PSST! - Shopping at the Runway

Angela Romeo in a complicated confection by Oliver Tolentino. The tidal blue skirt, crafted in swirls and spheres, condenses an incredible 30 yards of Earth-conscious fabric. With the shimmering halter top, Romeo puts an uncluttered necklace of her own design. She showed her jewelry at Fashion Week El Paseo.


Angela Valente Romeo’s wardrobe boasts primo labels like Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Alberta Ferretti. By some accounts, she topped the best-dressed list of the Diva-seat occupants at Fashion Week El Paseo this spring. But the Palm Springs attorney and jewelry designer simultaneously shopped like mad, racking up purchases from six of the designers featured.

“Yes, I attend other fashion shows,” she says. “I think what motivated me this time was the diversity — both in design and fabric choices.”

Before Fashion Week, Romeo had never heard of the marquee designer, Philippines-born Oliver Tolentino. However, she signed for the festive duo shown here, as well as a set of brown shorts and gold top. She says his work must be seen close up to truly appreciate its couture level.

From the Project Runway trio, she purchased a half-dozen fall pieces from Christopher Collins, applauding his use of Japanese denim. “Ready-to-wear like his shows that it need not be a uniform,” she says. “There’s room to accessorize and make it your own.” She chose Mondo Guerra’s pop-art gown. “I love the out-of-the-box factor,” she says. “Mondo can mix and match pattern and fabric minus the costume effect.” She dares to dine out in the “Mondo” with her husband at Le Vallauris. Local designer Michael Costello inspired two new acquisitions. At Fashion Week, she perceived his “new maturity while still retaining the edge that is Michael. His clothes fit me well, and the only measurement he has ever taken is to put his hands around my waist.”

She saw a swimsuit and a dress by Trina Turk that she had to have. And she found avant-garde casual wear by Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising student Kristine Flanigan refreshing. Our super shopper went for an ensemble with leggings, top, and mesh cover-up. “I won’t wear it to the gym,” she promises.

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