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Designers to watch: Kurt Souder and Jennifer Burks’ Weft

PWSPWS2When Kurt Souder and Jennifer Burks got a prompt from the folks at Philadelphia Fashion Week to whip up a capsule collection, it sparked something in their creative trajectory. They’d both been toying with ideas and designs, but hadn’t been given the opportunity to show fashion-y people what they’re all about—that is, until last month, when they ushered out a handful of looks that ended up being some of the most memorable of the whole show. And on a three-week time budget.

PWS3Their brand, Weft, is picking up steam, and so are they. Specializing in tailored pants and capitalizing on their unique perspectives on menswear, especially sportswear, the two are poised for a busy spring. Last night, they showed me their collection and had a model (read: roommate) wear a few looks for perspective. For a capsule collection, a handful of garments created to express a shared aesthetic, this one’s pretty robust. There’s room for improvement, but their staples and standards are what keep the line strong: well-tailored and constructed pants, beautifully-cut five-pocket jeans, hand-painted “patterns” and a cohesion that celebrates an attitude they like to call “dressing in the dark.”

That descriptor doesn’t have to mean that your house was on fire, and you grabbed the nearest five garments to be covered in the event of a fire drill in winter. For Souder and Burks, it’s about cultivating a wardrobe that works together, no matter the combination. They showed me three graphic print tees (perhaps the last they’ll make) that illustrate objects exploding, visuals bolstered by Souder’s self-taught leather cutting and hand-painted detailing. They see the tees as a layering tool, something to wear with a strong pant and a blazer or under a waffle henley.

PWS4But it’s the tailoring of the pants that caught my eye the most. Their pinched seams, that run down the front of the pant like an outward pleat (but also like a simple fold-line), create a visual intrigue that adds to the garments’ strength. A perfectly effortless but gorgeous pair of dark denim looked like it’d belong in an A.P.C. rack at Barney’s. The simplicity of a black wool turtleneck with an asymmetrical hidden neck zip, not unlike something you’d find at LuLu Lemon but kicked up in sophistication, looked comfortably and perfectly paired with their jean.

I told them that with a line of 20 variations of those jeans and that sweater, I’d be waiting in line to get my size.

Philadelphia isn’t notorious for cradling and cultivating fashion talent, but these two friends—who go back to pre-teen days at Moore’s extracurricular art classes on weekends—are in it to win it in the menswear game. Whereas Commonwealth Proper and Suit Supply may corner a specifically higher-end and suiting market, Souder and Burks hope the everyday wear and flawless construction of their sportswear is something they’ll see on all kinds of men walking down Walnut one day.

‘Launch Into Fashion’ Tonight at Moore

moore_collegeComplimenting established initiatives like DesignPhiladelphia and Philly Fashion Week, The Galleries at Moore College has just announced the launch of network, a new series of free networking events bringing emerging local designers and business and art professionals together to exchange ideas and make new connections.

The twice annual series kicks off tonight from 6-8 p.m with “network: Launch into Fashion.” Guests are invited to come rocking their favorite attire/accessories and will have a chance to mingling with some of Philly’s top designers and fashion experts while enjoying complimentary cocktails and the tunes of local DJ Sammy Slice.

The evening’s featured speakers include Elissa Bloom, executive director of the new Philadelphia Fashion Incubator—launching this spring at Macy’s Center City—and Jay McCarroll, Philly-based designer and winner of Project Runway, season one. Sounds like a hell of a Friday night to me! Especially considering it’s absolutely FREE. jay_mccarroll

While there, you should also check out the slew of really cool exhibitions currently on display. In the Wilson Gallery you’ll find Moore’s annual alumnae exhibition, which is being held in conjunction with FiberPhiladelphia and features fabric yardage designs, as well as a curated selection of fashion designs. Meanwhile, in the Levy Gallery you’ll find “A Circumstantial Assembly,” an exhibit exploring the diverse ways that contemporary artists are (re)interpreting fiber art-based traditions and techniques.

PW Style is sending a few of our fabulous interns to the event so check back Monday for a recap.

PFW Fall 2011 Finale

Well, that’s a wrap for another Philadelphia Collection/Philadelphia Fashion Week procession. Things went out with a bang this past weekend at the Crane Arts building where many young designers and a hand full of lower-than-minor celebs gathered to witnesss the best of the week.

