It was not only the clothing, the models and the designers that drew attention to the runway. The jewelry and accessories stood out at Ottawa Fashion Week.
In October of 2010 when Ottawa Fashion Week had its biannual show, it made history. It was the first time jewelry designers had the opportunity to take over the runway and showcase their necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Two jewelry designers were brave enough to take the challenge – and both showed up for this year’s show to show their newest collections.
The two designers are Camilla Jorgensen with her MICALLA collection and Karen McClintock who shares part of her runway spotlight with young jewelry designer Wynne Jacobsen. All three graced the runway both in October and this past March, 2011.
Karen McClintock made headlines after last year’s show, as her high-fashion and sparkling pearl and stone necklaces left everyone in the audience wanting at least half of the collection for personal use.
After having an all black-garment line-up last season, McClintock utilized her connections with Holt Renfrew, who provided the entire garment selection for this season’s show. This helped McClintock in two ways. First, it showed the audience how her outstanding and luxurious jewelry can be worn with everyday clothing and outfits and second, did some shameless promotion for her jewelry collection, which is available at Holt Renfrew locations across Canada.
However, this season was different from the previous. McClintock has taken Wynne Jacobsen under her wing to be her mentor and guide in creating jewelry. Last season, their collections were similar with a slight difference in sophistication. This year, McClintock jewelry showed advancement and growth, where Wynne fell short. Rather than showing more sophistication and creativity, it appeared more simplistic and common.
Danish-born jewelry designer Camilla Jorgensen left everyone in awe last season when she showed her high-fashion approach to wearable and luxurious jewelry. Her jewelry gave the audience an impression of exquisite pearls and jewels that should only belong on a red carpet or black-tie events.
Expectations were high at this year’s showing, because of the impression she had left the previous year. Unfortunately, the presentation did not give Jorgensen’s collection justice, as it was sloppy and poorly executed.
Some of the detailed and large necklaces were tangled, stockings were running and the small black skirts the models were asked to wear to highlight the jewelry were creeping up the models’ thighs, leaving more attention on the poor dress and garments than the jewelry itself.
On the upside, the audience members who could look past the poor presentation were inspired by her approach to her wearable art, as long gold earrings hung down to the waist and necklaces covered most of a model’s bare chest.
Ottawa Fashion Week is breaking ground by offering jewelry designers the opportunity to showcase their collections on the fashion runway. As long as the jewelry designers have something new to offer the audience, it could prove to be a powerful angle for recognition and growth for the event.