Story by Jacynth Serrano Rodriguez
Photos by Byron Koranteng
RVA’s Fall Fashion Weekend concluded last Saturday night downtown at the City Hall Observation Deck. As guests began to arrive, there were boots galore. Ankle booties, over the knee, stacked-and-stiletto-heeled, and leather. Although there was a killer breeze up there, the looks of the guests and designers were enough to keep it hot on the Deck.
As the orange and red lights rose and the sun went down, the show began with Haus of PLV. The collection consisted of several color-blocked pieces that effortlessly mixed textures, prints and hues to make bold statement looks. Some pieces included rich fall colors like deep red, forest green paired with black, and tan-striped, color-blocked shirts with leather-like sleeves. Most models wore some variation of the signature graphic tee with a series of roses printed across the chest. These t-shirts could be paired with an asymmetrical pencil skirt, neutral-colored skinny jeans, or even corduroys.
Next up was Sweetest Stitch; the pieces from this collection were highlighted by several simplistic details like softly ribbed tops and dresses, strategic and elegant cut-outs on the backs of select pieces, scalloped trims and delicately cinched waistlines.
Wild Wild Woman brought cohesion through their cheeky graphic tees sporting the slogan, “Richmond Made Me Do It”. These tees were paired with pieces such as a tweed-like pencil skirt and a show stopping glittery rose gold maxi skirt.
However, heads turned the minute the first Stitch89 model made her way down the runway. Looks consisted of a mesh form-fitting piece with cleverly placed pleather to cover the breasts and a matching pleather skirt. The sexy-yet-sophisticated look was paired with a fitted bomber of red, green, and highlights of gold. Other looks included a camel-colored, suede-like crop top and pencil skirt, and a cadet blue distressed dress complemented by its immaculate cut-out neckline. A favorite in the collection was a stunning asymmetrical emerald green tube top and matching long and luxurious cardigan coupled with a pleather mini skirt. There were tons of textures and finishes in this collection that begged to be worn on and off the runway.
Another stunner collection emerged right after as Tough Cookie models took to the runway. The brand donned several eclectic pieces rich in quality and texture, from an ever-edgy ‘biker chic’ statement leather jacket with mesmerizing fringe (tres fall) to a comfortably oversized, dusty pink, cowl-neck sweatshirt, yet another fall must have. However, the most unique piece was a vivid blue, rabbit fur, cropped jacket paired with an iconic evil eye graphic sweatshirt. In terms of menswear, guests went berserk over the ultra-violet, velvet drop crotch pants. Several gowns in this collection left guests in total awe, but the true standout was the ‘Silver Surfer’ sequined cutout dress that clearly looked like it was worth millions. Other gorgeous formal pieces included the Mayven gown glittered in all its sheer gothic glory, and the rich velvet emerald green wrap dress classically cinched at the waist with a broach.
Tangee’s Closet collection was a complete show stopper, impressing the guests with her ingenuity and innovation evident in her playful pieces. Highly saturated hues took these surreal designs to another level. Specifically, The Custom V Neck Romper and matching sun hat, and the asymmetrical neckline mermaid cut dress with a graciously open back, left many guests with heart eyes. The multi colored plush hooded coat had everyone begging for one of their own as the wind picked up in the Observation Deck.
Trunk Up Boutique’s collection completely represented the feeling of fall. The
classic plaid poncho worked well dressed up or down, as did their adorable printed baby doll dress. Statement pieces included a gorgeous ruby colored goddess cut gown, and a hot pink a-line dress with a neat and chic bow in the back.
Tailor’s classic refined looks graced the runway next in various fall tones and hues. The grey Bradford coat, nearly metallic, is a major key to fall fashion success.
Other collections had menswear pieces, but 707, a fine men’s clothing store nestled in the Jackson Ward, showed out for all the guys. Various pops of color found in the stitchwork of blazers and floral lapel pins were a pleasant surprise in this dapper menswear collection. Cohesive tie and dress shirt combos complemented each model respectively. From the classic tuxedo to more wildcard looks, from business casual to formal, 707 dished out look after polished look.
The final collection on the runway was Angelia’s Couture, these high fashion pieces captured attention with their intense cuts and shapes and the use of feathers. One standout piece was a navy blue strapless gown, the neckline trimmed with navy and ivory feathers with an elegant tail made of the same.
While it was a relief to make my way into the huddle of warm bodies in the lobby once the show had finished, I pined for some of the exquisitely crafted and brilliant executed looks.