Locally loved Chrissy’s on El Paseo kicked off the evening, March 20, with a colorful procession featuring butterfly head pieces.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIFFANY L. CLARK

Winter may be dragging its feet about bidding adieu, but spring has sprung in the most raucous way possible if the selection of El Paseo retailers on display Monday night, March 20, during the Rocking El Paseo show is any indication.

What better harbinger of the season than a cohort of butterflies? First flitting across the giant backdrop screen, they soon alighted on the head pieces worn by practically every model for the opening act: Chrissy’s on El Paseo. As the Rolling Stones rocked on, this seasoned local retailer presented a wide array of styles that ranged from sleek — as in a form-fitting black catsuit worn with an elegant silver duster — to ultra-feminine layered and ruffled dresses that fluttered down the runway.

Chrissy’s colors were bright at one turn, as a hot pink, ankle-length silk dress and a fresh green jacket and pant set illustrated. Yet soft lavenders also wafted into view, and a couple of unique prints really popped on two dramatic single-sleeved mini dresses, one asymmetrically oriented with a beguiling cutout.

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A bold sleeve from Chrissy’s on El Paseo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY YASIN CHAUDHRY

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Grayse shows neutrals can be lively with texture.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ASHLEY MEJIA

Eileen Fisher never disappoints, and the carefully curated selections that graced the runway last night showcased the New York–based brand’s knack for timeless, elegant lines. Soft green capri-length pants and a delicately buttoned chemise that was a whisper lighter in hue served as a perfect illustration of Fisher’s classic sensibilities.

Then came Grayse, a locally owned boutique helmed by mother-and-daughter designers Marie and Kelly Gray, formerly of St. John Knits. Kelly herself strode down the runway and struck a pose in a shimmery, slit-to-the-knee evening gown. Many a sparkly look followed — in black, yes, but at least a few inserted pink as a counterpoint, including one blush jacket with black lapels worn with glittery black leggings and another ankle-length, high-necked halter dress that shimmered in black at the bodice but segued into softly draped pink fabric from the sashed waist down.

No one does sportswear quite like Grayse, seemingly able to project an athletic air while still maintaining a firm grasp on elegance and day-to-night wearability. A basket-weave tracksuit, again in soft pink with black accents, achieved that as Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” provided a dancy soundtrack. The sporty moment was brief, however, and luminous dresses soon reappeared. Few could take their eyes off a statement-making midthigh trench coat, worn belted and seen — you guessed it — in pink. Do we sense a theme?

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A parade of resort-ready attire, from casual to elegant evening ensembles, represented what’s on trend for Spring/Summer 2023 during the Rocking El Paseo show.
PHOTOGRAPH BY YASIN CHAUDHRY

Fresh linen offerings soon breezed into view courtesy of 120% Lino. Among the easy-to-wear dresses presented by this Italian line, an ankle-grazing strappy black sundress caught many an eye, as did a knee-length multi-watercolor sleeveless print. Cheers arose when several male models sauntered down the runway, one sporting a long-sleeved tie-dye shirt and white shorts topped with a straw hat, while another appeared sharp in an ever-so-breathable white linen suit.

Chic boho clothing from Johnny Was took center stage next as Fleetwood Mac began to play on the sound system. It’s music festival season, after all, and many of the line’s signature looks suit the scene. A flirty, tiered floral-print dress topped with a fringed jacket and worn with a floral crown served as a case in point. There were also nods to the sporting life as a floral swimsuit and cover-up appeared followed by a long-sleeved crop top and mini skirt on a model toting a tennis racket. Flowers = spring = Johnny Was!

Meanwhile, the tropics came to call as Tommy Bahama’s fashions took their turn on the runway. While one male model looked refreshingly cool in a cream-colored blazer and short set, another rocked it in turquoise shorts and one of the line’s signature-printed shirts. A couple of uniquely designed hoodies garnered attention, but the crowd saved their biggest applause for a pair of denim shorts worn by a female model paired with a bikini top and flowing duster-style cover-up.

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Local lifestyle boutique Summer Colony Living showed a diverse assortment of styles from emerging and established designers.


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Established in Laguna Beach by Gorjana and Jason Reidel, fine jewelry store Gorjana has locations across the country. They landed on El Paseo in late 2022, just in time to curate a collection of delicate pieces to adorn this rockin’ runway. Light and elegant, they’re easily wearable all spring and into the summer.

All manner of hats announced Trina Turk’s parade of fashions, which of course were punctuated by the vivid colors inherent to the brand. There were punchy stripes and eye-popping solids — and at least a few ensembles that somehow managed to incorporate the entire rainbow. Men’s and women’s fashions lit up the runway and the crowd got swept up in the exuberance that is Trina Turk.

The signature offerings Connie Roberson brought to the runway perfectly encapsulated the exhilarating palette and timeless elegance women who frequent resort destinations from Cape Cod to Palm Springs have come to know and love. A showstopping pretty-in-pink pant and duster drew raves, as did a similar skirted look in beautiful silvery gray tones.

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Monochromatic looks from Margaux on El Paseo.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ASHLEY MEJIA

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Bold colors and prints from Trina Turk.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIFFANY L. CLARK

Strains of Joan Jett ushered in a striking series of boldly striped black and tan outfits from Margaux on El Paseo’s beautifully crafted apparel line — and the crowd loved them as much as Jett loves rock ’n’ roll. Almost as much as a bikini swathed in a sheer cover-up speckled with embroidered flowers.

A whirl of fashions from emerging designers and bigger-name brands danced down the runway as locally owned Summer Colony Living took to the stage. The lifestyle boutique at The Shops on El Paseo features a range of apparel and styles, and that diversity in offerings was apparent throughout the collection, proving a fabulous wardrobe can and should include pieces from designers at every level.

Love what you saw on the runway? Thankfully, it’s all available right here on this very street. Pop into the participating stores now to peruse and purchase your favorite pieces from their collections.

Fashion Week El Paseo continues through March 23 at The Gardens on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Hendrixroe will take the stage tonight, Tuesday, March 19, with a cocktail reception beginning at 7 p.m. and runway show at 8 p.m.

For tickets and the full schedule of runway shows, pop-up-stores, and special events, visit fashionweekelpaseo.com.