Boston Fashion Week Wrap-Up
It’s been a crazy 10 days, but Boston Fashion Week has finally wound down after a lot of parties, amazing collections, and even a python! Without a central tent location this year, Boston’s style pack found its way to the theater district, countless clubs and restaurants, and Copley Place to celebrate the best in local design.
Vogue may have officially canceled Fashion’s Night Out, but the fashion week organizers in Boston—a group that loves to be controversial—hosted Back Bay’s Night Out to kick things off. The evening provided Bostonians an opportunity to visit their favorite Back Bay spots, from bars to salons and boutiques, for one-night only, in-store experiences. Ball and Buck had a live jazz band, while the Prudential Center’s South Garden had a sunset showing of The Great Gatsby.
Local fashionistas scrambled for tickets to the ICA’s Artist Talk with the designers of Proenza Schouler. Over the last 11 years, the understated, sophisticated aesthetic of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez has become a favorite of fashion editors and retailers. During the sold-out talk, McCollough and Hernandez revealed some fashion secrets, such as the inspiration behind their iconic PS1 handbag, and Hernandez recounted a chance encounter with Anna Wintour that ultimately led to an internship at Michael Kors.
If you happened to be in the theater district, you may have noticed a steady stream of stylish people emerging from the W Hotel. Fashion Group International of Boston hosted The Launch Lens at the W, showcasing the fashion photography of local artists like Sadie Dayton and Joel Benjamin. Every year, The Fashion Group supports a few local design students as they launch their debut collections at Boston Fashion Week. A few days later, women’s wear designer Candice Wu showed off her latest collection in the same venue. Wu’s collection is a mix of elegant evening gowns and more avant-garde pieces, and she continues to be one of Boston’s brightest talents.
But it was the very special guests at the celebration at Zu Bar in Mizu Boston that had the city talking. Mizu salon became a zoo for a few hours on Tuesday night with a baby alligator, chatty parrot, and one very large snake taking center stage. The luxe Mizu salon, located in the Mandarin Oriental on Boylston Street, has officially launched its value service, with junior stylists offering blowouts, cuts, and styling for on-the-go clients pampered with high-end products and complimentary cappuccinos. Guests packed the salon, enjoying Deep Eddy Vodka cocktails and bites from Chinatown’s Shōjō and hoping for an Instagrammable moment with the guests of honor.
The festivities were capped off by the annual Emerging Trends show at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End. Now in its sixth year, Emerging Trends gives up-and-coming, innovative designers from around the world a platform to showcase their collections. This year featured designers from the UK, Germany, and Canada, as well as a few designs from young students at the Phoenix Charter Academy, thanks to a collaboration with Cambridge-based studio NuVu. The program allows at-risk kids to get outside of the traditional classroom and gain some real-life experience in various fields for six- to 12-week internships.
This was definitely Boston Fashion Week’s biggest year to date, with a packed schedule and concurrent events. Since there was no competing to be on the “official” runway this year, more designers were given the opportunity to show, though sometimes in tight spaces at clubs open to the public, somewhat diminishing the air of exclusivity. It’s hard to say how many of these collections will be available in stores, as the events seemed tailored more toward consumers rather than buyers and the press. But if organizers can secure a large, centralized venue for runway shows while still promoting in-store events and parties throughout the city next year, Boston’s fashion week will be close to perfect. New York City, you’ve been warned!