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Scottsdale Fashion Week: In Review

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Crowds of fashion-conscious (and not-so-conscious) gathered on the Scottsdale asphalt this weekend to celebrate the leading names in local and national fashion.

It was the fifth year of Scottsdale Fashion Week -- an event that's been held in the past at the Scottsdale Waterfront and SouthBridge. This year, the runways, bright lights and thumping fashion-show beats were in large white tents outside of Scottsdale Fashion Square. Three nights (read: Fashion Weekend) showcased emerging and established designers, whose shows ranged from engaging to embarrassing.

Check out our photos and read a complete rundown (including how we though it matched up to last month's Phoenix Fashion Week) of the weekend's event after the jump ...

Scottsdale versus Phoenix:

We're all about supporting local designers and events that bring much needed attention and excitement to the fashion scene. So we were excited, but a little confused, to hear that there would once again be two fashion weeks, representing the same season in the same zip code, but with different names. There was, of course, overlap between the two events and a few local designers who ran their lines down both runways.

photo by Ryan Wolf
Katharine Kidd's last look at Scottsdale Fashion Week.
Scottsdale took the cake in organization and professionalism

-- somehow fashion shows feel more fashion-y in large white tents (even with parking lot stripes beneath our feet) and

it was a relief to feel the steady pace and tight execution of each show


The event brought in larger design names than its Phoenix sister and entertained the crowd and nearby mall visitors with live DJs and weak celebrity sightings (see Saturday). Overall, it felt like the more grown up, but semi-less hot sister of the season.

Phoenix Fashion Week (also running since 2005) took the glamour crown this year. The event was hosted at the swanky W Hotel, which, yes, is in Scottsdale. The experience was more intimate; there weren't hordes of cougars and boppers weaving through the mall and lingering around the events' perimeter trying to get a closer look. And the designers and their respective lines were more diverse in style and geography.

Combining the efforts of both seems like a no-brainer -- mix glitz and hype with organization and professionalism and we might have enough material and legitimacy to draw some real attention. But we all know sisters don't all get along that well. Perhaps it's time for one to take on Fall/Winter and the other to tackle Spring/Summer? Or maybe they can just spread it out and stick to their own turf a little better ... There's always next year.

Want to hear all about what went down the runway this weekend? Let's start with Thursday and Friday ...

We posted our review of Thursday night's community-themed fashion rundown on Friday. Click here to read all about Collins College and FIDM designs as well as the accessory show.


photo by Ryan Wolf
Design by Rebecca Turley
Friday night's Main Stage show started out around 6:30 p.m. with Valley "Designer of the Year"Rebecca Turley's Nostalgic Boutique collection.

The show was Turley's usual sweet, vintage-inspired style with a few updates thrown in. The real crowd pleasers were the dresses she purchased and re-purposed into more stylish garments.

Images of the original "offending" dresses were projected on screens and the redesigned work was sent down the runway. This was garnered more reaction from the crowd than the "Oh, that's cute"s from the show's earlier teatime dresses.

One audience member nearby commented on how the re-purposed vintage frocks served as great inspiration for a craft idea.

We'd like to see some of those swag-bag toters take a seam-ripper to a vintage dress and come out with something more than new dish rags.

photo by Ryan Wolf
Design by Katharine Kidd

The second show of the night was presented by California designer

Katharine Kidd

. Her show was full of sleek design with flowing ethereal fabrics.

The model's slicked-back ponytails complemented her neutral color pallete where even sleek black pants failed to pack a punch when paired with calm khaki.

​Kidd's show had a number of frothy, dessert-like designs, but the gauzy-tiered finale dress garnered the most praise from the audience.

The third show of the night, by Luca Luca, pulled in the largest number of audience members, which held on through the last few shows.

Luca Luca's clean lines and tailored looks had a lot of hits, but those high points made the lower points in the collections stick out that much more.

Some odd sequined fabrics and bell sleeves brought on some awkward "What is that doing in here?" moments, but could be easily forgotten when the next hit came out.

The long backless gowns (pictured right) definitely added some much-needed sex appeal to the show which, at times, felt a little too country club conservative.

Kevan Hall was one of the most anticipated shows of the night with a buzzing crowd and large audience.

His opening looks were sharp jewel-tone dresses, which added color to a night of yawny beiges. It carried on into flirty metallic suits and tinsel frocks.

Though his show was the best received of the night, there were a couple of "huh?" moments as well. We're not sure what was up with the jellyfish-looking shirt and jacket, which left us confused as to how they drifted into the mostly red-carpet ready show.

Thankfully, soon after the "sleeve incident," Hall's real bread and butter took the stage. Nearly every gown that headed down the runway received claps and cheers from the audience.

The angelic, layered finale dresses stole the show and proved Hall knows how to please a crowd -- and properly place a ruffle.

The final show by French designer Lloyd Klein was definitely one of the most memorable of the night. You want sex appeal? We hope you're into leather. The models opened the show ready to kick some fashion ass in all black with leather accents.

Klein was indeed dramatic on the runway, but the drama didn't just come through in his designs.

What seemed like the first look finally coming out just led into a minute-long pause of a model standing in the dark at the beginning of the runway. When the lights finally came up and she began to walk, you could feel a big exhale in the tent.While Klein's designs were bold on the runway, it was his boldness off the runway that made more of an impression. Before the show began, a mini movie of Klein's life at his studio played on the projection screens. Let's just say it was a movie that never ended.

It included everyone from his seamstress to the turtles that reside in front of his store. One audience member referenced Zoolander, and we have to agree. "At least it gave us something to talk about," another said.

Somebody get this guy a reality show. 
And that's just Friday Night! To get the lowdown on what went down on Saturday, click on ...


Saturday's main tent runway (clothes, styling, models, lights, music) was much stronger than Friday night. Think: Beautiful men and woman in designer clothes strutting their stuff down a runway to a remixed version of Dolly Parton's "Jolene".

The show began with a "best of" Neiman Marcus, showcasing highlights from their carrier's Fall/ Winter collections. The audience -- who seemed to pay the least amount of attention to this specific show -- missed out on a few of the most memorable looks: a mustard yellow wool blazer by Akris and a flowy, navy blue dress, and a sequenced jacket that closed the Neiman show.

Next up was CH by Carolina Herrera. Kudos for this show go out to styling and model direction. Older male and female models wearing serious expressions were chosen to showcase the collection, which was themed in conservative luxury and elegance.

Following was our overall show favorite, Tory Burch. The show was graced by actor Frankie Muniz, who you probably forgot may remember from the sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. Muniz, who also drums for the local band You Hang Up, wasn't the reason we granted Burch best in show.

Tory Burch's collection was feminine and classy with the perfect amount of edge. Models wore ankle boots, tights and lots of black leather, occasionally spicing things up with bright orange and purple separates. Local fave DJ W.F. Rani G intensified the atmosphere with tunes like "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega.

Closing the show and attracting the largest crowd was Betsey Johnson. The collection showcased what we love/hate about the designer -- funky prom dresses and over-the-top gaudiness.

Before the show started we heard a woman whisper behind us, "I can't wait to meet Betsey Johnson." The show's attendance was either the result of the night's progression into a cougars' singles' mixer or a (false) rumor that THE Betsey Johnson would be at Scottsdale Fashion Week to present her own collection.

Yes, Scottsdale has her very own Fashion Week(end) but she still has a very long way to go before she can spend any face time with any top-name designers on stage or in the audience.

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