Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 at Talking Stick Resort was the best incarnation of the annual event yet. With designers ranging from local to international, the three-day event rolled out the runway in the name of fashion. Most was good, some was bad, and a few things were straight up ugly.
The Good Designer Bri Seeley, who won 2012's emerging designer contest, returned to Phoenix Fashion Week with a lovely, strong collection of vintage-inspired, ladylike dresses and separates. Since winning last year, Seeley has since relocated to Los Angeles, where she has a studio, and shown at LA Fashion Week. It's great to see that PFW has helped this designer find real success in the fashion market. Brava.
The Bad PFW named Katya Leoncio's swimwear brand Dolcessa emerging designer of 2013. We've always been a little perplexed by the contest, which awards one designer deemed most promising a package valued at about $10,000 in goods and services to help launch their brand, because all the designers are making different things. This year, there were evening wear designers, T-shirt creators, men's apparel, and ready-to-wear women's pieces. The winner is determined based on a set of criteria including business plan strength and web presence, in addition to actual fashion creation. Our problem with Dolcessa? It's already appeared in a bunch of major magazines, and the brand's suits appeared on model Kate Upton in her famed Sports Illustrated Antarctica spread. That sounds way more like a brand that's established than one that's struggling to make it.
The Ugly Shawl Dawls presented its trademark wraps on the runway during Phoenix Fashion Week's opening night. While the designs were perfectly fine, the brand's styling induced many a WTF?. Models strutted down the catwalk wearing skin-tone body stockings and underwear... with shawls on top. It was bizarre. It was unflattering. And you better bet it was ugly.
See also: Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 at Talking Stick Resort: Day One Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 at Talking Stick Resort: Day Two Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 at Talking Stick Resort: Day Three Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 After-Party