Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

May 10, 2007
A walk in The Park

Sacramento Bee/Carl Costas
Model Gia Vang gets her hair and makeup done before taking to the runway Wednesday night as part of designer Tomiko Abella's Mikobella Designs fashion collection.

The fashion show titled "A League of Extraordinary Designers" was, no pun intended, fashionably late getting under way Wednesday night at The Park Ultra Lounge.

Then again, it's no small task getting a team of models coifed and made up - and then dressed in amazing clothes.

And besides, it was well worth the wait.

That's because this was one of the most polished, well-put-together local fashion shows I've attended. I predict that the creativity of the six designers - originally from Sacramento but now working all over Northern California - will see them emerging beyond the state. The great thing is that they collaborated on this show, working together to take fashion to a new level.

The designers were Cindy Vo, Steven Willey, Dee Aguilar, Tomiko Abella and Richard Hallmarq. Special guest designer was Amy Hemmens. (Hosts for the show were Maneca Lightner, cover model for Madhouse records, and Guy Farris, co-anchor of News10's "Sacramento & Co.")

Here's a synopsis of each collection. For a backstage and runway version, see Bee photographer Carl Costas' multimedia presentation.

* Cindy Vo: Cindy started Vindyco clothing in 2004. Her style is definitely flirty and fun - and very modern. I like her incredible mix of fabrics and how she accessorizes each outfit.

* Steven Willey: Steven has gained even more confidence as a designer since the last show I saw him in. This particular collection was inspired by brilliantly colored African fabrics, including wax prints and organic cottons.

* Dee Aguilar: Dee launched her Dee Aguilar Designs company in 2004. Sophisticated and elegant, her fashions can take a woman from day to evening with just a few adjustments. And nobody does dresses like Dee.

* Amy Hemmens: This is the first time I've seen Amy's designs. She puts a special emphasis on one-of-a-kind creations, many of them hand-stitched. She even works with secondhand and vintage fabrics.

* Tomiko Abella: Tomiko also has her own company, Mikobella Designs. What you'll find are amazing fashions with a focus on hand-dyed fabrics and incredible bead work. They can be both sexy and classic at the same time.

* Richard Hallmarq: Richard is a familiar face on the Sacramento/San Francisco fashion scene. And, while he loves to push the creative envelope, this collection was certainly one of his most flattering and wearable - no matter your age.

I hope more local boutiques check out some of these talented designers. I'd love to see their work in as many stores as possible.

But let's start the shows earlier. It's hard for me to stay up past 10!

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