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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Philly Falls for Fashion

The lovely model Malika from Model Management Agency of Philadelphia (MMA)
left to right: Knit Wit, Joan Shepp, Theory, Alicia DiMichele

On Tuesday, Oct. 13 I had the pleasure of attending “The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Fall Fashion Mingle” presented and hosted by Elizabeth Wellington. Elizabeth is the fashion columnist for The Inquirer, a position she’s held since 2002. She assembled local fashion experts to serve on a panel for the discussion of fall fashion trends. Elizabeth stated she attended multiple shows during this year’s New York Fashion Week and while there she honed in on what trends she felt would work best for the Philly fashion scene. She brought in hometown fashion leaders to elaborate on what to expect for this season's hottest fall fashion.

The panel included Ann Gitter, owner of Knit Wit in Center City Philadelphia, Ellen Shepp of daughter of boutique owner Joan Shepp whose store is also located in Center City Philadelphia, and Jonathan Bowman of Theory. The celebrity owned Alicia DiMichele Boutique was represented by the store's lead stylist Paulina Bowman and Andre Baldini of Andre Richard Salon rounded out the panel.

The style of night was a play up of the monochrome trend. Elizabeth picked the brain of each panelist as a model showcased a fall look styled by each of the shops represented. The looks included a day to night dress and coat in classic navy, an "athelesiure" look featuring Issey Miyake slacks, a contemporary chic look, and a stunning "make'em stare" cocktail dress. The overall theme of the evening was wrapped up in the sentiment that no matter what the season, we should all stick with our individual style that works for us. We were also challenged to take some risks by trying some new trends. But if the risky looks don't work out, no need to have a breakdown...just go back to the drawing board!  While the discussion was held, Andre was off giving a raffle winner a quick makeover which he debuted later in the evening. For more photos of the event, search the hashtag #ilovephillyarts on Instagram.

Andre Baldini from Andre Richard Salon showcase the raffle winner's look of the evening.
I had great time chatting it up with an aspiring designer Nayyriah S. who is currently enrolled at The Art Institute of Philadelphia and her friend fashion designer Renee Hill of Harx4 a line of ready to wear modern, on trend clothing.  In regards to the panel's advice, while I agreed with pretty much everything they said throughout the evening, I asked if they would change any of their advice as it relates to the plus size community. Only one panelists spoke up (Paulina from Alicia DiMichele), but she summed it up nicely (my paraphrase): Fashion can be something that unites or divides us. We should play up the strengths of each individual because as we all know, every "body" is unique. As fashion conscience people and industry insiders, the goal is make each person feel and look their absolute best. And of course, we're going to do it #Phillystyle! 

Renee Hill of Harx4 and fashion student Nayyriah S.
Chic & comfy look of the night! Top (dress/shirt): Old Navy; leggings: Joyce Leslie
Purse & shoes: Target

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