Crowds of fashionable people entered the brick Cyclorama building at the Boston Center for the Arts on Saturday to experience The SYNERGY Events’ seventh annual Emerging Trends fashion show at the end of Boston Fashion Week.
Emerging Trends acts as a launch pad for young aspiring designers, giving them the opportunity to showcase their work to a large audience. Designers flew in from all over the world, including South Korea and the Philippines, in order to showcase their collections.
Boston Fashion Week started Oct. 5 and ran through Oct. 11 and included a number of different fashion-centered events, such as the Copley Catwalk Series, in which Copley Place hosted shows from high end retailers and local fashion design students, as well as the Science of Style, an open house showcasing the ways that fashion and technology can merge.
Backstage of the Emerging Trends show, models were effervescent and chatty as they had their hair and makeup professionally styled. Designers lined the perimeter of the room ensuring that models were prepped and ready for dressing.
Designer Jamie Johnson said the runway walk always makes things “real” for her.
“I am most excited to watch the models walk down the runway,” she said. “I cry every time.”
The lights dimmed at about 8 p.m., and the show was on. Right from the start, the audience was captivated by the arresting video technology and music coming from the large screen on the runway. The show lasted two hours, but the unique and varied designs made the time go by in the blink of an eye.
More than 10 designers sent their collections down the runway, with each designer showcasing about 10 pieces.
Johnson, an Alaskan designer and the mind behind the brand Maj, was a highlight among the designers. As a veteran designer of bridal gowns, evening gowns and cocktail dresses, she said she is very familiar with the ups and downs of the fashion world.
“It’s all a process, and you just have to get through the frustrations,” she said. “It’s all part of the business.”
The Maj collection showcased many sleek pieces based on the colors of the Alaskan sunrise. Maj’s runway show consisted of mostly dresses, as well as one beautifully crafted romper. Maj presented many cocktail dresses that were short and fitted, as well as longer dresses that were whimsical in color and form. The pieces were well crafted and all hand-sewn. The color palate contained many light pastels interspersed with surprising elements of leather.
The standout piece from the Maj collection was a baby-blue floor-length gown. Designed with a hand-beaded dark blue leather top and a chiffon bow that flowed down the back of the dress, the dress was very wearable and versatile while still functioning as a real showstopper.
One of the most interesting collections was that of Joyce Peñas Pilarsky, a vivacious designer from the Philippines who has an unstoppable drive, passion and vision for her collection.
Pilarsky uses a variety of rich jewel-tone colored fabrics, ranging from sandy golds to seashell pinks. Her dresses, long and streamlined, are filled with detailed ornamentation and hand-sewn beading and are textured with different layers of silk. “Oohs” and “Ahs” could be heard in the audience as Pilarsky’s collection came down the runway.
Pilarsky started designing as a young girl by making clothes for her dolls, family and friends, she said, before she moved on to outfit brides for weddings. Before she entered the fashion world, Pilarsky had worked as an English teacher, flight attendant and housewife until finally realizing that she had to do what she loved.
“I am inspired by wanting women to look fabulous in the evening to go out,” she said.
Pilarsky added that she is all about making women feel happy and confident, which is reflected in the stunning pieces in her collection.
All of the collections that went down the runway were impressively diverse. There were very conservative pieces, such as Brigid Horlander’s collection that showcased a Southern-belle style. In contrast, designers such as Jungsu J. Choi, a Parsons The New School for Design graduate, showed his collection that introduced elements of science fiction movies as well as the architecture of battleships to create a collection with hard edges and a galaxy-print theme.
Overall, this year’s Emerging Trends fashion show was a diverse show with innovative and elegant styles that were able to showcase both established and upcoming talent.