Fashion Week Bomb

fashion_week_miami.jpgDid you hear the bomb last night? No, it wasn’t a North Korean nuclear warhead hitting downtown. It was the opening night show for Fashion Week Miami Beach, held at the Knight Concert Hall in the Carnival Center. What a disaster! Sponsored by Harper’s Bazaar en EspaƱol, the evening was a collaborative presentation of the big names in fashion, shown all at once. That in itself could have been alright, if they hadn’t just grabbed the clothes from Dadeland Mall and pulled the models from the latest graduating class of Barbizon.

All the models came out in one continuous stream, so an announcer would say “CHRISTIAN DIOR!” or “DOLCE AND GABANNA!” or whatever designer was coming up, and a few models would wander out onto the stage, giving the audience nasty looks. Although those nasty “I’m too sexy” looks only work if the clothes are interesting…which, for the most part, they weren’t.

The one saving grace was the short segment featuring Silvia Tcherassi, the Colombian designer based in Miami who makes eveningwear for the upper-class latina set. Like a jolt of electricity into the corpse that was the entire evening, Tcherassi’s designs were innovatively-designed and flawlessly-executed. Gorgeous, gorgeous, goregous. Sadly, she only showed three gowns, but when those three gowns hit the stage the audience literally burst into applause–perhaps not so much for the excellence of the designs, but because there was finally something interesting to look at. That should be why Miami hosts a fashion week at all: show off what we have to offer, bring Latin American designers to the forefront of the fashion media. Don’t recycle the castoffs of greater shows elsewhere.

What happened here? Miami used to be on the fashion map. In the past, our Fashion Week has featured some pretty good shows–memories of Sean John and Roberto Cavalli come blissfully to mind. But this time around, the only show with any legitimacy is JLO, and everyone knows Jennifer Lopez doesn’t have much to do with designing those clothes anyway. One can only hope the rest of the week will be better…and next time around, shows like the Harper’s Bazaar debacle won’t happen at all.

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