Photos by Digital Crush's Stephen Stephens
This year, l'étoile's art director, Chris Larson, and culture editor, Juleana Enright, were summoned to shed their stigma of Glamorama virgins and review this year's Macy's Passport showcase. What resulted is a series of play-by-play highlights and some sassy commentary, condensed for your reading pleasure.
Poised to deliver all the glitz, glam, couture, magic, and scantily-clad men audience goers could handle, this year's Glamorama certainly pulled out all the stops. From ready-to-wear runway fashions from top fashion designers to mini-concerts by pop sensations, Macy Gray and Eric Hutchinson, Glamorama power-packed its way through the evening in support of the Children's Cancer Research Fund.
To kick things off party goers met up on Seven's ultra-chic rooftop garden for sushi, complimentary cocktails and socialite hobnobbing. We were then promptly ushered over to the Orpheum Theatre for the fantasy-ridden fashion event. Inside the theater, things we spotted right away were fashion-forwards, a few fashion faux pas and cougars, cougars and more cougars...and Project Runway's Chris March. March recently designed Meryl Streep's Oscar dress and should never be confused with a cougar. Harris Milsdtead, maybe, but never a cougar.
Fashion-foward cuties (and future cougars?) Beth Lorraine Bowman, Kris Vruno Huson and Jackie Bateman
Lights dimmed, techno pounded through the auditorium and a figure's head reminiscent of Max Headroom appeared on the big LCD screen, enthusiastically welcoming guests to Glamorama. The touching story of 13-year-old cancer survivor, Emma Laehn, then played on the screen, a reminder to guests the great cause Glamorama funds uphold. After the video, little Emma Laehn strolled out with singer/songwriter, Eric Hutchinson, (in a funky, teen-appropriate outfit) to welcome guests and officially start the show. It's no wonder the youth ambassador looked so trendy—local Project Runway star, Christopher Straub helped her with a shopping spree at Macy's in Southdale earlier that week, not to mention took her for a tour of his Eden Prairie studio.
Pleasantries concluded and we were segued into a blue-lit theatrical dance number with black unitard ballet dancers and suspended models draped in dark carnival, Victorian-esque Chris March gowns – just one of many dance theatrics we would experience throughout the course of the evening.
Haute fashion was up next in the form of all-American designs from Tommy Hilfiger. With version's of nostalgic 60's hits as musical accompaniment, the models strutted out wearing classically cut pieces with a definite modern edge. We were relieved to see Hilfiger's looks follow more on the side of upscale, Virginia contemporary fashion than khaki-heavy/sporty.
Chris: Not sure this 60's psychedelic motif says Tommy to me but I like the looks more than most Tommy stuff.
French fashion designer and grand couturier, Jean Paul Gaultier gave us an international taste of fall fashion with looks inspired by traditional Russian and European styles. Models flaunted ushankas, colorful and vivacious headpieces – including a crown adorned with colossal horns – Norwegian-chic outerwear, Eskimo-esque accessories and dresses with subtle Asian-influenced tapestry.
Versace's men's collection brought a little testosterone into the theater in the form of a wall of Matrix-y dressed men – which instantly revved up the cougars – and showcased some stunningly glam men's wear.
Acoustic soul-pop artist, Eric Hutchinson, delighted audiences with his foot tapping soft rock hits and just as equally confused them by asking for double-hand claps during his songs.
Juleana: So this Eric Hutchinwhatever is a straight man's Elton John? That's no fun! Where's the beef? Chris: It's like Jamie Lidell lite and Jason Mraz had a baby...But in a good way?
“Queen of Knits” French designer, Sonia Rykiel, dazzled us with her collection of sheer delicates paired with over-sized pull-overs and jersey-style knitwear – once again showcasing her talent for creating versatile knitwear.
Chris: The drop crotch tapered taupe jumper is my fave. This is definitely the chicest yet.Chic quickly morphed into pop lockin' urban as a group of America's Best Dance Crew-looking boys fiercely took the stage to show their mad skills to Xbox's dance challenge video game, Dance Central.
Chris: Yes! Dance Central! Want.
Things got mildly confusing when Madonna's collection "Material Girl" took the stage heralded in by a flock of overly made-up zippy teens and tweens dancing to infamous Madonna tunes and videos. The looks were classic '80s throwback – ripped tapered denims, colorful jean pants, cropped tanks, studded pumps, tu-tu skirts – nothing we haven't seen before. And truthfully, we were a little too distracted by over zealous teeny boppers to focus on the clothes. And after seeing one teen sporting the half-shaved other side long, asymmetric doo, I was cured of ever wanting that haircut. It did, however, have us jonesing to vogue to Madonna later.
Just Cavalli returned with another 60's-influenced line that recalled Yoko and Marianne Faithful.
Philosophy Di Alberta Ferretti's dark line had us completely enthralled.
But it was Marc Jacobs impeccable collection that really stole the show. The sophisticated designer showcased a line of ready-wear elegants that screamed sexy librarian and even rocked a backdrop of a giant architectural wooden door that looked surprising like the door to a courtroom.
Japanese designer Issey Miyake debuted his line of J-pop-inspired fashions. Also a definite Glamorama moment.
Chris: If Stevie Nicks was a soldier, she'd wear those gathered pants.The fashion section of the show wrapped up with a burlesque runway/dance performance by the Felina collection and a line from Jezebel that had us thinking we had just been transported to the MPLS club, Ground Zero.
Juleana: Mistress Jean? Is that you??
The grand climax came from 2(X)IST that was – again – cougar approved and testosterone-ridden. Bring on the scantily-clad studs!
A jazzy performance from the gorgeous Macy Gray donning a stunning satin gold and black dress took us to the finale. And as Star-shaped paper mache descended down from the ceiling, we were off to the after-party.
Held on the 8th floor and adjacent rooftop at Macy's Downtown, the after party space was lit up like a cavernous raver's delight with black lights, throbbing DJ spun tunes, body painted hula-hoopers and – you guessed it – glow sticks, or glow rings rather. It was reminiscent of a Kingman party and left us wondering who was gonna pull out the party favors and start the backrub circle.
Kingman, where art thou?
There was even a Dance Central machine – yes the very same one from the show, only much smaller of course – which – after a few cocktails Project Healthy Smile Co-Founder/Executive Director, Hollie Mae, and I decided to bust a move on.
Through the space was access to Macy's much classier laid out rooftop space. With free drinks, delicious appetizers, a dance-floor spewing prime 90's and early 2000's jams and a stunning view backdrop the city skyline, it was the obvious choice to chill.
All and all the night was robust with entertainment, tasty cocktails, haute fashion, and style-forged conversation.
For a full gallery of images by Stephen Stephens click HERE.