Nashville Fashion Week: City Lights RTW Runway Show

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Nashville Fashion Week kicked off on Tuesday, April 5, featuring runway shows from a diverse range of designers, accessories as art installations, and of course, fabulous after parties. The last runway night of NFW, titled City Lights, began with a reception on the 27th floor of the Nashville City Center downtown. Chauhan Ale & Masala House supplied flavorful h’ordeuvres to enjoy while guests could browse the rooms filled with goods from local designers and accessories lines including Nisolo, Rosa Hermosa, and Fashionable. The balcony provided a charming photo op as the sun set over downtown Nashville, if you cared to risk the wind disturbing your coiffed hair. Seeing as the runway show was being held outdoors a block away at the Legislative Plaza, most of us waited until the last possible minute to make our way out, avoiding the imminent cold and wind. In all fairness, we were warned to dress appropriately and promised outdoor heaters. Though, who wants to dress functionally when you’d rather look your fashionable best while surrounded by the city’s most stylish crowd?


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Here’s me on the red carpet! (This photo is actually from opening night on Tuesday.) I’m wearing a gold peplum top, black blazer and distressed boyfriend jeans, all Rachel Rachel Roy, with a Guess watch. My lipstick is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Cruella”.

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The first designer to show was Lagi Nadeau hosted by Sisters of Nature. I always like seeing Nadeau show at NFW, as her feminine designs are easy to mix and match and great for travel, but the textures she uses make the pieces look both sophisticated and interesting. The second look shown on the runway, a maxi skirt paired with a cropped sweater in the same beige color, happens to be one of Nadeau’s favorites.

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Megan Huntz hosted by Emerson Grace was the next to show. The designer from Atlanta spent nearly a decade designing in Italy and Spain, and the influences can easily be seen in her work. Her collection was full of pretty spring dresses and separates with unique details. I loved the ivory pleated skirt paired with the cape top that had a gold zipper running up the back.

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Let’s not forget about the men! Ghanaian-born designer Oberima Afriyie showed the only full-menswear collection during NFW, inspired by Japanese warriors from the Edo Period. His cropped, drop-crotch pants paired with well-tailored jackets combined to create looks that expressed bravery and individuality.

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Eleventy presented by Levy’s featured wearable looks in neutral colors for both men and women. Everyone wanted to be wearing Eleventy that night if only to be snugly bundled in the line’s high quality fur-lined coats, blanket scarves and puffer jackets.

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Before the last runway show there was a ten minute break, which was just enough time to stretch my legs and fight for a spot beneath one of the heaters. I joined a group of girls huddled near one, happy to be able to warm my hands in my pockets after shooting the shows. A statuesque and sharply dressed young woman joined us and was immediately complimented on her flawless complexion by one of our group. She was kind enough to share her skincare routine, after letting us know she has never had a pimple in her life (JEALOUS is a severe understatement). Once a week she gives herself a natural facelift with egg whites; she also uses oatmeal or blueberries, which are high in antioxidants. So, there you have it, the secret to clear skin is in your refrigerator!

Julianna Bass hosted by Gus Mayer closed the night, showing her body-hugging dresses and flowing gowns and blouses with painterly prints, most of which could easily take you from desk to drinks. I like how she played with the necklines, ranging from the daringly low cut-outs to the more modest necklines embellished with intricate detailing. Bass was the 2011 recipient of the Nashville Fashion Forward Award.

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I felt that the NFW committee did an excellent job at showcasing designers from Nashville, throughout the country, and across the pond. Having the events hosted at a different location each night was also a great way to show off the city. The event gets bigger and better every year and I’m excited to see what comes next. What was your favorite NFW moment?