[intro-text size=”25px”]The international fashion industry turned its spotlights on Cleveland Saturday evening at The Arcade as Fashion Week Cleveland wrapped up with its grand finale: the keynote speaker, black-tie reception, designer runway shows and an after-party at The Vault to celebrate a fantastic run.[/intro-text]

Guests, models, designers and media were greeted with the red carpet at The Arcade starting at 7 p.m. Keynote speaker, Fern Mallis, the creator of New York Fashion Week and former head of IMG Fashions, spoke to the guests about the importance of Regional Fashion Weeks to the retail economy. A black-tie reception followed in Hyatt Regency’s 1890 Lounge where attendees, models, designers and other distinguished guests mixed and mingled and had their photos taken in front of the red carpet backdrop.

The ornate architecture inside The Arcade needs little “dressing up” for these type of events, but came dressed for the show anyway. Blue and red spotlights decorated the high ceilings, party lights were strung from the interior, film screens and brilliant blue staircase lights at the Euclid Ave. side of the Arcade’s entrance gave the venue a slick, modernised feel as a background to the runway shows taking place down below.

Featured designers at the runway show included Westlake native Victoria Cohen, who made her name as a contestant on Project Runway Juniors, her castmate Matt Sarafa, Edina Ndebele, a Zimbabwe native now living in Cincinnatti, milliners Marta Glazen and Graham Baldwin, whose hats often feature at the Kentucky Derby (yesterday’s other big U.S. event), Kent State graduate Jaanai Jones, Cleveland designer Gwyn Strang, and couture bridal designers Lissa Marie Krueger and Cybele Pawlowski. The runway shows featured clothing to catch everyone’s eye as gorgeous models strutted the catwalk in everything ranging from futuristic PVC dresses with a dystopian feel that nearly belong on the set of “Blade Runner” to shimmering bridal gowns that drew gasps from the delighted audience.

Guests ranged from  every walk of life: a date-night-out celebrating Mother’s Day for a young couple new to Cleveland attending their first Fashion Week to up-and-coming stylists to representatives from the Cleveland Retail Commission.

The party carried on as guests, models, designers and Fashion Week Cleveland staff all headed over to The Vault at The 9 to let loose and celebrate the week’s events.

Missed Fashion Week Cleveland?

No worries. You can find coverage of the week’s highlights in the next print issue of Pressure Life, coming out May 20. We’ve spent all week covering Fashion Week Cleveland events, so check out our other website stories….and dress to kill!

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