el paseo

Globe Trotters

El Paseo stores present glamorous, on-the-go apparel … and diamonds.

Emily Chavous Foster Fashion Week El Paseo

el paseo
Diamonds were certainly a girl's best friend from El Paseo Jewelers during The Shops of El Paseo show March 20.

A sea of black dresses dotted with white fedoras, Mr. Turk blazers, and glints of sequined fabrics spilled into chairs lining the Fashion Week El Paseo catwalk Monday night. Guests mingled as they found their seats, a steady hum of squeals and chatter suggesting all were eager for the main event: “From El Paseo to Everywhere.”

Democracy clothing was one of 12 El Paseo Shops in the show.

Ticketholders quieted as they realized the runway was already three models deep — clad in black and drenched in diamonds by Fashion Week El Paseo sponsor El Paseo Jewelers. Sans introduction, the show began. Owner Raju Mehta sat front row with his wife, Jaishri. He seemed primed to leap from his place at the drop of an earring.

Lights dimmed as the first ensemble took the stage: a vermillion silk crepe de chine kimono by Candice Held in “Byzantine Floral” print. The model stood in front of video screens emblazoned with a giant photo of a gorgeous closet. With a sweeping, theatrical motion, she flings off her wrap to reveal an animal print bikini. And then the music drops — “Genesis” by Justice. The crowd erupts and the model stomps down the 100-foot plank to the beat.

Out of Your Closet Consignment attracted audience attention with such looks.

“El Paseo to Everywhere” whisked guests away for a trip around the world. Save for the opening and closing collections from El Paseo Jewelers, the show was broken up into segments and divided by place: Joshua Tree, L.A., Miami/Havana, N.Y.C., London, Paris, Marrakesh, and Palm Desert. Pieces were curated from 12 El Paseo shops: All About Eyes, BB.one, Bikram Yoga Palm Desert, Candice Held, Democracy, Eileen Fisher, El Paseo Jewelers, Grayse, Nina McLemore, Out of Your Closet Designer Consignment, Souliers, and Uno de 50. The evening program detailed where to buy each item that made an appearance.

Amid casual daywear in a range of textures and colors, and well-mannered eveningwear one might wear to a fundraising function, two jumpsuits from Out of Your Closet Designer Consignment garnered the most attention: A sheer balloon-sleeve mesh and crochet paneled jumpsuit with an apron-style maxi skirt in all black, and a flowy pink and purple patchwork print number with silver threading and a plunging V-neck.

Outfits from Grayse (above, left) and BB One.

Honorable mentions went to bright stained glass–print jackets and a high-neck, nude crystal-encrusted sheath gown from Grayse; a vertical black-and-white striped shift dress from BB.one; and a skin-tight, black stretch jumpsuit with lace paneled legs from Bikram Yoga Palm Desert. Overheard in the crowd: “Spandex is the best thing ever!”

Clearly, those present have a thing for, well, Palm Desert. Upon circling “Back to Paradise” (aka Palm Desert) the audience totally lost it to the tune of Pop Ballad’s “Adventure of a Lifetime.” Cheering lingered through the El Paseo Jewelers finale collection.

Elaborate productions are never without mishap. Two looks never reached the runway. A model hoisting her high-slit maxi dress to reveal a pair of metallic glitter boots lifted a bit too high and encountered a minor wardrobe malfunction. The final model to walk the London “Off to See the Queen” segment accidentally swapped positions with the model meant to open the “Bonjour Paree” segment.

Nevetheless, the show put a twist on Fashion Week’s annual “El Paseo Night” with the introduction of its new lifestyle-focused story arc and global getaway theme. Palm Springs Life fashion editor and Fashion Week curator Susan Stein said the event has evolved in keeping with the eclectic offerings now available on El Paseo. The runway unveiled well-mannered wear fit for galley viewings and basilica tours, weekend lunches and opera soirées. There are pieces that would put the modern Palm Desert woman at ease, whether she’s gallivanting about town or boarding a luxury ocean liner for a jaunt around the world.

Local nonprofit Girlfriend Factor’s annual Little Black Dress cocktail reception preceded the show. Guests participated in a raffle with such prizes as a Brandini Toffee gift basket, sclerotherapy treatment from The Vein Doctor, and an afternoon in the salt cave at Venus de Fido. Massage therapists from The Well Spa at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa were set up to provide hand massages. Mirela & Associates Skin Care offered eye makeup and brow touch-ups. Servers circled with platters of mini prime rib barbecue butter burgers from Ruth’s Chris Steak House and trays of pink-hued tequila shots.

A pair of looks from Bikram Yoga El Paseo.

“From El Paseo to Everywhere” benefited Girlfriend Factor, which provides educational grants to valley women, and the evening was presented by top-rated travel management agency Frosch Journeys for Your Cause.

VIDEO: Watch the entire “El Paseo to Everywhere” show at Fashion Week El Paseo.