Sunday, April 17, 2011

Redress Raleigh Fashion Show 2011

This past weekend I had a wonderful time at the Raleigh Redress Fashion Show in downtown. Participants create clothing lines from recycled or re-purposed items. I really was not sure what to expect when I arrived and I must say overall, I was very impressed with the level of creativity and energy of the show. It's always fun to see other designers out there and see what ideas people are dreaming up. There were a number of ideas and concepts that really pushed the edges in ways I didn't expect. The seating was great, the stage was lovely, and 50% of all profits went back to the local community. You could really see the love, time, and effort the creators had put into making this show a success.

There were many neat ideas and collections, however 3 stood out in my mind as the best in the show for different reasons. The first and clear winner in my mind was LLLavender, a collection by Lauren Smith out of Raleigh. It focuses mostly on re-purposed sweats and athletic wear. I must say, of all the shows I have been to, and all the model walks I've seen, these were some of the happiest, bounciest models I have EVER seen. You could really see each girl LOVED the clothes she was wearing. They looked great, moved amazingly, and seemed incredibly comfortable. You can check out her more up-scaled clothing line here. She's also been a SparkCon in the fall several times as a local Raleigh talent. Great designer, really fab clothes. I often struggle with knits (more of a woven person myself) so it's wonderful to see another designer pulling it off in such a lovely way.

The next collection was a favorite for it's creativity was by April Morgan who created a small collection of dresses from children's bedsheets. Bedsheets are a fairly typical old-shool project and I've seen and done it before, however this was a really humorous twist that I had not seen before. Having made a line of shirts from bedsheets last summer, I must say that it's not nearly as easy as this designer made it look. Overall the fit is decent and the colors/prints were very whimsical. Made me think of the Art Deco print ads of the 1950s. It's always fun to see something old done in a new unexpected way. Like meeting an old childhood friend all grown up and sophisticated out for a drink. I really hope to see more of this designer because so few people are creating clothing that makes one laugh. Also, GREAT job on matching the prints. This can be hard and the designer nailed it.

The 3rd and last favorite collection was by Revamp Clothing which if LLLavender was fun, and April Morgan was clever, Revamp was just hands down breathtaking beautiful. It was an unexpected surprise really. All the dresses floated. The models looked lovely, but what was really amazing in person sadly does not show in very well in the photos. Each dress or piece had trails of LED lights sew into them and woven through the models' hair. It left each girl glowing like something out of a movie set for a picture of beauty. I have to say, this is one of the first times I've really gotten to see LEDs done in such an accomplished and beautiful manner.

So in short: fun, creative, and beautiful. Great show. And for everyone not mentioned in this post still cutting their teeth in the fashion world congrats on the courage to take a risk and plunge into the fashion waters. It's always hard to take that first step. Good luck and hope to see you all again.

Note: All photos are courtesy of Chris Florio of Florio Photography. He did an amazing job. Thank him for the great work. You can check out his work on his website:

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