Glamorama: The British Invasion takes over Minneapolis
|Glamorama brought the British Invasion and glamour to Minneapolis.|
There's no doubt about it; the British have invaded again. From our interest in the most recent royal wedding to Brit boy bands like One Direction and the Wanted, America seems to have wholeheartedly embraced our friends from across the pond.
Brit-mania swept the latest installment of Macy's Glamorama last Friday with a "British Invasion" theme that boasted "the music then, the fashion now." The annual event is all about the spectacle, and with nine different designers showcasing their collections along with several musical performances, Glamorama certainly delivered.
This show, benefiting the Children's Cancer Research Fund, started with a tear-jerking short film about a girl's battle with the illness. She also came onstage, flanked by Robin Thicke and Karmin's Amy Heidemann, glowing in a crème-colored mini dress and mod flair. The rest of the evening focused solely on music and fashion.
Tommy Hilfiger's line looked like it came straight off the yacht in Martha's Vineyard, with preppy-chic rugby polos, fisherman sweaters, and knee-high riding boots. The collection pitted the deep tones of burgundy and navy against khaki and mustard yellow, and popped beautifully. While Hilfiger's line showed off classic autumn looks that could be worn right off the runway, it lacked innovation that could have spiced up a collection rooted in tradition.
|Great prints were all over the Jean Paul Gaultier Collection.|
The Jean Paul Gaultier Collection had the designer's signature knack for outrageous luxury. With fantastically bright dye-jobs on everything from pants to dresses, the looks aren't for tame fashionistas. Pairing bright pieces with black jackets, leggings, and gloves, it's clear that slick/wet leather is about to make a big comeback this year.
|Tallia Orange gets in the traveling mood.|
Tallia Orange brought a fresh look to menswear with bowties, vintage suitcases, and bowler hats. It was one of the better tie-ins with the event's British theme. Orange's fitted blazers varied in color, from conservative gray and olive to bold plaid and feisty trim. This was one of the most versatile lines of the evening, perfect for a day at the office or a night out.
Material Girl, created by Madonna and her daughter Lola, touts itself as the line for girls who are "never afraid to make a statement." Unfortunately the statement made by this collection is not that they're sartorial innovators, but merely that its wearers shop in the juniors section at Macy's. While the pieces look alright (there was a heavy emphasis on hounds tooth), the styling of those looks with lacy bike shorts made the line feel more '80s revival than fashion forward.
Matching Tallia Orange in versatility and wearability was bar III, but this time for the ladies (along with a few men's pieces). For bar III, prints are all the rage this coming season. The collection featured stand-out dresses with simple red dots, color-blocked stripes, and vivid tribal prints paired with showy outerwear, including wet-look leather jackets and a white fur vest with toggles. This contemporary brand is quickly becoming great for a look that is youthful, affordable, and distinctive.
|Sean John's collection featured several takes on cargo pants.|
The Sean John collection walked the line between bro and prep style with monogrammed sweaters, orange cargo pants, and bright, button-down shirts (only partially buttoned, mind you). While this was another line that didn't particularly break any new ground -- especially with the Sean John logo emblazoned everywhere -- it included some great layering pieces such as the white pocketed vest with gray trim.
From head to toe, Marc Jacob's collection looked perfect for fall. Jacob's now-infamous, ridiculously over-sized hats look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. But even with their over-the-top whimsy, it was easy to see that he has another hit collection on his hands. With dresses and skirts featuring dichromatic paisley embroidery and heavily-knit hounds tooth, Jacobs embraced the coming of the cooler months with chic and warm-looking textiles.
Rachel Roy's collection echoed bar III's tribal prints and layering; however Roy pulled it off with sophistication for a more mature, professionally-inclined crowd. One of Roy's standout pieces was a long duster-type wrap sweater with an asymmetrical cowl neck.
|The Donna Karan Collection was all about sophistication.|
The Donna Karan Collection knocked it out of the park with looks sleeker and more sophisticated than any other seen onstage at Glamorama. It included LBDs great for the office, plunging necklines, and coats with streamlined silhouettes. Karan's collection truly embodied glamor in an effortless way. It also helped that the models donned jaunty fedoras, white collars, and cuffs that lent the collection a little bit of elegance and fun all at once.
|Diesel salutes the Union Jack.|
Diesel ended the evening's fashion program with a fun-filled lineup of men's undergarments juxtaposed with very flashy, yet delightful British stereotypes. Think men in briefs with garter socks, loafers, and a white, powdered wig -- that's the gist of the Diesel portion of the show. The brand, also known for high-end denim and casual wear, showed only undergarments at the event. While the last collection of the evening could have had more substance (and fabric), it garners major points for its effort to use the night's theme in a playful and effective manner.
|Amy Heidemann of Karmin let it all out during her performance.|
Fashion dominated Glamorama, but there were several entertaining interludes between runway sets, including the sister duo Megan & Liz, hip-hop artists Karmin, and R&B crooner Robin Thicke. Megan & Liz gave a short, but good performance with a healthy dose Nashville country flair. Surprisingly, Karmin rocked pretty hard. Frontwoman Amy Heidemann rapped her self-described "swag-pop" with the deftness of a seasoned musician even though the group has only been on the musical radar since 2011. Robin Thicke, famed for his smooth voice and charismatic stage-presence didn't disappoint. With his signature sunglasses and all-black duds, he charmed the audience at the end of the show before a shower of silver confetti fell from the ceiling.
|Robin Thicke charms the audience.|
All in all, this year's Glamorama seemed successful, from the fast-paced runway show and musical performances to the after party littered with multiple photo booths, a smorgasbord of nosh, and a DJ. While rain forced rooftop partiers inside Macy's 8th Floor auditorium, it couldn't dampen the spirit of the evening: having fun and donating to a worthy cause.