The club is a bit hard to find, partly because west 38th Street has been under construction for way too long, but also it is set far back from the street and the sign isn’t terribly eye catching. Add to that a bumpy drive over pot-holey driveways, you might think “what am I getting into”?! I’d been there once before, though, so I found it no problem this time.
It’s HUGE, by the way. Cloud 9 can handle large crowds, and they do so in an organized way. The parking lot was full, with women tottering in on ultra-high heels from the far reaches of the parking lot. We parked and marched over to the long line and waited to get in. As we entered, we were of course carded (it’s a bar), but also the ladies’ handbags were searched and the men went through the metal detector and/or got a pat down. I found it a little interesting that the ladies did not have to go through the metal detector nor get frisked (I offered!), so I guess the security hasn’t figured out that women are the more dangerous gender. Of course, we don’t need weapons…we have sarcasm, long nails and spike heels. Anyway, I was happy that they got us all in with no problems, they have it all figured out.
Inside, the club is quite nice. Crystal chandeliers, two bar areas, 2 VIP lounges, plenty of bar tenders, clean bathrooms, nice DJ booth. The set-up was a short runway with seating to either side, and then a bunch of standing room. A small VIP area with eats and treats was set up with vendors as well.
I love to people watch, and Clothes Minded‘s audience was a treat. I snapped a few pictures of the stand-out audience outfits that I happened to see. The guys ran the gamut from jeans and t-s to 3 piece suits, with everything in between. The gals wore a lot of knits: mini-dresses, stretch pants, possibly even some tube tops. I also spied fun bustiers, and of course the rockin’ outfits pictured. We also met and chatted with some attendees who told us that they hadn’t come specifically for the fashion show, but were really excited to find out about it.
The show was actually a little long…I think they could have shaved 20 minutes off and I would have been happier. The host were charming, musical acts were sometimes iffy. The girls (Ms. Fields/Ty) did the best, the guys were a little shaky, but I have to admit–I’ve never seen musical acts do well at a fashion show. I don’t know why it doesn’t work, but it doesn’t.
The fashion opened with Jamie Dampier’s collection (Eimaj), which had the feel of Barbie Zombie meets 80’s retro: fluorescents, metallics, tulle, spandex and rhinestones with a couple of men’s hoodie/jeans outfits thrown in. Their makeup was grey circles around their eyes (here comes the zombie) and the theme was taken further with sometimes doll-like and sometimes zombie-like twitchy movements. I felt a little sorry for the photographers: hard to take good pictures when the models don’t ever stand still. (PS – Since then I’ve seen the pictures and they turned out great anyway!) Over all: fun, colorful, different.
Nikki Blaine rocked it with red and black gowns, taking it up from flash to glam, the most high fashion looks of the evening.
Rezint Clothing brought us back to spandex and metallics, cat suits which I hadn’t seen brought out in a while. Short, tight, shapely, flashy.
Fly’s Nest showed some little black dresses and flashy cocktail dresses (vintage) courtesy of Fly Won, one of the organizers. Cute, wearable items.
At this point I started to lose track of who was who (designer or boutique), which may be due to the extremely strong cranberry vodka from the bar. They do not kid around. The next video clip I have is from my favorite runway section: the lingerie. I think this must be Asebella Boutique. Three ladies stepped onto stage in elegant black trenches, looked around, and slipped their belts undone. We knew we were in for something! Fun, unabashedly sexy and bedroom lingerie, including French Maid ensembles, black lacy numbers, all of it walked with sass and confidence by the models. Oh, and also some men with bare chests.
Marshalls gave some gift cards to the best audience runway walkers, and also showed a smattering of items: bathing suit, cocktail, separates, men’s casual. Worth a mention as a sponsor.
Juice Mami was another standout. Bathing suits, jumpsuits, dresses in bright colors and fun prints. I think I even spied some holographic silver spandex, zowie. Not my style, but I was wondering where a girl might wear that.
Rounding out the evening was Kevin West with hand painted dresses, leggings, zip jackets, skirts, and jeans. Some of the outfits looked a little stiff with paint, but most worked well. He sells some canvas clutch bags that you might want to check out.
The evening overall reminded me strongly of 1980s colors: the chalky pinks, turquoise blues, fluorescent yellows, baggy t-s with leggings, floral prints…what a flashback. Even Kevin’s splashed on paints brought back some clothing nostalgia. I should also mention: there was a plus model that night, don’t know her name, who absolutely brought the house down every time she walked, especially with the lingerie. She really owned it! Kudos to her and all the models of different body types who brought the attitude to the runway.
A short clip of the final walk for Eimaj.