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:
Edit Module
Shop El Paseo
Edit ModuleShow Tags

El Paseo Shopping

Related Articles

How to Shop the Sunny Dunes Vintage District for Home Décor in Palm Springs

With the latest addition of Antiques Galleries of Palm Springs, this intriguing little enclave set along East Sunny Dunes Road and Industrial Place offers a clandestine cluster of antique, vintage, art, and thrift stores.

Desert Hills Premium Outlets Extends Hours, Boasts Sales for Memorial Day Weekend

Celebrate the unofficial start to summer with extended hours and special sales at Desert Hills Premium Outlets this Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-25.

Desert European Motors Adds McLaren Automotive to British Lineup in Rancho Mirage

Desert European Motors is in the throes of expanding its showroom space and recently announced the addition of McLaren Automotive, which will make it the only location in the country representing every British luxury and performance car.

Trina Turk Splashes Color with Boutique at Parker Palm Springs

In celebration of her 20th anniversary, Trina Turk recently opened a boutique at the Parker Palm Springs.

Made In The Coachella Valley

Locally produced, hand-made items with local and national appeal abound in the Coachella Valley.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 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.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) 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.
Edit ModuleShow Tags