Auld, others showcase collections
When you think high fashion, Baton Rouge is not the city that comes to mind first. Well, Saturday night may have changed that.
Local designer Anthony Ryan Auld, who made a name for himself on Lifetime TV’s “Project Runway” last fall, invited fellow competitors Laura Kathleen, Bert Keeter and Joshua McKinley to join him in showcasing their latest collections for the Mode Fashion Week 2012 finalé at the Belle of Baton Rouge Atrium. Some 400 very fashionably attired VIPS were guests of Auld’s RockOne1 Movement and Scene Magazine, which co-sponsored the week’s events.
First up was Laura Kathleen’s fall 2012 collection, which she described as “the woman that wants to stand out but still be classy.” “The prints make the pieces unique,” she added.
McKinley, who had to leave before the show started, showed menswear. “It’s so my aesthetic. I felt really inspired to do it,” he said in an interview with him, Keeter and Auld the day before the show. “The collection is bright, fun and comfortable but still high fashion. The fabrication and placement of the print speak to who I am as a designer.”
Keeter’s evening wear collection was a definite audience favorite, with its classic lines reminiscent of the designers he previously worked with — Halston, Bill Blass, Yves St. Laurent.
“It’s a continuation of my spring line — minimal, sleek, modern,” he said. “I don’t go for trendy things. I like to keep it understated, glamorous. There’s a lot of black, sapphire, red and a really nice tobacco brown.”
The hometown boy closed out the show with his ready-to-wear collection. When he first started working on it, he was still “bummed out” from “Project Runway.”
“My collection first started out as, if you got bombed today and all that was left was rock and rubble, what would it look like?” explained Auld, who created some custom prints from photos of broken rocks. “It was from leaving the show; you’re in this dark place you have to pull yourself out of.”
Over the course of creating the collection it evolved from harsh to color to “very Anthony Ryan.”
“It’s very wearable, a little more glitzy than before,” he said.
Just as Mode Fashion Week was a first for Baton Rouge, it also provided a lot of firsts for McKinley, who was the first to arrive in the Capital City. There was breakfast at the Waffle House, blackened alligator at The Chimes, boudin balls and Raising Canes, in particular the sauce.
Keeter flew in two days before the runway show and got an impressive view of the Mississippi River. “We have rivers in California but they don’t have water in them,” he quipped.
He was also impressed with Baton Rouge’s hospitality. “Everyone has been very welcoming; there’s much more of a community feel here … I’m amazed at all Ryan got accomplished.”
“What Ryan’s doing here in Baton Rouge is insightful,” added McKinley. “There’s so much potential to build this into a truly … something LSU (fashion) students can look up to — to have their designs showcased and admired by others.”