PFW

Wherein P stands for Philadelphia.

Despite the uniform blanket of snow that covered the city, the scene of Philadelphia Fashion Week's could not have been described as anything but diverse. I've experienced many fashion weeks (New York, Paris, Milan, London) vicariously through Style.com, but Philadelphia was completely new to me. If I had to place it along the spectrum, I would say that Philadelphia falls somewhere between the neutral restraint of New York and the flashy exuberance of London - perhaps a nod to the city's proximity to the former and its own R&B culture.

Highlights of the ready-to-wear shows included the collection by Ian Alexander, whose looks were inspired by the organic world. Alexander's garments featured painted on motifs in sheer watercolor, a departure from the digital prints that we've been seen on runways for the past several seasons. His brushstrokes were playfully evocative, and his color palette bold, emphasizing the vividness of nature. His use of sheer, silhouette-skimming fabrics celebrated the human form in its natural glory. 

Designer (and former Project Runway contestant) Ken Laurence was yet another standout, with lacy looks set to the Fifty Shades soundtrack that exuded dark romance. His elegant capes and lace masks made an autumnal look fit for a lady.

Overall, the City of Brotherly Love shows vast fashion potential, but also much room to grow. A few designers were overzealous in their embellishment, using fur, sequins, strong silhouettes and lace (sometimes in one look) in a way that could have been more nuanced. Despite this, such a young fashion scene can be an incubator for standout creatives such as Alexander and Laurence to flourish.