Lower-than-minor celebs included Gina’s friend on Martin, a blond lady from Star Trek and some pop star I guess I should have heard of, but, at first glance I thought she was getting her picture taken because of her resemblance to Ru Paul.

After the nineteenth Kanye West disciple gave me a thorough up-and-down and the last stiletto-ed woman hobbled to her seat, the music began. My god, the music. It was like some terrible amalgamation of latex techno and Euro department store beats positively bouncing off every corner of the huge warehouse space.

Mayor Nutter made a brief appearance, mispronouncing the word “couture” and then stressing the importance of fashion in Philadelphia. Oh boy. The fashion itself ran the gamut of truly innovative, mob-wife tacky and art-school project. Here, some highlights of the best and brightest.

This dress definitely had a Wang/Theory vibe to it with the flowy mullet skirt and cut-out scuba top.

Something about this sheer top and faux-fur bottom sheath really spoke to me for Fall.

This to me was the highlight of the evening. This crimson dress had this minimalistic, Calvin-Klein feeling to it that came off as super sophisticated design.

abigail | Sep 27 2011 9:04am | FASHION, festivals, philadelphia fashion week | Comments 0

PFW: Black Tie Affair

Those in attendance at last night’s PFW event did not disappoint—they came to the glamorous affair appropriately dressed to the nines.

Held outside under the Headhouse Square pavillian, luckily the weather cooperated. Though, they should have given more thought about forcing women to walk on cobblestone in heels for two hours. After three influential voices and talents were awarded for their contributions to Philly’s fashion scene—including Inquirer fashion writer, Elizabeth Wellington—the runway show finally began…

First up were the vintage fashions of several local consignment/thrift shops including, Philly Aids Thrift, Twice Boutique , Green Street Consignment and some really sexy heels from Bus Stop Boutique.


Next, three local design students wowed the crowd…


And then guests were given a sneak peak at some of the upcoming PFW designers…


And then the grand finale! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch the names of the two lovely ladies who designed these incredible dresses and for whatever reason, they aren’t posted anywhere…


Oh, and I almost forgot–chef Dana “Sugar Daddy” Herbert from TLC’s The Next Great Baker brought some very fashionable treats…


Here were my two favorite looks from the night…



**All photos courtesy of Nicole Leyrer (who did her best despite having to compete with the incredibly bright lights and a group of wild  photographers)

PW Style’s Philly Collection Picks!


Now try and say that headline three times fast.

For those of you who don’t already know, today marks the beginning of The Philadelphia Collection. That’s right, the three-week fashion and style extravaganza has officially begun.

[Cue the hot pink confetti]

We here at PW Style have been preparing for this day for about a month now. This year, we’ll be covering all five days of Philadelphia Fashion Week as well as several VIP, invitation-only events apart of TPC that many readers may not get the chance to attend.

While we’ll no doubt be alerting readers about awesome upcoming events throughout the next three weeks, we figured we’d at least help you get a head start. With more than 75 fashion and style events to choose from this year—everything from runway shows, demonstrations, lectures, panels and mixers to trunk shows, art shows, festivals, and open-houses—you’re going to need all the guidance you can get.

So here’s a few events definitely worth considering…

Making Up Celebrity Make-Up Panel

Celebrity makeup artist, Lakisha Evans will be dishing out all the tips and tricks you need for flawless makeup application including to achieve the so-called “five minute face.” Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask a panel of experts about their most plaguing beauty qualms. Wed/14. 12pm-4pm. Sephora, 1714 Chestnut St. 215.683.2059 

Macy’s Fall Fashion Show

Celebrity stylist, Lawrence Zarin will host the live runway show featuring Macy’s hottest fall trends. After the show, guests will be welcomed upstairs for personal styling tips, refreshments and some live tunes. Wed/14. 5:30pm. Free. Macy’s, 1300 Market St.

