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Saturday, October 13, 2012


Posted by Marjorie Skinner on Sat, Oct 13, 2012 at 5:00 PM

It was a full house at last night's FASHIONxt runway show, for a night that distinguished itself with a focus on menswear design. But first South Dakota's Lenzanita kicked things off with a collection mostly dedicated to women, including a few snappy, ageless leather pieces, and a pretty if somewhat scattered selection of prints and textures. Other looks were distinctly geared toward an older clientele, but there were pieces throughout that could be plucked to snap up the office wardrobe of a woman at any age. Lowlights were a series of open-front long skirts over shorts, some odd placements of pleats, ridiculous collars, and a rather gauche mint gown that closed things out. The standouts:

Portland's Collier killed it with looks that were strong on outerwear and clever pattern mixing. The styling was impeccable, and progressed from casual to increasingly formal, where the brand really shines. Men, if you are looking for a new fall jacket, I urge you to check these out, especially if you are pro-toggle.

Joshua Christensen brought the evening all the way back around to a sporty men's casual that was the least exciting line of the evening. Awkward color blocking, questionable fabric choices, and what I can only describe as superhero capes were spray painted with a hexagon motif and the occasional bee.

Joshua McKinley's clothing seemed destined for somewhere between the locker room and queer night, with 80s-hearkening surf prints, lots of tube socks and briefs, cheetah, and gold lame. As a tableau it was ridiculous (a laced-together plastic shirt of sorts being the most extreme expression), but there were pieces threaded throughout that hit the right mark.

Closing the night was Seth Aaron, whose first look out was a dramatic purple suit that had me marveling yet again over the depth of his talent with tailoring. Seth Aaron favors that hue along with red and lots of black. It evidences the pervasive punk influence on his clothes (with a touch of the Joker, perhaps), but I keep waiting for him to break character and show us a different mood. A uniquely cut coat in an unusual abstract inky pattern was a second highlight of a collection that was excellently cut but had its lulls.

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