FASHION WEEK RECAP: Candela, Elise Gug, & LaureLuxe

So let the festivities begin!

Today was the pre-cursor to the Fashion Week festivities—and after being cooped up at home fighting a nasty cold for the past two weeks, it was nice to spread my wings and be out amongst the masses. Never one to hold back, I jumped right back into the social scene with 4 appearances today.

First stop, downtown at the Jane Hotel for the Candela Spring/Summer 2011 Presentation.

I met up with Shatonia Amee, the style maven behind Pink Suede, Inc. and together we headed over to view Candela collection. As we walked into the venue we were met by bright lights, flashing bulbs and something that looked like a scene right out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book. A reflection of the collections title, the first floor of the Jane Hotel had been transformed into a trading post for the Candela presentation. Aux Armes, who designed the set, did a wonderful job.

On three staged scenes, models looked like they were right out of the pages of books in what was a blend of rustic versus Native American with a modern twist and a little hippie chic thrown in for good measure. Sounds busy, but it so worked. The collection had a very natural feel with cotton, silk, leather and crocheted pieces. Even the coloring of the clothing was very “natural and organic” with white, navy, wheat and olive tones. The collection featured floor length prairie dresses and skirts paired with saddle shoes and boots, knee military like shorts paired with very fine, very femme cotton tops and silky, ethereal dresses coupled with latticed leather boots– tough by very feminine at the same time.

Shatonia snapped a few pics of well dressed models (styled by Kate Sebbah) before we headed north to Nexus Showroom for the second stop of the evening.

We headed to midtown for our second stop at Nexus. There we got an up-close- and-personal look at Elise Gug.

Elise Gug is a Danish designer that caters to the ultra femme and ultra chic, but also to those who desire comfort and a sophisticated simplicity. Drawing inspiration from the Italian Riviera, the collection featured sun-kissed hues mixed with neutral tones (beiges, creams, whites, blush pinks, and black).The line featured dresses that emphasized the waist, A-line jackets, pants, shorts and skirts—all designed to be mixed and matched and all made to flatter the shape. Looking at the collection inspired thoughts of Lucille Ball, Grace Kelly and Jackie O with their quiet sophistication that spoke volumes. I also saw hints of design greats like Elie Tahari and the classic Yves Saint Laurent. Definitely a line to watch.

After grabbing a cup of ice-coffee at Prêt-A-Manger, Shatonia and I headed downtown to Tela Design Studio in the Meatpacking District for the Women’s Mafia Fashion Show. Though time didn’t allow us to stay for the actual show, we ran into a few friends including styling diva Mary Lafayette of Fashion Luv Joenz and retro-chic designer Shantell Richardson of Shauntele.

After showing our face at Tela, Mary, Shatonia and I headed over to the Gates in West Chelsea for the Laureluxe fashion show. The famed metal Jewelry designer’s event was another reunion opportunity. Before even walking through the doors, we bumped into Fashion Week mainstay, Aminah Benjamin. Inside, we ran into Shelly Castro, jewelry diva Tammiko Beasty, Arthur Donaldson of Arabelle Modeling, and Devora Wooden of Dig Deep Inc. Scanning the room we saw other faces we knew including famed stylist Spry Lee Scott and hip hop couture designer Lexx Perry, After a few cocktails, we all ushered to our seats where we were greeted by host, Amanda Diva. Then the show started….

Laureluxe opened sporting the men’s pieces first which included chainmail tees, metal plated skinny ties, chained suspenders, arm and shin guards and “spiked” shoulder pads that would make any defensive lineman shudder. Definitely more than just “jewelry,” the men’s collection brought simple, classic looks to a whole new level with pieces that brought to mind 300 and the Gladiator. Definitely couture. But the best was yet to come…

The women’s collection for Laureluxe was phenomenal. Evoking memories of Grace Jones and Tina Turner in Mad Max, the line was surreal—chain mail dresses and hoodies, swimwear pieces made of chain mail, even lingerie (garters and even a chained “legwarmer.” There were definitely pieces that I could see Amber Rose and Rhianna glamming on a VMA red carpet.

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