Project Valanni: Valanni’s 5th Annual Fashion Show

To kick off the TPC, Project Valanni is hosting a fashion show featuring the designs of several top local designers and boutiques. Even better: a panel of celebrity judges will determine which one really knows how to “make it work.” Even better than that: the party will be taking over the entire block with a runway extending all the way onto Spruce Street. The cherry on top: attendees will enjoy a live DJ and drink and tapas specials all night. Wed/14. 10pm. Free. Valanni, 1229 Spruce St. 215.790.9494

SA VA Rediscovered Roots: Fall Fashion Show and Community Street Fair

An outdoor runway show benefiting the Susan G. Komen Foundation will be held right on Sansom St. showcasing the SA VA Fall collection in addition to vendors, a DJ, a live musical performance by electric violinist, Caryn Lin and special guest speakers.Thur/15. 6pm-8pm. Free. SA VA, 1700 Sansom St. 215.587.0004 

Basics of Fashion Blogging

PW Style’s very own Fajr Muhammad will be joining a group of successful Philly and New York-based fashion bloggers to discuss the technological and social media tools necessary to brand and market your own business. RSVP @ Fri/16. 6-8pm. Apple Store, 1607 Walnut St, 2nd Fl. 215.683.2059

Fresh and Local: Fall 2011 Fashion Show

In celebration of Philly’s rising fashion scene and edgy sense of style, this runway show will introduce the Fall 2011 collections of three of our finest fashion talents: Katra Michener, Topstitch and Make.Love.Not.War. Fri/16. 7pm-9pm. RSVP Required. 32 Luxe Lounge, 16 S. Second St. 215.760.2753

The Germantown Fashion & Arts Festival, A Revolution in Fashion

In addition to an array of vendors, this outdoor fashion and arts festival will feature fashions—both children’s and adults’—from Philadelphia University students and established local designers. There will also be performances by Settlement Music School, spoken word, dramatic re-enactments and monologues. Sat/17. 12pm-7pm. Free. The Fashion Lab, 6143 Germantown Ave. 267.973.7508

Fashion Speaks

For this eclectic and creative fusion of fashion, spoken word and performance poetry, spoken word artists including, Joshua Dingle, Erica Brown and Kevin Dawkins will deliver original and edgy material, complimenting the high runway fashion show. Sat/17. 7pm-11pm. Free. BlackEye Soup, 6143 Germantown Ave. 215.200.0652

Trunk Show at Tattooed Mom

Yep, there’s even fashion events going down in bars. Several of the best vintage shops in the neighborhood will be showing off their goods including, Sweet Jane Vintage, Philly AIDS Thrift, Medium Bob’s Curiosity Shop, Decades Vintage, Jenny from the Block, Cookie Confidential, Addiction Studio and Rocker’s Closet. And, of course, you can expect food and drinks to be served. Sun/18. 2pm-7pm. Free. Tattooed Mom, 530 South St. 215.238.9880

Birthday Party & Trunk Show

To celebrate their 4th anniversary, Arcadia, NoLibs is holding a night of fashion and jewelry trunk shows from Duke & Winston and Sultana Aschim as well as an art opening and DJ set. Oh, and they’re offer free food and drinks. Fri/23. 5pm-9pm. Free. Arcadia, 819 N. Second St. 215.667.8099

Remember to check back later this week for more Philly Collection coverage!

FBH Fashion Week 2011

Philadelphia Fashion Week 2010, photo by Meghan Marvin

Philadelphia Fashion Week 2010, photo by Meghan Marvin

Today FBH-The Agency announced their latest fashion event, Philadelphia Fashion Week 2011. Running February 24-26, events will include a black tie gala, a ready-to-wear runway show, a fashion seminar and a couture runway show. The gala, to be held at the Temple Performing Arts Center, will honor Philadelphia Style Magazine publisher John Colabelli, Traci Lynn Jewelry founder Traci Lynn and Showroom 77 owner Engela Edmunds. Tickets for the events range from $20-$35 and can be purchased online. For a look back on our coverage of FBH’s Fashion Week 2010, click here.

Habitat for FreeSpirit Fabrics by Jay McCarroll


While year after year Philadelphia Fashion Week snubs Jay McCarroll (he’s never been asked to show), there is one place he will always be welcome, Spool Sewing. Since moving to Philadelphia a few years ago, Jay has been teaching classes at the Philadelphia sewing spot in addition to having his recent fabric lines carried there. Yesterday Spool posted a preview of his latest fabric collection for FreeSpirit Fabrics, Habitat, on their blog. The line includes eight prints in what Spool’s blog describes as jewel tones, brights and earth tones. The full line will be available at Spool in January so for a sneak peek of the entire line, check out their blog.

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