Taking issue with Kim Crow on Cleveland’s Fashion Week

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Cleveland's Fashion Week still needs a lot of work.
In yesterday’s Style section, The Plain Dealer’s resident fashion writer Kim Crow praises the “greatness” of Cleveland’s Fashion Week finale, deeming it the best ever. But it left us wondering if we were at the same event. For those not in the know, Cleveland Fashion Week started seven years ago as a way for local designers and buyers to connect with one another. What originally began as a one day event expanded to many days of cocktail parties and shows… Two years ago, we profiled Fashion Week and were pretty unimpressed. The organizers tried hard, but it came off as unprofessional. At an event billed as an exclusive soiree, it’s kind of depressing to see pretzels and cheese curls pretending to be appetizers. The same sort of mishaps were present at this year’s finale, held at the Galleria on Saturday night. Women in prom gowns and their reluctant tuxedoed dates paid upwards of $100 a ticket for first row seats. Crow mentions the crowd was “well liquored,” but those she interviewed must have been really goal-oriented. The wine (Crane Lake: $3 a bottle) was served in tiny plastic cups. In order to get even one drinkable cup, attendees had to pour three servings into a new glass. Crow goes on to compliment the organization of the show, saying it had made “definite progress.” If that’s true, we’re worried about the future. The finale began at 10ish as men started walking down the runway with martini glasses. We weren’t sure if they were searching furtively for their dates, or if they were modeling something. (Turns out they were modeling something.) Some sort of greeting –letting us know that the show was about to begin -- would have been nice. We’re just saying. Crow also complimented the diversity of the designers: all 14 of them. She didn’t mention that having 14 designers made the show last 508 hours. And some of these designers – with ill-fitting outfits that looked like they were constructed from mother’s aprons – should not have made the cut. Like Crow, we adored headline designer Ted Boetcher, a Kent State alum who now has his own solo line in New York. But did he have to show every single piece of clothing he’s made since he graduated? Some editing would have been nice. Also some dialogue. Organizers didn’t let the man speak. – Rebecca Meiser

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