Fashion season heats up in Philadelphia

Sara Angle

New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week may have just wrapped up, giving us a preview of spring 2011 trends, but a celebration of fall fashion can also be seen in Philly. Saturday ends the weeklong introdction of The Philadelphia Collection, a city-sponsored event endorsed by Mayor Nutter to provide monetary support to Philly’s growing fashion community. 

While Philadelphians once had to travel to New York to get their sartorial fix, now the City of Brotherly Love offers enough style to keep locals from crossing the state border. 

Not only does Philadelphia and the surrounding area have many of the same shops and designers as in New York City, but there is also a thriving boutique culture and talented new designers popping up all over. 

The Philadelphia Collection, which began Sept. 23 and runs until Saturday, Oct. 2, features a series of runway and trunk shows, special in-store events, discounts, parties, movie screenings and style consultations. 

It’s not too late to get in on the fun. Friday and Saturday’s events can be found online at 

The Philadelphia Collection is only the beginning of what the city has in store for local fashionistas this season. The Collection includes an effort to bring together many of Philly’s fashion mavens. It was originally intended to put several events together to garner more support and promote shopping locally, but it ended up being an addition to the expanding calendar of the city’s fashion events. 

Sept. 28 marked the 17th anniversary of Phashion Phest, one of the city’s longstanding fashion events that showcases fall styles available for purchase from local retailers. The city also celebrated 17 Days of Fashion earlier in the month, another “fashion week-esque” event, with fashion shows, cocktail parties and industry-focused forums. 

With so many events, it’s hard to sort out what the “true” Philadelphia Fashion Week is. This is the question The Philadelphia Collection hopes to answer by combining all the events, but it is fitting that Philadelphians would want to maintain their sovereignty over their own events, being the city to give birth to the Declaration of Independence. The latest event to sweep the city is the self-proclaimed Philadelphia Fashion Week.

Philadelphia Fashion Week runs from Oct. 6-9 at the 23rd Street Armory, with tickets available for purchase online. 

This will be the second Annual Philadelphia Fashion Week, the brainchild of CMK Entertainment, a local firm co-founded by Michael Anderer, Charlie Smith and Kristie Bergey. Anderer is the the buyer and manager of the clothing portion of Matthew Izzo, while Smith owns Lucca Photography, and Bergey is the owner of The KB Experience, a full-service event planning company. This board of directors is committed to bringing fashion to the forefront of the Philadelphia art scene and proving Philly is a fashion-forward city. 

Whether you are looking for menswear, haute couture, sportswear, women’s ready-to-wear, denim or anything in between, Philly Fashion Week has a little bit of everything. 

Designers showing during the week include WeSC, a Swedish street-style brand for men and women that is picking up speed in the United States; Lolliepop Collection, the eco-friendly ready-to-wear line created by Philadelphia native, Noni Crook; and Farah, a British menswear line with a slightly mod vibe that takes stylish men from the office to the streets with no change in between. Another designer not to be missed is Kristin Haskins Simms, creator of Strangefruit and a contestant on “Project Runway: Season 8.” 

The shows each night will be broken up with live DJs, musical and dance performances and a celebrity appearance or two. Local retailers will also be on site selling pieces that relate to the collection being sold. The goal of the event is not only to promote local designers and boutiques, but also to put Philadelphia on the map for global retailers and international expansion 

Thursday night, Oct. 7, will be a popular night for students to come out and support the next generation of budding designers. At this all-ages night, students from Drexel University, The Art Institute, Moore College, University of Delaware and Philadelphia University will showcase their designs. 

Proceeds from the four-day event will go toward the Philadelphia Goes Red for Women movement, part of the American Heart Association. To support this cause and sharpen your eye for style, tickets can be purchased online at for $35-75.