STUNNING – PIFA FASHION SHOW with Philadelphia Native Ralph Rucci Given the Visionary Award

In a Paris-inspired runway show located in the Kimmel Center’s Commonwealth Plaza, nine top local designers and the best student designers showcased their work on a 60ft runway. And I say Bravo, what an awesome show and location. I’ve gone to NY Fashion Week for five seasons and there is no doubt that whoever executed this event has experienced a first rate run event as the ones that happened in Bryant Park and transferred it here to Philadelphia. Under the shadow of the Philadelphia International Festival of Art’s Eiffel Tower nine designers including: Carmelita Martell, Sarah Van Aken, Jaames Nelson, Katie Ermilio, Bela Shehu, Kristin Haskins-Simms, Priscilla Costa, Janice Martin & Lonni Rossi and Melanie Brandon. Along with local designers but students from Drexel University, Philadelphia University, The University of Delaware, Art Institute and Philadelphia University participated in the student design portion of the show.

Before the first model hit the catwalk, for $100 VIP ticket folks enjoyed a John Colabelli Philadelphia Style Magazine sponsored cocktail party where the guest of honor, Philadelphia native couture designer Ralph Rucci, was present (RR is on the cover of the Spring Issue of Philly Style Magazine.) Later in the evening he would receive the Visionary Award for Fashion. Above: Ed Salvato, PIFA, Jeff Guaracino, Vice president, communications of GPTMC, Drew Becher, President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and Aaron Stella. I want to take this time to welcome The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society as a new advertiser to The PHS is Having A Party in the Garden May 4, 2011 6 PM – 9PM
WMMR’s Marisa Magnatta and NBC10’s Erin Como
Pretty in Pink.Lynsie and Evan Solomon
The one thing I failed to do this evening was size up the seating arrangements. I love shooting front row, but usually from across the runway. Right before the show started is when I noticed there was no across the runway. There was only shooting at the end of the runway, boring for me, or from above, much better. I’m not shooting fashion I am shooting moments.
Applause arose from the audience after these beauties walked by. I love these prints, I hope to see them out and about in the City.
Bruce and Michelle Shannon, always fashionable.Behind the scenes
Sarah Van Aken, of SA VA bringing on the color
Carmelita Coulture I wish more ladies wore color in the winter. I love that the organizers kept mannequins with red dresses on the stage.
I haven’t seen green for a long time, it’s beautiful and it’s byJaames Nelson
Matthew Vlahos, Vlahos Pr and Will Ball of Wilhelmina Models, the models that are being used in today’s show.
Hats let’s bring hats back. Not just as a worship accessory or at Easter.
Lite dresses; UPDATE Monday: I found out that Sharon Phillips Waxman and her SPW Productions did the fashion show. That would explain the fabuosity of it all. She has been putting on Phasion Phest for the past 2 decades. Ralph Rucci and Anne Ewers, CEO Kimmel Center. Ralph Rucci, the man behind the luxury line of clothing known as Chado Ralph Rucci – and this year, in honor of Rucci’s connection to French haute couture, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts honored Rucci with its Visionary Award for Fashion.

Let’s hope the Kimmel Center will consider more fashion shows on the plaza, but with assigned VIP seating, because even though it’s a good cause for $100 people want a seat when they return from the cocktail part. Surprisingly I did see two women leave their Coach Bags to save their seats as they went off to enjoy the pre-show fun, but I heard from one too many people who had to choose between the cocktail party and a decent seat. No biggie just a thought for future bookings. OH and one more thing, can we keep the Eiffel Tower. Remember all the buildings that were dismantled after the 1876 Exposition and how we regretted that? It’s perfect there, and I bet we can find funding to change those light bulbs. What a fabulous memory of a wonderful moment we would treasure a lifetime. (I’m a PIFA Blogger: Check out more info about PIFA at, and on the Twitter and Facebook page. Events are going on until May 2, 2011. I know there is something you’re gonna love.)