Saturday, August 6, 2011

In review: Macy's Glamorama

[Originally published at]

The fashion spectacle now known as Macy's Glamorama is a time-honored tradition in Minneapolis, carrying with it a legacy that matches few other events in town. Since it was known as A Cause for Applause in 1992 (and later Fash Bash in 1995 until it became Glamorama in 2003) and traded hands a few times (Dayton's to Marshall Field's to Macy's), the event has combined fashion straight from the runways of New York and Paris with live entertainment, high production values and a good cause, with proceeds benefiting the Children's Cancer Research Fund. We are lucky to have such an event survive the devastating economic crises of the past decade uninterrupted, to say the least.

But despite the proliferation of the show, something seemed to be lacking in this year's production when it came to the fashion. A glance at the lineup of designers seemed to indicate a drop in some of the big-name designers we're used to seeing year to year - Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Just Cavalli, PHILOSOPHY di Alberta Ferretti, Issey Miyake, Donna Karan, C'N'C Costume National and SportMax were all surprisingly absent. Instead, we got the additions of ho-hum women's line Tracy Reese and the all-men's diffusion lines Armani Jeans and Kenneth Cole Reaction, as well as two in-house Macy's brands, BAR III and Karl Lagerfeld's capsule collection for Impulse.

Fortunately, perennial favorites and heavy-hitters Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs and Sonia Rykiel returned to the Orpheum Theatre stage. And accordingly, their segments were the most inspiringly staged and styled - though, as indicative of fall runways in general, felt more understated than in years past. Rykiel's fall 2011 collection kicked off the show in a Moulin Rouge-esque staging and Rufus Wainwright's "Leaving for Paris No. 2," true to the brand's Parisian roots. The collection is ripe with on-trend "heritage" textiles: tartans, fisherman's knits, Fair Isle sweaters, and argyles, the prints oversized and the silhouettes elegantly draped, for a look that combined easy Parisian chicness with a blue-collar Brit edge.

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My previous Glamorama reviews:
Glamorama 2010
Glamorama 2009 for Le Petit & for

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