Snow 4 – A White Fashion Event 2013

By Derick Macabenta
Photos by Carl Simpson

As January sped past and we go into the tail end of the Winter season, we watch the remnants of this cold period fade away into the opening of spring. The ever-grey Winter nights in the City blossom with pops of resort season colour, but the San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Network had one last flurry of white for the season – Snow, their annual all-white fashion show showcasing the brightest and best designers in and around the city. This year’s line-up brought looks from Cari Borja, The Artful Gentleman, Julie Schindler, Cana Klebanof, Charmosa by Neide Hall, and Joseph Domingo.

The show took place in the heart of downtown San Francisco at the Cowden Automotive center – a foreign car repair shop transformed into the most glamourous venue in the City. Draped in sheer white fabric and subtle accents of silver and white snowflakes, the garage was already filled with style-philes within minutes of the door opening. While taking a look around after grabbing a glass of bubbly sponsored by Freixenet, it was clear that the guests pulled no stops to put together their best all-white outfits – exploring the vast realm of silhouettes and textures to pull together an outfit that shows a knowledge of dressing that only the fashion elite could possess.

It would be practically impossible to pick out highlights from the show. From the very first exit onto the runway, Cari Borja set the energy high with an ultra-feminine ruffled jersey gown styled with a silver sandal and wrist corsage. The following looks followed suit with an overall fluid and floral inspiration, aptly titled “Rose Snow.” Borja’s collection emphasized a clean aesthetic with a mixture of casual ease of wear and dressy rock-n-roll chic.

Artful Gentleman was the next line to take the runway, but not before cleaning our palette with a lightly comical teaser of a dandy outfit pounding out onto the runway with a large white boom box. “Chess” was the name of the game in this stunning flurry of men and women’s bespoke fashions. Where Borja showed airiness and movement – Artful Gentleman contrasted the look with a fine show of structure and tailoring in suiting with subtle hints of grey and white check linings on double breasted jackets and blazers. Lead hair stylist for Artful Gentleman (as well as Julie Schindler and Cana Klebanoff), Rebecca Beardsley, commented that “This year was the best Snow [she] has seen,” – concluding that it makes a difference in which designers collaborate to make this show a success.

Julie Schindler continued in the wake of Artful Gentleman with a cleanly tailored, yet still ultra-femme lineup of womenswear, entitled “Bonnie & Clyde.” With such an iconic name to set the tone for her showing, it goes without saying that this collection stole the show with a mixture of sexy classy evening wear and master crafted outerwear. While the overall look of Schindler’s collection was simply divine, the most catching thing about the garments was the fine detailing on everything. Gorgeous gemstone buttons and burnout fabrics made the classic silhouettes stand out as more modern and contemporary.

True to form Cana Klebanoff outdid himself in this year’s Snow. In his first foray into womenswear, Klebanoff made an architectural statement in his “Depth Perception” line. His collection was a fine study into the contrast between contemporary menswear and city chic womenswear. The end result ended up as a cleanly styled and highly commercial lineup of gender-neutral apparel.

The next designer turned Snow into steam with a swimwear line she titled, “Silver Ice.” Charmosa by Neide Hall brought the sex appeal for the evening with a lineup of ruching, appliqués, and hand knotting. As if working in an exclusively white colour palette isn’t limiting enough, Charmosa showed ingenuity in design and master-level construction in reinventing bikinis for the resort season, while making each look fresh and unique.

Joseph Domingo closed out the show with a climactic couture ending entitled “Ice Princess.” The models hit the runway with the quintessential high fashion pout before sashaying down in Domingo’s hand crafted fantasy driven womenswear. In dresses fit for royalty and separates as sharp as the coldest winter’s night, “Ice Princess” froze the audience in awe. Domingo commented how each garment took hours and hours of just making the fine detailing in hand shredding fabric to make the dresses, showing dedication to his art at the pinnacle of apparel arts.

The San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Network’s 4th annual white fashion show was a vision to behold. Between the magical transformation of the venue into a glamourous runway and the enchanting fashions of the evening – Snow ended up being everything a glam-addict could possibly want. This winter, the Bay Area was far from cold and grey; it was white hot with some of the hottest local designers the City has to offer.

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