Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Sharon Gittleman
DETROIT – The runways are set, the models are ready and the clothing is fabulous – everything’s in order for Detroit’s first fashion week devoted to Motown’s hottest designers.
Starting Aug. 8, music, art and high style will come together at the 4731 Gallery in Detroit. On Aug. 11-13, fashion fans will see three different runway shows – one each for student and independent designers and the Glam Slam collection culled from local retailers.
“This is a true runway show of designers’ clothing,” said Cameron Gardner, co-owner of the Detroit Fashion Week Council. “These clothes are one of a kind.”
At 8 p.m. on Aug. 11, eight students from Wayne State, Western Michigan and Michigan State University will show off their designs.
“Friday is independent designers,” Gardner said.
Nine style mavens will display their best sportswear, jewelry, couture and ready to wear creations, starting at 9 p.m.
At 10 p.m. on Aug. 13, fashions by Dolce and Gabbana, True Religion and other famous names will be on the runway, from area stores including Shapes Dress Design Studio of Royal Oak, Luxe in Birmingham, Betsey Johnson from Somerset Collection in Troy and Southfield’s Studio Couture.
Gardner said he hopes the event will give Detroit designers a chance to show off their work – and buyers a chance to pick up unique men’s and women’s fashions and accessories in the trunk show that follows.
“I have friends who live in New York and Boston. Independent designers there are watching Detroit designers,” he said. “There’s nothing here spoiled yet by the industry. It’s not very mainstream. It’s something that’s untouched. You get that true artistic viewpoint of these people.”
Detroit Designer Dana Keaton’s work will be seen on the runways during the event.
Keaton creates glamorous dresses and one-of-a-kind handbags, with a retro element.
“Everything has a sexy feel from the 60s,” she said. “I like the clothing they wore back then.”
The vibrant colors women preferred in that era are especially alluring, Keaton said.
“My clothes are extremely feminine,” she said. “Everything is extremely girly.”
The men’s collections Keaton creates put comfort first, she said.
“I don’t make them too elaborate,” she said. “I make pull-up drawstring pants and shirts.”
Keaton started her fashion label, DivaGroove, three years ago, she said.
“I started sewing in high school. I would take blue jeans and put them on a sweatshirt. Everyone would look at me like, ‘what is she wearing?” she said. “I just always wanted to do my own thing.”
Keaton will design a casual outfit for her clients or a complete wardrobe.
“I make clothing for women that make them feel like a Goddess,” she said. “When you put it on, you know you have something that’s like no other – you’re going to stand out in a crowd. When a Goddess appears other people say, ‘ahh.'”
A photo exhibit by Maryland artist Sara Dykstra will be displayed on the first floor of the gallery during fashion week, said Gardner.
Gay people are welcome at the shows, he said.
“There’s so many gay people involved in the fashion industry, it’s only natural,” he said.
Tickets range from $5-35 for the shows, with special front-row seats available. Friday’s front-row ticket-holders will enjoy complementary shrimp cocktails, champagne and strawberries.
On Saturday, front-row ticket-holders will take home a custom handbag created by Detroit designer Cedi, with organic skin care products and other goodies tucked inside.