A diverse assortment of looks for day and night captivated audience members on closing night.
PHOTOGRAPH BY YASIN CHAUDHRY
Spring and summer trends from Saks Fifth Avenue bounded to life beneath an amethyst-colored ceiling on the final night of Fashion Week El Paseo 2023. And what a resounding finish it was!
Fresh and flirty, glittery and glam, tailored and trim, and so much more — the latest looks from a variety of renowned designer labels were well-represented in the 70-plus ensembles that sashayed down the runway. There were compelling offerings from relative newcomers such as Cinq à Sept, Veronica Beard, and Staud — brands that very capably held their own alongside such seasoned fashion houses as Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy, Brunello Cucinelli, Dolce & Gabbana, and Akris.
Indeed, a captivating array of styles from Cinq à Sept kicked off the show, showcasing intriguingly detailed denim at one point and then ruched and ruffly, charmingly printed dresses the next. Accessory-wise, many models sported tied and trailing headscarves, while clutch or short-strapped purses were very much the choice for handbags. Meanwhile, glittery accents abounded, whether in the gleam of a bouclé metallic-beaded fringed jacket and skirt or the crystal floral embellishments on a sleek black jacket and pantsuit.
When rock band America’s “Ventura Highway” began to play, it signaled a shift to more utilitarian but nonetheless highly fashionable attire. Traveling in style never looked better than a pair of khaki green cargo pants paired with a shimmery gold cardigan. Likewise, a sharp tan women’s pantsuit surprised one and all with an unusual cutout in the jacket’s back. A pair of models then strode the runway looking coolly clad in beige, cream, and camel-colored tones, one sporting an asymmetrical hemline and the other a brimmed hat. Several male models in similar hues appeared just as well-equipped to hit the road.
Lest anyone be lulled into a sense of complacency, a bright turquoise women’s pantsuit accessorized with a wide-brimmed hat soon came along to shake things up. It announced the beginning of an interlude devoted to all manner of bold solids, stripes, and prints. The eye-popping fashions simply kept coming, whether it was a flaming orange, spaghetti-strapped, knee-length gown, a voluminous Carmen Miranda–esque pink skirt paired with a green off-the-shoulder blouse, or the winning combo of a red leopard-print Dolce & Gabbana dress and a color-blocked Akris cashmere cape.
Denim appeared for one last hurrah in the program, manifesting itself in such looks as a patchwork crop jacket paired with an ankle-length, leopard-print skirt, as well as in a mini dress with textured front and back insets accentuated by red accessories. Not to be left out, a male model sported a tan camo outfit, while another managed to look both casual and dashing in white pants and a navy jacket that presented like a blazer yet somehow incorporated a hood.
A Saks Fifth Avenue showcase couldn’t possibly close out without a salute to evening wear, and naturally, this one did so in style. The parade started with a cream-colored, frilled Zimmermann midi dress and moved on to two shimmering, fringed and beaded minis, one green while the other shone golden yellow. There were several ornate and intricately detailed gowns by Naeem Khan, including a golden jumpsuit and caped ensemble that called to mind Egyptian treasure.
The men dazzled in trendsetting tuxedos, while full-skirted evening gowns twirled in earnest. Finally, a strapless black sheath mini came into view. When the model swirled its accompanying sheer and puff-sleeved, trailing, and voluminous duster coat, it was with the exact same flourish that marked absolutely everything that came before.
The Fashion Week El Paseo festivities may be wrapped for 2023, but it’s already time to plan for next year. Mark your calendar as this annual event is set to return March 15–21, 2024. Stay up to date with all the details at fashionweekelpaseo.com.