In many cities, fall fashion week conjures images of well-coiffed magazine editors and manicured merchandise buyers perched in the front rows of haute runway shows. But the city's week-long, homegrown Philadelphia Collection is taking style to the streets.
"The Philadelphia Collection is not like New York fashion week, where it's very buyer focused," said Laura Krebs of Cashman and Associates. "They're focusing on spring 2013 in New York, where here it's very consumer-oriented. It's all about the shopper – getting them out to the stores and having fun with fall 2012 fashion."
The Philadelphia Collection is democratizing even further this year with a new campaign called "Remote Red Carpet," in which Immaculata University students man a step-and-repeat that has popped up at three high-foot-traffic locations across the city so far. Passing pedestrians are encouraged to strike a pose in front of a branded backdrop, then tag themselves on the Collection's Facebook page for a chance to win a swag bag.
"'Remote Red Carpet' is under the umbrella of something we created called 'Random Acts of Fashion,'" Krebs said. "It's basically a series of promotions to create hype and buzz leading up to the Philadelphia Collection and also during the Philadelphia Collection."
Immaculata's Director of Fashion Merchandising Christine Baeza said she was pleased to have her students help spread the word. "The students were not only running the red carpet picture event, but out on the streets really talking to people about The Philadelphia Collection and the fashion scene in Philadelphia," she said. "A lot of people heard about it – if they have some kind of fashionista in them, they know what fashion week is – but they equate it with New York. So it was fabulous to have it in Philly and to have students be ambassadors of that."
Baeza said the pupils even received some schooling themselves. "They were really shocked – there's a lot of people on the street who are not afraid of mixing colors, where traditionally you'd see that type of mix in Europe," she said, recalling one man's green plaid pants. "It goes to show how the world has become so global. ... I think we saw a really good cross-section. You had your really elegant lawyers and how coiffed they are and some really fun, funky combinations."
The photos posted online show a spectrum of personal styles that run the gamut, from tailored suits – Councilman Jim Kenney hit up the carpet at Broad and Walnut streets last week – to unkempt squatters (oh yes, they did). "The great thing about Philadelphia street style is that you see a little bit of everything and that's really what we wanted out of this project," Krebs said. "We wanted to embrace Philadelphia's unique sense of style."
Metro's own fashionista-in-residence, Michelle Boyles of South Philly Fashionista, offered her take on some selected looks from the three remote red carpets that popped up at Rittenhouse Square, Liberty Place and Broad and Walnut streets:
Peplum is on trend for a reason right now. Just look at the way the flared edge accentuates this young lady’s curves.
Tangerine tango has been dubbed the color of 2012. Pairing it with nude heels and a printed top is the right way to make it pop.
There’s a right way and wrong way to mix prints. This girl’s got an A in my book! She kept the tones neutral and the prints simple.
Adding a statement piece like this fur hat is a great way to add impact to a basic black blazer.
And this would be the wrong way to mix prints. The band across the middle makes him look larger and lumpier than he is in reality.
Animal print can be intimidating, but a smattering here and there, as seen in this girl’s shoe is a trend anyone can pull off.
A simple cardigan, in a bright color or grandpa sweater style, is always a classic.
Saturated hues are everywhere right now and cobalt blue was one of my summer favorites. A pair of oversized sunnies goes with any outfit.
This outfit would be bland and boring without the brightly printed bag and shoes. Note how the two tie the look together.
What would you wear for the zombie apocalypse? Even this girl seems a bit confused. Love the bandana on the dog.
Don't miss ...
Though the Philadelphia Collection ends Thursday, there are still plenty of events to catch:
– The 19th annual "Phashion Phest" showcasing local fashion and beauty retailers will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Shops at Liberty Place. The event features a runway show, salon presentations and a cocktail reception. Tickets, which include hors d'oeuvres, an open bar and a gift bag, are $25 for students, $50 in advance and $60 at the door.
– A second "Random Act of Fashion," the ongoing "Own It" campaign, will continue through Thursday. Local retailers are marking certain in-store items with a Philadelphia Collection tag. Shoppers who snap a picture of a tagged item and either post it on The Philadelphia Collection's Facebook page or tweet it to @PhilaCollection will be automatically entered to win the merchandise they photographed.
– Macy's Fashion Show kicks off Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the 1300 Market Street store. The runway will feature fall trends from the department store, plus the debut of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator designers' spring 2013 collections. After the show, which is free and open to the public, guests are invited to shop the looks and receive complimentary beauty makeovers.