Story, photos by Tyra Gardener
Philadelphia Fashion Week one of the most must see events of the season with all of the latest fashions from Philadelphia’s new and brightest designers making bold and trendy fashionable statements on the Philadelphia Fashion Scene.
Philadelphia Fashion week kickoff gala was held at the Sugar House Casino toward the end of March. This gala showcased fashions of some of Philadelphia’s finest designers of Spring 2017 clothing lines. The designers were students and former students of the Fashion Incubator located inside of Macy’s Center City (which is one of the sponsors) Designers showcased at this event were: Terese Sydonna, Victoria Wright, Jessica Joy London, Onyx by Onyx Taylor, Jovan O’Connor and Christi Summers.
Victoria Wright, one of the featured designers at the Sugar House Casino Gala.
2300 Arena hosted the Philadelphia Fashion Week Runway shows toward the end of February 2017. This fashion show extravaganza showcased designers from all over the world from MCM, Aquilla Savoy, Urbane, Elizabeth Delgado, Thomas Lavone and many more.
Elizabeth Delgado gowns (below) were on display upon entrance into the 2300 Arena.
Century Twenty One Department Stores hosted a panel discussion featuring Mickey Boardman, Fern Mallis, Clare Sauro, Heather Crowell and Elizabeth Wellington as moderators. During this panel discussion, topics such as How Fashion Week developed into fruition, fashions impact on social media, the effects of social media on the fashion industry, models versus celebrities-wearing designer fashions and fashions influence in politics. The information these powerful fashion professionals offered is good for all industries not just fashion.
The Fashion Panel began with a fashion show and the model represented famous historic Philadelphians such as John Wanamaker, Betsy Ross, Grace Kelly, Wilt Chamberlain and Billie Holiday and how they would dress in today’s society.
Modern day John Wanamaker wearing fashions from Century 21.
Modern day Betsy Ross is a demure dress.
Modern day Grace Kelly adding some sparkle.
Philadelphia in the 19th century used to be the King of Retail with having John Wanamakers’ and Strawbridge and Clothier and all of the manufacturing companies here but we lost that title when New York took over 20th century.
Fern Mallis pointed out that, “Designers reflect what is going on in society, business, messages being made (politics) and hip hop movement when creating designs. Designing is not just about developing clothing its about the world we are living in and whether we are for or against something and this has been going on for years.”
The advice that was given to new designers is: you have to love it, 98% is shit work, do what is best for you, find and define your voice, hang in there, deep pockets burn through money, resourceful, committed, know where to find everything using the internet and social media, do what is best for your business despite people having love for you to avoid financial suffering and a lot of debt.
The best advice in fashion is to maintain true to yourself and your audience.
“Be yourself and that makes you stick out, what we think makes us look bad is what makes us look special,” said Mickey Boardman.
Mickey Boardman, Fern Mallis, Clare Sauro, Heather Crowell and Elizabeth Wellington as moderators.
Philadelphia Fashion Week is sponsored by the FBH Agency, Fashion Outlets Philadelphia & Century 21 department stores & Sugar House Casinos. DJ Hollywood was the musical entertainment for this entire week of fashion. All clothing showcased during Fashion Week is made in Philadelphia.