Photography: Paul Pardue/Colnie Garcia
There were plenty of smiles and tears - and teetering heels - to go around Friday night at the first "Mantra: What Do You Live For?" fashion show at the Red Lion ballroom.
Three local designers - Jamaica Cole, Mercedes Ben and Casey Sue Douglass - presented their spring 2008 collections to an audience of about 200 fashion fans, including proud family and friends! All the ticket proceeds went to Sacramento-based WEAVE.
The show started with Jamaica's New Orleans-inspired collection titled Vieux Carre (pictured right), which featured short, fitted jackets, lots of dress details such as diamond-shaped cutouts in the back and a rainbow of colors and prints. Jamaica is quite adept at working ruching and pleats into her designs and lots of added extras, particularly lace inserts.
Music for her show was from Tom Waits. At the end, Jamaica thanked her Dad for introducing the musician's work to her. "I wouldn't have known who he was," Jamaica said.
Mercedes' collection, titled Babes 'N' Toyland (pictured left), was very, very pretty. Her version of a purple bubble skirt was transformed, actually less bubble.
I liked her mixing of sweet colors: pink with blue, pink with purple, yellow with pink. Her jeweled blue bolero top was cute. But Mercedes also can get with it when she wants to go elegant in black. My favorite? Her black and white polka-dot dress with a pink bow and ruffle.
The finale, Casey Sue's Swank Hipster collection, brought two thoughts to mind:
* Actress Julie Christie in the 1975 movie "Shampoo"
* What the French Riviera must have looked like when Grace Kelly was holding court
Both the hair (beehives and long bobs) and the clothing (one-piece short sets and flirty skirts) with oversized sunglasses and heels were reminiscent of the Cote D'Azur, and I've never even been there!
Strategically placed zippers and unusual strips of fabric are signature tricks for Casey Sue. The floral prints and plaids easily might show up on the streets of Paris, too.
Taking her bows, Casey Sue closed by saying, "This was the hardest experience I've ever had, but the most rewarding."
Let's hope the threesome return - maybe even next spring - with a fall 2008 show. It gives me an excuse to get out and look at fun local fashion!