward using natural based fibers and sustainable materials, locations in Detroit, Ferndale and Milford, MI.

This was the first time I’ve seen Femilia Couture clothing, and I fell madly in love with this label! Sheer and flowing materials, floral designs and layering dominated this line. The designs were very feminine and romantic. Ruffles, bunched dresses, angled cuts, fringe, jumpsuits and off-the-shoulder tops were also prominent. Femilia Couture is perfect for those who love beautifully crafted pieces that make you feel pretty.

Betsey Johnson – world-renowned New York designer with a long-standing fashion career. If you’ve never heard the name Betsey Johnson, then don’t even try to claim you’re into fashion. Betsey is known for injecting creativity into her pieces and making up her own fashion rules. This line was neck-in-neck with Femilia Couture’s as my favorite of day two at FID. The essence of the style featured in this line was funky and flirty.

The models even strutted with more sass and pizzazz when they showed off Betsey’s pieces. This line included bright colors, mixed patterns (floral with cheetah print or stripes), sequins, plaid, cropped jackets, layered necklaces and dresses and bold prints. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to sport most of the featured pieces, but if you want to make a statement at a party or event, then Betsey Johnson is your go-to designer.

Made in Detroit – the most recognized logo in Detroit fashion history, owned by Detroit’s favorite bad boy Kid Rock.

Made in Detroit wrapped up FID with a bang. Being that Kid Rock owns the label, the show kicked off with his famous head banger, “Bawitdaba”. The colors black, white and red dominated this line. There was a NASCAR theme going on with a lot of stripes, checkers and patches.

Both the men and women’s clothing were tight fitting. Accessories like suspenders, hats and belts were prominent with the outfits. I started getting bored by the same three dark colors, but things perked up at the end with a few hues of blue and cute denim dresses with black cinch belts.

Combined with the high-end fashion shows were a $5,000 donation to Danialle Karmanos’ Work it Out program and a FID Lifetime Achievement Award presented to designer Linda Dresner.

I briefly spoke with Karen Buscemi, StyleLine editor and FID executive committee member, who said that while they didn’t fill the 500 available seats, everyone viewed FID as a success. Regardless of the number of people who showed up, creating an event like this in Detroit is a success in itself.

Mark your calendars for March 2010 when FID returns to the D. It seems like FID is here to stay, and I couldn’t be happier.


Anonymous said...

Hey Erin, we didn't fill the 500 seats on Thursday, but it was standing room only on Friday! The house was packed!

Erin Rose said...

It was a great time and I am really looking forward to the show in March!

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