The Irina Shabayeva show we attended last night was held in the Garment District, away from the main Fashion Week tent at Bryant park. The avant garde setting, darker with blue lighting, gave the show much more of a nightclub atmosphere than the Georges Chakra show we had attended earlier in the day. The people, or course, were every bit as colourful as we’ve come to expect.


The collection was also quite different to the one we saw at the Chakra show. Irina’s garments were a lot more complex and the outfits were highly accessorized for true runway drama. Fabrications weren’t as high quality and the tailoring wasn’t in the same class. There were also at least five different fabrications integrated into one outfit. Some of them had more. Hectic! I’m a less is more kind of a gal favouring strong simple lines and clean bold statements, so I much preferred the aesthetics of the Georges Chakra collection, but enjoyed this show all the same.

Runway 1

The young designer showed immense creativity crafting dresses and skirts from feathers, leather and fur. She took the wings of a bird as inspiration and the theme came through strongly in each outfit. The dresses looked like moving sculptures as the models took them through their paces down the catwalk. It was very impactful and I fully appreciate the innovative thought processes that went into each creation.

Runway 2

The palette was dominated by camel, grey, black, white and light blue. All the pants were sleek and skinny. All the skirts were short and straight. The dresses were knee length and both A-line and straight depending on the fabric. Knits were chunky and oversized jacket silhouettes reigned supreme. The collection reflected my suspicion that we’re going to see a lot of extended shoulder lines for Autumn. Sorry ladies, but a new fashion era of shoulder pads lies before us.

Runway 3

The outfit on the left below was was so dramatic that much of the audience started clapping, thinking it was the show stopper that marked the end of the procession. But another, even more dramatic black outfit followed right after. The dress on the right below was my personal favourite, and judging by the crowd reaction I wasn’t alone.

Runway 4

Seeing ramp models in action up close during fashion week has made me think a little more about their job. Striding along a slippery runway in unwearable clothing and six inch heels in front of hundreds of people and blinding camera lights can’t be easy. Not to mention stripping off your clothes in front of the world at the speed of light while five people tug at your outfit and touch up your hair and make-up. Try doing that without appearing sweaty, flustered and exhausted. It’s quite a skill.


For those who don’t follow Project Runway, Irina won the sixth season of this reality TV show.