By Jared Bowen
Sept. 30, 2011
BOSTON — The Tent at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is the new, pulsating heart of Boston Fashion Week. For three runway shows on one night, local designers take fashion forward.
One of the hallmarks of Boston Fashion Week is that it offers opportunity for emerging designer talent. Susanne Hatje is the general manager at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. "We have people who got a chance who might not have been seen and give them the platform in a beautiful environment, a beautiful setting, which is high quality and show it to the public. And maybe you see something which you have not seen before," Hatje said.
For the first time in Boston Fashion Week's history, much of the runway action happens at The Tent at the Mandarin Oriental: A 3,000 square foot tent evocative of shows in New York, London and Milan. Twenty designers will unveil their collections here — each presenting 15-minute shows offering around 24 different looks.
Designer Victoria Dominguez-Bagu was the first to show her collection. "I have a little bit of '70s inspiration, I was around in the late 1970s and I just love the pop of color with the teal and the yellow. I want people to see the collection and say, 'I can wear this. I'd really love to wear it because it's so sophisticated and classy and it makes you feel good when you wear it,'" Dominguez-Bagu said.
Backstage where all the hair and makeup was happening, each of the designers that was showing during Boston Fashion Week had met with their stage, lighting, sound, hair and makeup people to decide what their looks were going to be for the week.
Next up on the runway, showing his couture collection, was one of Boston's most iconic designers, Daniel Faucher.
"I wanted to take you through all the different aspects of a woman's dressing, for special occasion, from a fun dinner out and a luncheon, to obviously the ultimate walk down the aisle as a bride," Faucher said.
One of the striking things about Faucher's collection is the drama he creates for a woman just in the architecture of the dresses he designs. "That's actually what we sort of pride ourselves on. I'm a technician and it's true couture. It's built from the inside out and there's nothing that looks like that or fits like that and the dress walks on its own. And the woman's in there," said Faucher.
And just how much work goes into one of his pieces? Faucher said the average dress takes between 100-150 hours to create. "But the dresses with elaborate beadwork go much more," Faucher added.
For the final runway show, changing fashion from the top, was designer Marie Galvin and her Galvinized Headware collection.
Galvinized Headware offered a deliciously divergent show drawing its own über chic audience. The line's blend of grace and sculpture suggests that every woman should be wearing hats. Its designer disappeared before I could grab an interview — we'll excuse her though. Perhaps after such a successful show, she had nothing left to give.
Susanne Hatje thought the night was a success. "The pieces which came out, the craftsmanship, the elegance, it was flawless. There were so many pieces where you said 'please, I want to wear it, I want to be part of it,'" Hatje said.
For Faucher's part, he said he was relieved it was over. "Oh my God you have no idea! I hate runway shows. They're just too stressful!"
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