Through being on a random e-mail list I have no clue how I got onto (the China-US Women's Foundation; my only connection to China has been through Mr. Big Stuff, my sort of boyfriend who actually turned down an opportunity to become a male model, being there--he's mentioned in earlier posts in this blog) then sending an RSVP for an event that struck my interest, I ended up getting another opportunity to review a fashion show. I literally sent my RSVP for a Monday and this event was on a Wednesday. Shortly thereafter, I was given an opportunity to write this review.
So off I went to Cipriani at the Wall Street location.
For those of you who've never been to Cipirani, I have to insist you go to at least one event there if you want to call yourself upscale or cultured. From the outside, Cipriani Wall Street looks like a regular ordinary building on Wall Street. When you walk inside, it's a very different experience. I would describe going in as a magical experience. You are literally transformed into a space with high columns, architecture and far from the venues I've set foot in for previous fashion shows either as a guest or a model.
Having been to Cipriani for one other event in my life (as the guest of another attorney with political office and presidency in a local organization), I was prepared for the grandness of this space. Dress appropriately if you're going to be here; this isn't a jeans and sneakers style place.
As this was a fashion show/gala event, I saw people wearing all kinds of great fashionable outfits and made sure to live up to that myself while also staying comfortable for hot weather and the impending rain storm predicted for later in the evening. I wore a dress I've owned since the 90s that I recently got altered to fit me properly (I may be one of the only people who got older and is now thinner than she was in high school; my alternations projects involve getting clothes taken in so they fit me properly). It was also fingertip length and a bright, shiny red while I did my hair in a side ponytail to manage icky sweat effects from hair on my shoulders/back. Unlike many places in NYC, Cipriani has air conditioning. I actually got cold at times and needed to grab my coverup from my purse!! The cocktail period before the show had some good food, including the type of black caviar that I like as part of an appetizer.
Needless to say if you're going to do a fashion show & it's in your budget, book Cipriani. This is even more true if you want good food and for your guests to have a first class experience.
The stage setup for the show definitely built anticipation. It was a series of steps coming from nearly the top of the ceiling to the floor. I wondered if the models were going to be walking from the very top of this step creation and thought "that's daring."
When I saw the models walk out, I noticed they definitely looked like the runway types you typically see though I was pleased to see a woman who appears to be a real redhead among the ranks. If you've been to a lot of fashion shows, you know that real redheads on the runway are few and far between. I've usually been the only redhead in shows I did; you definitely stand out and it's not a look I think is appreciated or regarded all that much based on shows I've seen and castings I participated in. In fact, I find calls of "promoting diversity" hollow & contradictory when no one who looks like me is represented while everybody else IS represented (and they were though I had to go with the best pictures & didn't get the best shots of every single model I saw). Doesn't she look great?
Consinee Group is a company based in China. They specialize in cashmere creations and have a deep commitment to being green in their manufacturing process and in the creation of their material. They also have an international presence, engage in philanthropic efforts to help the herders who provide the animals who create the material to make the cashmere along with the children of those herders and are dedicated to environmental causes. In fact, they even have a corporate song!!
Designed by Steven Oo, these pics represent only some of the fashions featured in this show. The fashions covered a variety of colors, designs and looks. None of the models stopped to pose during the walk and I have no idea if they did photographs with the photographers before or after the show but I captured these while sitting in the press section. I hope they did get some good pictures, as models seek these out for their portfolios and I got nothing but a professional vibe when I saw this show. I only noticed one gap during the walk and wasn't sure if this was a pause for a second segment or if this was the end of the show; the models were very good about maintaining proper distance and not bunching up on each other. Despite having to traverse some stairs for this walk (none at the very tippy top of the stage but some that were more standard than you'd think of for an average stage), no one fell or looked like they were going to trip. Managing that, especially in heels, is much harder than it looks.
The show's theme was "Stitched in Time." If the theme is meant to indicate that the fashions shown are timeless, then the theme was extremely descriptive since I would consider that a true statement. I would further describe what I saw as unique twists on preppy and business attire (two areas you wouldn't typically think of as being known for having a stylish, modern aesthetic) and looks that were both sexy and tasteful.
As you'll see, there's a look here for everyone and this doesn't even cover the full spectrum of looks represented in this show. Much of the attire consisted of items you could absolutely wear on the street and look great in without looking completely out of place or having it be too impractical to wear in real life. Would you ever associate the white outfit above with the word "cashmere"? I also noticed some shoe changes during the show, which I imagine was not an easy feat to pull off but the models made it happen.
Now I'd probably never get away with wearing it to court but I'm very partial to the striped suit above & feel if I had a suit like that I would definitely look like a kick ass entertainment attorney. It reflects a sense of style (which you almost never see in business attire among female attorneys; there's a stereotype that we are "unstylish").
This dress was my absolute favorite garment of the show. I'm glad I got a good shot of it. Since we know redheads rock green and I rock forest green without a doubt, you can kind of see why I'd consider this outfit a top pick for myself. I actually went to the website to see if they sell the garments directly.
The final walk did not consist of the models clapping but this was the most professional and put together fashion show I've seen. If there was backstage craziness and last minute issues (which anyone in fashion knows are inevitable no matter what type of fashion show you're doing), no one brought it to the stage or made it the audience's problem.
After the show was a dinner that was quite filling and led to me possibly making a new friendship with a fellow blogger who's also reviewing this show for her blog, Tablespoons & Teaspoons (I tried to find a link but no such luck). I also met a young woman reviewing this show for Honeysuckle magazine. She told me that was going to be her first review and I tried to provide my own insight as someone who'd done reviews and modeling before.
The show director Christina Neault, executive producers Claire Lin & Yuhan Liu, project managers Channie Chang (also Consinee's Director of Sales & Marketing), Mary Xu, Sherry Xue and the Consinee Group Chairman + CEO Boris Xue (among the many individuals involved in this event) showcased a company representing the best of China & should be very proud of their work. Mr. Xue said this was the second show Consinee has done in NYC at Cipriani and a third show is already being planned for July 2020.
I also received a gift bag which included a seamless cashmere garment from Consinee. Mine was a mock turtleneck and trying it on, it might be the most comfortable and warm top I've ever worn that could also be worn if I want to look sexy without freezing too death. I can't wait to try it out when fall/winter hit.
Based on this actual experience with the brand, I would love to see if they have a store with garments or could make some of the looks I saw in the show (though budget and closet space might limit me somewhat, they may not be issues for some of you).
Here's to the next fashion show from Consinee in 2020.