Hi Chrissettes!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you may already know that I went to one the biggest fashion shows ever! Called the SD Fashion Fest, according to their official website, they are “one of the biggest fashion gatherings in California”, and having been there myself, I couldn’t have said it any better.

The Pre-Show

The Fashion Fest originally started at 6 pm, but since I was a part of the media group, it was suggested that I arrive around 3-4pm to ensure that 1) you have a good spot to take photos/videos and 2) are treated to a sneak preview of pretty much everything – from setting up of the runway to the coaches instructing models how to walk – that happens behind the scenes of a well-executed fashion show.

So, you can imagine how long I was there.

Still, I liked the fact they did that since I was able to get a ton of content for both my IG Stories as well as my blog, The Chrissy Collective, before the runway show started. 🙂

Photo: Duncan Fashion

The SD Fashion Fest Begins!

Since the fashion show was in one of the hotel’s rooms, the floor instantly were filled up with people, many of them being the designer’s family members and friends.

This year, there were only seven designers. While the number of designers may seem small, their collections weren’t. From what I was told, there are over 40 garments for each designer, and each and every single one brought something unique and different to the table.

PELLONE

Debuting her very first collection at the SD Fashion Fest this year, the native New Yorker has already been established in the fashion industry for many years as one of the best designers for major corporate brands in the dress and separates category. Having attended Parsons at the age of 15 and graduating at FIDM at 20, Melissa Pellone, founder and designer, knows what she’s doing.

Combining a playful mix of chic and stunning fabrics, each and every PELLONE piece is sure to be a keeper.

Visit Pellone here.

PERRY JONES II

If you love a well-tailored suit (I know I do!), then you may immediately fall in love with his line. Originally from Saint Paul, Minnesota, his passion for design started with drawing. As a kid, he loved to draw anything, from sports to fashion. Soon, he began to turn those drawings into reality when he began repurposing his clothing:

I would make shorts out of pants. Also make short sleeve shirts from long sleeves. When I was gaining weight I would cut slits in my pants, or move the buttons or zipper over. Plus I would color my shoes a different color. Seriously paint them and no one would notice that. They would ask me where did you get those shoes?  Those Shorts? That shirt? I would lie or make something up. Scared of what they would really say or think. Right then I knew I was onto something. I just didn’t know it was my gifts.

Shortly afterwards, he modeled for a while before becoming a well-known celebrity stylist and fashion designer. His suits have been worn on the likes of Vincent M. Ward (Oscar from The Walking Dead), supermodel Sam Sarpong, and Grammy award winner Skip Martin, just to name a few.

Although his line in general is specifically catered to men, he revealed some equally stunning women’s suits at this year’s Fashion Fest.

Visit Perry Jones II here.

RC CAYLAN ATELIER

If you can’t tell by the photos alone, every single piece is absolutely breathtaking. Having grown up surrounded by pattern paper, scissors, markers, a sewing machine, as well as his grandmother and mother, both of whom are seamstresses, every RC Caylan garment is truly one of a kind.

Once a renowned cosmetologist, he began RC Caylan Atelier in hopes to pursue his dream in fashion design. Inspired by the female physique and glamour, he knows what a woman wants, creating timeless masterpieces each and every single time.

Knowing no bounds, he has also created spectacular wedding gowns, red-carpet worthy dresses, bridal entourage wears, and men’s suits.

“Execution is far better than the design itself”

Visit RC Caylan Atelier here.

CARMELO DESIGNS

Filipino designer and founder Carl Andrada’s dresses are one of a kind as well. A freelance costume designer that uses unconventional materials such as braided Banig grass and Coco Palm leaves, just to name a few, his creations have been spotted in beauty pageants, several Fashion Weeks, and now the SD Fashion Fest.

Not for the faint of heart, each look features intricate detailing, bold prints, and elaborate headpieces. This year’s collection is very Filipino- taking inspiration from his own (and mine) heritage.

Photos: HC Photography

GLORIA

If you’ve been following The Chrissy Collective since it’s humble beginnings for a while now, you may have noticed I had covered Gloria Guerrero’s line before at Fashion Week San Diego. After seeing her line during that time, she inspired me to add more colors to my wardrobe (and hopefully a ton of Gloria pieces in the future). So, any time you see me wearing a colorful outfit instead of the usual black, white, or blue, it’s all thanks to her.

Known for her striking yet sexy colorblocking garments, Gloria is all about empowering the woman. Each look has the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow used in numerous ways.

Although her line is still fairly new, by it’s second year, Gloria’s designs were already gracing Paris Fashion Week, and its third the SD Fashion Fest. Who knows where Gloria will head next?

UGOCHI IWUABA

For a while now, African couture has been in Vogue due to their vivid colors and beautiful patterns while paying homage to African ancestry. As a fashion enthusiast, I’ve always admired the evolution of fashion throughout the decades, whether it’s a new interpretation of a certain era or a combination of different styles, I don’t think I’ll ever stop being fascinated.

Ugochi continues this evolution by creating a sophisticated line with flattering silhouettes for all body types. Although her website only features women’s and children’s clothing, her latest collection will include men, too.

Visit Ugochi Iwuaba here.

KENNETH BARLIS

An internationally recognized brand known for its elegant luxury (I think I may have written about him during my fashion journalism days), Kenneth Barlis’ main base of operations is located at La Jolla, California. Established in 2012, and later expanded in 2015, his creations have been seen on countless red carpets, popular award shows, fashion magazines, and New York Fashion Week.

Having been a long-time fan of the brand, it was truly exciting to see his designs on the runway. Each piece is modern, imaginative, and to put it simply, gorgeous.

Visit Kenneth Barlis here.

MY THOUGHTS

This fashion show is possibly one of the most memorable ones I’ve been to this year. I was impressed with the production as well as the professionalism shown throughout the entire event.

I also enjoyed all the collections I’ve seen. It’s truly remarkable to get to see these designs up close and personal, and I hope I’ll be able to attend next year’s.

All photos are not mine.

What are your most memorable fashion stories? Leave me your thoughts below.

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