Why? Fashion Week Cleveland Runway Show!

Saturday night was the pinnacle of Fashion Week Cleveland: the black-tie gala and runway show. My giveaway winner, Amy, and I split the recap to give you two different perspectives on the evening.

All glam on the red carpet with Amy

Amy’s Recap

When I won the tickets from Why CLE? to Cleveland Fashion Week’s Black-tie Gala, I made a bargain with Jen: in return for the two tickets she provided, I would help her write the recap of the event and provide a few pictures.

My favorite part of the evening was dressing up and going out with my husband for a night on the town. I also enjoyed meeting new people like the writers of some of the Cleveland-based blogs I follow. I think everyone who attended the event felt like the evening was a perfect opportunity to people watch! The fashion show itself was fascinating, and my favorite designer was Lotty Lewis.

It’s Nidhi from Cleveland Socialite!
 There were a few suggestions I would make for next year’s show. The doors were scheduled to open at 7:30 p.m., but they didn’t open until almost 8:15 p.m. This seemed to set the tone for the evening, and it felt like we had a lot of time to stand around. I think there are opportunities to tighten the schedule – perhaps shorten the reception, but have some of the models walking around throughout the reception with the looks from the runway…just to give us a “teaser” for the show itself. I think there was a lack of organization too – I received a lot of questions from other attendees about where they could find the bar, the restrooms, the VIP section, etc.
I also would like to have seen more about the FWC organization and what they are doing to answer the question “Why CLE?”

My Recap

Before we headed to all the glamour, Alicia (my date for the evening), Kimberly, her husband, and I decided to grab some appetizers and cocktails at Pier W. The restaurant just lends itself to dressiness. We snagged a spot in the bar and were able to get in on happy hour prices. Yes, they have  happy hour on the weekend: $5.75 martinis and  glasses of wine and half-off almost all appetizers.

The food and cocktails were delicious (lobster bisque, calamari, and short rib pierogies, oh my!), plus we were able to have a mini photo shoot on the deck overlooking our beloved city.

From there, we headed to the Halle Building. Our tickets said the doors opened at 7:30, but word on the street – literally, we were all waiting on Huron – was that the time had been changed to 8:15. We certainly got in some good people-watching, though!

Once inside, we made our way first to the champagne fountain. Good thing we started there because by the time we went for a refill about half an hour later, there was no champagne left and the fountain was all packed up!

From there, we checked out the nibbles. Stone Mad served up mini sandwiches of their famous beef brisket, Flour served up pasta, and L’Albatros served up three different cheeses, pate, taurine, and homemade sausage.

In keeping with the late entrance to the Halle Building, the runway show started about half an hour late. By the time we made our way through the line and downstairs, we weren’t able to see any of the fashions from our seats. Literally, we saw models from the shoulders up. Perhaps if the runway had been raised, it would have been easier for all the attendees to see the clothes.

I love that Fashion Week Cleveland gives a forum for local designers to show off their talent, but overall, the event could have been better organized and executed. VIP tickets cost $100. While I was fortunate to have received a pair of tickets, I think that the value for people who bought tickets is compromised by late starts, running out of champagne, long drink lines, and not necessarily being able to even see the runway show.

However, I never have a really bad evening when I’m with these ladies, so cheers to getting glammed up with my girls!

Did you attend Fashion Week Cleveland’s runway show? What’s your take on the evening?

***Disclosure: I was asked by Fashion Week Cleveland to help promote the Runway Show by running a giveaway and blogging about the event. In exchange, I received 2 VIP tickets to the Runway Show. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

7 Responses

  1. Wow – that sounds like a hot mess! I feel bad for the people who paid for their tickets – I would have been so pissed if I were them!! Were there other drinks available once the champagne ran out? Glad you were able to have fun in spite of the chaos. You ladies looked gorgeous.

  2. if anything that is an exact replica of Fashion Week in the past as well.. I was a volunteer one year and after having… an experience.. with the management of the event I sadly would never volunteer again.

    I love what they do.. and would jump at helping out if someone else was in charge.. but it’s his baby so I don’t see that happening.. instead I see similar repeats of this year for many years to come.

  3. First, many many thanks again for having me as your date for the evening. It was such a ball to get all dressed up & spend the evening with some of my favorites.

    I think both yours and Amy’s takes on the evening are spot on. It’s one thing to be fashionably late to an event, but another for the event to be just that behind schedule. I hope FWC finds the organization it needs in future years for it to become a more successful evening.

  4. I modeled for Fashion Week a few years ago- for free- and through the experience gained some info from several volunteers and corporate sponsors… about the reason why it’s so unorganized and mediocre. The people who run it get nearly EVERYTHING for free – press, alcohol, venue, rentals, models, lights, entertainment, food – everything. They convince companies it’s a great opportunity, get them to sponsor and then bank off of everyone else volunteering time and resources by selling over-priced tickets. It costs them next to nothing to produce the show, so it’s no surprise that the production is mid-grade. The best thing they can do is invest in the project and maybe people and companies will take the whole thing a little more seriously.

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