Fashion Week El Paseo 2011 — Rocking Roberge Spectacular



Fashion Week El Paseo 2011 - Tuesday March 22, 2011 - Rocking Roberge Spectacular

Photo by Gregg Felsen

Gaga had her meat dress, McQueen had his glass box, and on Tuesday night, Palm Desert boutique owner and designer Denise Robergé had Clinton, Spitzer, and Edwards — the latest political statement to grace a runway.

Instead of your standard fashion show, Robergé set up a series of vignettes — fashion theater, if you will — and used clothes from her InSanity boutique to costume eight musical numbers, most corresponding to the state of the world.

Robergé tackled unemployment, philandering politicians, unemployment, and homelessness. But don’t cue the violins just yet. Through peppy, choreographed dance numbers, live musical performances, and her clothes, Robergé made each of these rather dour subjects look fun.

Her exploration of joblessness started with expressionless models slowly making their way down the catwalk in fully closed, thigh-length jackets — a patchwork and tweed number, ’60s-printed swing version and sculptural, buttonless trench included. A glittering cityscape loomed in the background and the soft, quiet beginning of the 1969 hit “Proud Mary” filled the tent.

Then the ladies lost their jobs and the atmosphere turned upward.

The music crescendoed, the skyline was replaced by a graphic that read “unemployment approved,” and the coats came off to reveal leather skirts, metallic tank tops, and chain-adorned mini dresses. The sulking turned to smiles and the models began a girls’-night-out-style dance party, celebrating their newfound freedom. If only everyone who ended up in the bread line could realize that things do in fact work out, there would be many more of these dance parties.

Robergé also expresses her feelings about sex scandal-riddled politicians who have infiltrated our news cycle for the past few years. While large-scale photos of Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, and John Edwards brought a seamy quality to the room, three suited-up gentleman sat in chairs on the runway, sipping booze, as if at a strip joint.

Then out came their girls — the interns, hookers, and mistresses — dressed in black lace and mesh-topped body suits, cage-patterned and back-seamed stockings and almost erotic black sequined masquerade masks. The anonymous, masked models proceeded to entertain the seated gentlemen with tame, yet suggestive lap dances while a singer belted “Big Spender.”

Robergé even tackled bullying in an eveningwear number that at first appeared run-of-the-mill with models in black dresses. Some of the dresses were long with mesh detailing. Some were short with asymmetrical necklines. And the long, Jean Paul Gaultier cage sleeve column gown that we saw at Saks’ Monday-night showcase even made a cameo. But they were all black. Until a lone pouf of red fabric made a dramatic entrance causing all the black-dresses to stop, stare, and kick her off the catwalk. It could have been any playground at any school across America.

The subjects may have been heavy, but the crowd was clearly entertained, with viewers dancing in the aisles and gasping not at the clothes, but at the creativity behind their display.

Whatever Robergé’s intentions, one thing was absolutely certain: The philandering politicians number wouldn’t have worked if the models wore curve-covering floral shift dresses. She proved that in the midst of our great big world, fashion is insanely powerful, too. 

 

Visit the Fashion Week El Paseo web site for more photos, videos, and information on this year's events!

Add your comment:
Shop El Paseo

El Paseo

  • 73-200 El Paseo

    Ste. 3B

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-341-7297

    Cosmopawlitan Cafe and Boutique

    Category: Pets

  • 73160 El Paseo

    Suite 1

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-851-1808

    Category: Apparel-Accessories

  • 73375 El Paseo

    Suite R

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-568-0888

    Dwight Polen Collection

    Category: Antiques

  • 73515 El Paseo

    Suite 1724 - The Gardens on El Paseo

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-836-3250

    BB One

    Category: Apparel-Accessories

  • 73199 El Paseo, Ste. H

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-303-4300

    Dawson Cole Fine Art

    Category: Art Galleries

  • 73399 El Paseo

    Suite 103

    Palm Desert, CA 92262

    760-346-4372

    Savory Spice Shop

    Category: Food

  • 73425 El Paseo

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-346-8104

    El Paseo Village

    Category: Shopping Destination

  • 73585 El Paseo

    The Gardens on El Paseo

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-340-5202

    Eileen Fisher

    Category: Apparel-Accessories

  • 73061 El Paseo, Suite 200

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-341-4058

    The Shops on El Paseo

    Category: Shopping Destination

  • 73655 El Paseo

    Suite H

    Palm Desert, CA 92260

    760-565-7960

    Category: Home Furnishings

Related Articles

Belinda Carlisle, The Go-Go's Still Got the Beat

Belinda Carlisle splits her time between the U.S. and France, loves yoga, and oh, she just also happens to sing six weeks a year with her pop/rock band, The Go-Go’s.

Rancho Mirage May Become Home to President Obama

The Palm Springs area may once again become the home of a U.S. president with reports that the Obamas are close to buying a house in the Thunderbird Heights community of Rancho Mirage.

Desert AIDS Project Helps Inspire Cameron Neilson's Song

Palm Springs is not only a second home for singer Cameron Neilson, it's also a source of inspiration for his hit, 'All Equal on the Dance Floor'.

Heirloom Tomatoes Guide Escena Lounge & Grill's Salad Choice

Since being diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol, Escena Lounge & Grill Chef Oscar Ayala has found the healthy benefits of heirloom tomatoes in his salad creations.

'The Voice' Puts Tessanne Chin's Life into Hyper Drive

Tessanne Chin's life has gone to hyper drive since her dramatic win of Season 5 of NBC’s singing competition show, The Voice.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.