Fashion week kicks it up a little more each night

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 238 views 

FAYETTEVILLE — NWA Fashion Week continued Friday (March 9) at East Square Plaza as a mix of the scene’s foremost boutiques lined up alongside some of the new kids on the block for another night of bright lights and bright threads.

Strut for a Mutt has been one of the most popular fashion show fundraisers in the area since its inception, and there was no mistaking its current standing during its headline slot Friday night. Friends and fans yelped and cheered as Kaela Yarbrough opened the show in an orange draped blouse and cutoff shorts from Lola Boutique, her outfit accessorized with a miniature schnauzer that she held in her arms.

NWA Fashion Week founder and Lola Boutique owner Jade Terminella established Strut for a Mutt in support of Spay Arkansas and the Fayetteville Animal Shelter.  The event’s popularity has been driven by several factors, one being the urban chic clothing from Lola that makes its way down the runway every year.  Lines like Elizabeth and James, Vince, J Brand jeans, and Rachel Zoe are some of the most sought-after labels for young women nationwide. 

The spring/summer wares on show from Lola largely consisted of relaxed, flowing tops and dresses, brightly colored, often patterned separates and denim, heavy, layered necklaces and bangles, and high, chunky heels and wedges.  Everyone in the lounge after the show seemed to have their own favorite piece, from the Vince blue leather shift dress to the bright pink Elizabeth and James blazer or the Current/Elliot cutoff denim shorts.

Beyond Strut for a Mutt, perhaps the most anticipated moment of the night was a drawing for a vintage set of Chanel jewelry, donated by Mae’s Heirlooms owner Jessica Graham, who also provided accessories for Strut. The giveaway consisted of four pieces of signed Chanel and two unsigned pieces of unknown costume pieces with at a total retail value of more than $1,500. They were won by Debbie Walker, eliciting looks of incredulous jealousy from the hopeful throngs in the VIP area.

Another noteworthy show Friday night was By Request’s Runway For Life show, benefiting the American Cancer Society. By Request showed off an array of high-end clothing, including everything from bright skirt suits and evening wear to swimwear and, the latest addition to their racks, menswear.

By contrast, relative newcomer Bach Clothiers for men displayed their shop’s weekend casual wear with lots of hoodies, jeans, button-ups and Henleys by labels like Splendid Mills and True Grit, as well as Razorback-inspired T-shirts by Rock City Outfitters.  In an interesting twist, Bach used a few female models, innovatively tying their men’s shirts into dress forms for the ladies to rock.

Vintage fashion fans were able to satiate their appetite with the Globaluxe show by Grey Dog vintage boutique benefiting Restore Humanity. Grey Dog owner Molly Clark runs her tiny, yet well-stocked shop out of a classic Airstream in Fayetteville, and she even brought pieces from her own private collection to pump up the show. Clark handpicks every piece, and her taste for bold patterns and rich textures made the collection pop under the spotlights.

Other shows included Savoir Faire boutique, evening wear by Joseph Sucy, a run of bridal wear by She Said Yes and a rather racy lingerie show by All About Her.

In the VIP lounge, guests were invited to touch-up up their makeup and fingernail polish at the L’Oreal booth; there were professional artists attending to those who wanted a helping hand. Allyson Mertins dutifully manned the Mertins Eyecare booth, giving patrons the chance to try on limited edition, surgical stainless steel Mykita glasses and have a Polaroid taken in their favorite pair. The Mykita label doesn’t yet carry the cache of some other well-known eyewear lines, but they are quickly gaining favor due to their bold designs, which have been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex and the City.

Fashion Week will concluded Saturday night with sold=out headline shows High Heels High Hopes by Maude Boutique, Rock the Runway for Education featuring Masons and Unzipped by Maca