Thursday Night: A Recap of the 1st Night of Tucson Fashion Week
Couture in the Suburbs’s Tucson contributor/expert Rebecca attended the first night of TFW. She had a fabulous time at the event, held at the Rialto Theatre, and thought the designs were unique, original, and representative of Tucson culture. She was particularly enamored with Anine Paulsen’s debut collection, which gave off a distinctive 90’s vibe.
Friday at Tucson Fashion Week
Friday morning I hit the road, making my way to Tucson for Fashion Week. I was bubbling with excitement as I drove down I-10, eager to attend my first event as a contributor for Couture in the Suburbs. Friday night’s event was being held at the Museum of Contemporary Art, a relatively small, unimposing, industrial building in Downtown Tucson. The set-up was absolutely gorgeous, with elegant white sofas and chairs on a small patio, decorated with string lights, candles, and even giant bottles of Perrier-Jout champagne. At 5, the meet and greet event began, where I had the chance to get to know a little about model and fashion influencer, Camerone Parker. She arrived in style, sporting the dress Bert Keeter used in his audition for Season 9 of Project Runway, and told me about how excited she was to be witnessing the rise of fashion culture in Tucson, expressing a great deal of enthusiasm for the event and the opportunity to be there.
After taking a brief break for dinner, I headed back to the museum, ready for the show to start. The set-up was rather unusual, with the concrete floor serving as the runway, which wound in between rows of chairs. There was no stage, or clear starting point, nor the bright lights you might expect to see at a fashion show. On each side of the room was a string of booths from local companies, such as Gadabout SalonSpas, showing off products and giving samples. People popped in and out, getting drinks and food from the patio and then staking out the seats with the best view. Overall, the event had a low-key, yet sophisticated atmosphere.
At 7:30, it was time for the show to begin. The lights dimmed and out walked the emcee, Oscar de Las Salas, announcing the official start of the show. Models began to strut out from behind the curtain, exhibiting the designs of Shahida Parides, Monica Hansen Beachwear, Cry Baby Couture, and Theo Doro.
Because there was no elevated runway, it was somewhat difficult for those who weren’t lucky enough to get a VIP seat to see the designs well, and even harder for the press standing behind those seats to capture good photos without the heads of attendees. The visuals of the single spotlight that followed the model, with pink and blue stage lights dimly lighting the entire runway, were beautiful in person, but harder to capture on camera.
After several shows, there was a brief intermission, during which the party started. The entertainment for the night would be a live performance of Jason Maek and Zaena, an up and coming music duo who created a Fashion Week visual album.
Tucson Fashion Week saved the best for last, the show ending with Heatherette founder and designer Richie Rich showing off his new line, and then strutting down the catwalk himself with his signature sass. The show over, Oscar returned to introduce the ladies behind the event, Paula Taylor and Melanie Sutton.
Friday night was an absolutely amazing event, with a surprisingly understated elegance. I can honestly say that everyone I spoke with was very friendly and enthusiastic about the night ahead. While the runway itself was innovative and unique, it did leave a little to be desired by those in the back rows. There was an incredible amount of diversity in the style of each designer, and even the type of clothing showcased, which I think made the night more interesting. You never knew what was coming next! The Shahida Parides line was full of flowing designs with bright patterns and animal prints, while Richie Rich’s designs were all glitter, leather, and glam. My personal favorite was the Theo Doro collection which featured quirky, fairlytale inspired dresses reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and other childhood stories.