Sacramento Fashion Week showcases talent

Courtesy Peter Ricacho - Upstart Photography

The music was pounding and the cameras were flashing as a crowd of Sacramento fashion-lovers gathered to watch the last of the showcasing designers’ collections in Saturday’s finale to Sacramento Fashion Week.

Held at the Elks Tower Ballroom in downtown Sacramento, the designer showcases on Friday and Saturday featured the collections of 17 Northern California-based designers.

Attendees to Saturday’s show arrived in outfits worthy of the runway. High heels, sequins, lace and a handful of floor length gowns were visible in the crowd as people found their way around the runway and to their seats.

Morgan Hollis, a photographer with street style Sacramento blog, said she focused her attention off the runway and into the crowd.

“I’ve mostly been photographing the actual people that come to the show because honestly what they’re wearing is just as fabulous as what we’re seeing on the runway,” Hollis said. “It’s kind of cool to see how different all the fashion people are in Sacramento.”

Prior to the designer showcases, fashion reigned throughout the week with workshops on modeling, styling and hair and makeup as well as the Fashion Forum at Sacramento State University. The forum brought a panel of eight industry professionals to Hinde Auditorium where they answered questions and provided insight into the industry.

Following Thursday’s forum, nine designers showcased their lines in Friday’s fashion shows.

Designer Terry Buccat, of lifestyle brand Morris Terry, was impressed with the collections in Friday’s line and considered Michael J. Lopez’s line the highlight of the evening.

“I just thought it was really modern and structured but had some really nice floral fashion elements in it,” Buccat said. “It was flirty and fun but also really high fashion in the way that it was constructed.”

Saturday’s shows featured eight designers with a variety of styles and inspirations.

Designer Caren Templet opened the show with her collection inspired by “white on ice.” Models outfitted in navy blue turbans floated down the runway dressed entirely in white as the designer showed a line of crisp jackets, flowing dresses and sharp skirts.

The gothic edge of Dolzenrok was next on the runway as models in black lips worked the crowd in a collection heavy in red and black. A black mini dress with a metal ribcage for a breastplate was a crowd favorite as applause rang out for the look.

The only designers to showcase both men’s and women’s apparel, PLDM showed 14 looks of denim, plaid shirts, jackets, structured skirts and several dresses. The male models were a welcome sight to many women in the crowd and were met with cheers and applause.

The audience seemed ready for more during intermission as the room buzzed with talk of the designs.

In her second year at the designer showcases, Amanda Roldan was impressed with the growth of Sacramento Fashion Week from last year

“I’m just excited that Sacramento is branching out and is really into (having) a fashion week like the other cities are,” Roldan said.

Sacramento Fashion Week intern Arlyne Rocha, a senior organizational communication major, said she was looking forward to the finale with designer Vasily Vein.

“That’s supposed to be a really great show with lots of sequins and great stuff,” Rocha said. “Hopefully it will deliver.”

The feminine dresses and coats of Julian Gutierrez were followed by more feminine detailing and draping by Natalie Minori Sconce.

Designer Yenni Zhou sent a palette of grays and neutrals down the runway as folds and pleats reminiscent of origami enhanced the models’ curves.

Finally, Vein’s collection hit the stage for the finale. The designer proved to be the highlight of the evening as structured coats in maroon and black gave way to menswear inspired shirts and a floor length sequin gown.

In the show-stopping final look, the model emerged in an enormous white tulle coat with huge bell sleeves and a long train. On her head a coordinating headpiece brought the look from head to toe, while a white lace waist cincher and bustier over white lace leggings completed this over-the-top look.

Hollis described the look as crazy Lady Gaga meets Marie Antoinette, a fitting description for the ornate styling of Vein’s finale ensemble.

As Sacramento Fashion Week comes to an end, the people behind it have plans to continue expanding the event and making the Sacramento fashion scene something worth noticing.

Creative Director and Co-Producer Will Rodriguez said he hopes to make Sacramento the capital in more ways than one.

“We’re really trying to push to make this city a lot better,” he said.

With the continued work of the Sacramento fashion community and the support of local fashion lovers, they will likely do just that.

Jessica can be reached at [email protected]