Haute for Haiti Fashion Show: Great Cause, Eh Clothes

As part of the Boston Stands with Haiti relief campaign, Boston University’s Hillel House co-sponsored the lackluster “Haute for Haiti” fashion show Sunday February 28th. The designers featured were Kat Schamens, Betsey Johnson, Tom’s Shoes, and two BU student designers: Emily Gasda and Cassie Locsin. Hilary Rappaport for HMR Designs provided the jewelry.

Some of the designs may have looked a unquestionably familiar if you attended the Fashion & Retail Association’s Fall 2009 “NUDE” fashion show November 14th. The burst of fresh air in the runway show was Kat Schamen’s carnival-inspired line.

The festive collection featured an array of tropical colors: high-waisted fuchsia skirts embellished with peculiar yellow, green, orange, and blue rosettes, a virtually shapeless orange sack dress with a royal blue top band, kitchen tablecloth-like circle skirts, a yellow, a midriff baring halter top clearly showed inspiration from Haitian dancers, and a tube dress with a bubble skirt that was vertically-striped with all of the aforementioned sizzling colors.

I loved the vibrant and relevant, Haitian inspiration, but the execution was severely disappointing. I found myself being distracted by wrinkled taffeta and swirls of fabric that had been tacked on to the garments. Essentially, the inspiration was poorly executed through overly embellished, flashy-colored, garments that evoked some serious 80’s prom styles.

Also adding to the unintentional 80?s theme was the hair and makeup. Some of the models had a mini ?Snooki pouf? going on in a frizzed-out, high ponytail. Beaming cheeks and lips made model faces look a bit like a Crayola box. However, the bright flowers perched aside the ponytails added a vivacious pop of color and made the collection more cohesive.

Designer Kat Schamens came out for the finale, and was absolutely adorable when she unrolled a model’s voluminous skirt to reveal a pop of rainbow confetti.

The recycling of looks from a few of the other designers was a complete disappointment; plus, a Spring/Summer collection preceding the Fall 2009 collections added to the lack of cohesion.

It was a sweet, good-hearted effort and cause, but the result seemed more like playing dress-up than haute couture.

Donate to Haiti here.


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