Boston Fashion Week opened on Sept. 23 with a party showcasing a fashion show by Denise Hajjar and live sketches done by fashion illustrator, Holly Nichols.
Attendees were immersed in a wonderland of moody lighting and upbeat pop music with the glowing cityscape for a background. Not a single guest was underdressed, with outfits ranging from long tulle skirts to little black dresses with frilled sleeves. The click of heels coincided with the deep and rhythmic beats of Beyonce and Rihanna.
The event space, otherwise known as 9OFS, was an ethereal location and pristine choice for the introduction to a week dedicated to celebrating fashion. Right at the top of One Federal in the very heart of the financial district, a streak of color amidst a concrete jungle.
A lawn filled most of the center of the area while sidewalks and trees wrapped in twinkling fairy lights bordered the perimeter. The event staff had set out white cushioned sofas and flickering candles for guests to lounge on while sipping from signature cocktails. Every seat had a perfect view of the towering glass buildings that surrounded the space, every bit of light reflecting off their windows. The gold-lighted custom house clocktower felt almost in reach.
Inside, bountiful platters of food were laid out on tables as centerpieces with tall vases of colorful blooms. Lights turned the stark interior hues of deep blue and violet and cast shadows
In one side of the event space, a pop-up shop for Nichols’ illustrations was set up. Various sized prints and mugs were sold along with Kate Stetson handbags. A Denise Hajjar design gallery was set up for guests to browse through as well as purchase accessories from her boutique.
Throughout the night, a few lucky guests were chosen to be sketched by Nichols to be immortalized as doll-like illustrations, ready to step off the paper and onto the runway
At the height of the party, a Denise Hajjar retrospective fashion show was held in the outdoors space.
Models strutted down the perimeter of the rooftop garden in gowns that merged old and new trends together. Designs featured pieces from the beginning of her career thirty years ago to her newest collections. Every model strutted around the perimeter of the space with a bounce in their step and the high winds whipping at the silk and lace of their gowns. Colors ranged from white to gold to burgundy, all illuminated by the bright lights and flashing cameras.
Bold lips, perfectly sculpted eyebrows, dramatic smoky eyes, and top knots illuminated as each model posed for the crowd to admire. It was a showcase of glamor and grandeur for both newcomers to fashion week and veterans alike.
After the show had come to a close, Nichols continued sketching guests live inside while others could mingle, shop in the pop-up shop, or continue to admire the view from outside.
Denise Hajjar, a graduate of The School of Fashion Design, decided to “stay close to her roots” and start her business in Boston. According to her website, she is proud to say that “all the clothes are cut and sewn in Massachusetts,”
Hajjar’s designs have been worn by celebrities, news anchors and politicians at distinguished events and award shows such as the Emmys and Oscars.
Her boutique, opened in May 2013, can be found at the Intercontinental Hotel & Luxury Residences on Boston’s waterfront and carries everything from day and evening-wear to accessories. Her collections range from conservative business suits with a pop of color to long, flashy evening gowns comprised of silks, glitter, and taffeta. Her pieces are perfect for those looking for casual wear or glamorous haute couture outs that reflect the collections seen on Paris or Milan runways.
Nichols, a graduate of Endicott college in studio art, wanted to “merge her love of fashion with art,” according to her website.
She has drawn campaigns for companies such as TRESemmé, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s New York, Disney and Living Proof.
The Denise Hajjar retrospective fashion collaboration show was curated and styled by Terri Mahn of thestylistcloset and hair and makeup were done by GlamToGo.
Boston Fashion Week will continue through Sept 30. Information and tickets can be found online at bostonfashionweek.com, on Facebook at BostonFashionWeek, on twitter at @BostonFashionWk, and Instagram at @bostonfashionweek.