Stella Carakasi's Summer Collection Runway Show
There is a first time for everything. For the things we are not required to do but feel passionate about, we embark upon them when we feel comfortable, when we feel we can be who we are. This is why I emailed an enthusiastic YES! to Yarra's invite to participate as a model and stylist in Stella Carakasi's Summer Collection Event. Yarra is Stella's Director of Customer Engagement (and so much more: stylist, art director, photographer) whom I have met back in February at the Stella's studio. (If you haven't read my blog, here is the chance to be "on topic").
So now that you are "on topic", you know that Stella makes pieces for the real woman, that is, for every woman. And the Runway Show made that evident. We the "models" were not professional models - we were fashion bloggers (Wendy Packer, Fashion over Fifty) makeup artists (Kenya Aissa, Airbonne), fashion magazine editors (Savòna Charissè, Style Equation Magazine), customers (Carylin, Casey, Araxi, Kai, Billy Jean) and stylists/personal shoppers (me!). And we span across decades (yes), bodies, features, complexions... and personal styles. In getting ready, among laughs, chit-chat, and getting to know this fun group of women, it became clear that we shared two crucial beliefs;
- that clothes have a transformative power, and
- that dressing should be fun.
The atmosphere was relaxed and festive. My friend Judith was visiting me from Berlin, and she came with (as said in German). As I introduced her to Stella, they started speaking German (Stella grew up in Germany and Austria), and she immediately mingled in the backstage scene. (Secret is that Judith is an amazing photographer). And as I had done my fitting earlier in the week (thanks to Yarra who knew my time constraints and my living so close to the studio!), I got to be the first to get my make up done by make up artist Kenya.
I loved her energy and taste. I am not on the heavy side of make up. I have never been. But since I was playing model, I wanted to have fun. Kenya wonderfully captured the gist of what i wanted, inquired about my outfit, and translated it into make up. Subtle, natural, but also fun... Do you want fake eyelashes? - she asked probably sure about my positive answer... Of course, I said. "If i am going to do this, I will do it all the way. let's have fun" I responded. That is how I experience it. (When my 3 and a half year old daughter asks me why I wear lipstick- (the only outstanding make up i wear, a sort of statement make up if you want-, my answer is always: because it is fun).
Wendy prepped us for the walkway, including stop points, turns, and seconds to strike a pose to be captured by event photographer Stephen Woo (who wore i would say Berliner glasses in orange and black). And yes, I practiced, I confess. I had never done it before, and as much as it was for fun, I didn't want to trip or make a brutta figura!!!
We would have to go down the runway twice: first with a daytime outfit, then with an evening outfit, both of which we had chosen from Stella's Summer Collection 2016 and accessorized with belts from ADA Collection and jewelry from Janet Harrer (with the priceless support of Yarra). We "models" were so different and still we all found something flattering and that expressed who we are. Stella's Summer Collection involves a palette of neutral colors, but with hues that accommodate both warm and cool skin undertones; and designs conceived to fit and flatter every(woman)body, by using diagonals, texture, layered fabrics, draped details. Also, each collection is versatile in combinations among pieces, including layering.
And so people filled the seats, I saw familiar faces, and the show started.
First came the daytime outfits (pictures below by my friend Judith)
And then came the evening outfits.
Casey wore the and Allure Dress in Imagine Print/Moonstone, Wendy wore the Interlude Dress in Pacific, the Freestyle Dress in Platinum and an ADA Collection Belt. I wore a Style To Spare Jacket in Orchid, a Daybreak Tunic in Orchid and Second Nature Capri Leggings in Citrine (with many colorful accessories that are my signature: glasses, necklace, a leather bag, rings), Carylin wore a Refresh Cropped Sweater in Orchid, Up Next Pants in Orchid, a Refresh Cropped Sweater in Soft White and Cool Moves Pants in Platinum. Savona wore the Go To Style Vest Batik, an ADA Collection Belt, an Attitude Tunic Imagine Print, a Modern Muse Pants in Platinum, a Fresh Take Duster in Soft White and Second Nature Capri Soft White. Araxi wore a Pretty Please Top in Black Pearlwearing with her own white jeans and Share The Love Dress in Black Pearl. Kai wore a Making Waves in Pacific, a Basic Camisole Black, Ready To Wear Leggings Black and Free And Easy Dress in Black Pearl. Billy Jean wore a Pick Me Up Top in Black Peark, Cause A Stir Ankle Pants in Black Pearl and a Freestyle Dress in Black. Kenya wore a Downtime Jacket in Platinum, a Cover Look Top in Almond, a Cause A Stir Ankle Pants in Almond and a Free And Easy Dress in Platinum.
I was also supposed to be the third for this round, but on top of how inexperienced I was for a runway and the fact that I had many accessories to remove and put on (that is my signature), I realized that I had the alarm plastic thingy attached to my evening dress. Classy, right? Stella was backstage, and she said "nothing to do about it now", we do not have the gadget here in the studio but up front in the store... and it doesn't matter --- and as I was walking towards the runway (last one and late - unrelated to my geographical provenance) I laughed to myself because my conversation with Stella before the show addressed how important details were, how the quality, the finishing, and the perfection to millimeters in seams were for non-negotiable. And there I was, with the alarm tag attached to my dress, which also embodied the spirit of the event: whatever it is, go out there, feel great. And I did.
Friends came to the event, and enjoyed spirits, met interesting people, and left with bags full of new clothes for their wardrobe. Jil, Tiffany, and Ludovica were so happy to encounter a designer that spoke to their aesthetic sensitivities. We commented on how Stella brings a European quality to her design, that is both imperceptible and yet so conspicuous. To me, it is European Mediterranean for some reason, probably because Stella is Greek (not surprised when I found out the color of her New Release Tunic was stone! like in the Greek Islands!), and the CEO, Stephen Boutrous, is of Swedish and Lebanese origin (Ya Lubnan).
When Stella says she has real women in mind, the designs the talk.
And Yarra art directs the talk.
And we walked the talk in the runway for you to see.
I can't wait to the next runway! I am afraid this might be a one way ticket --- once you go to fun runway land, you do not want to come back!
And now, enjoy professional pictures by Stephen Woo here, and get the live feeling with his video.
I would love to 'hear' any comment you might have after this post!