Slideshow: Tampa Bay Fashion Week melds national brands and local designers on one runway
Another Tampa Bay Fashion Week is a wrap.
The Deal Divas took in Friday night's show at International Plaza in Tampa, one of two runway shows organizers put on this year. The second was Saturday afternoon at IP (see the Tampa Bay Fashion Week Facebook page for some shots from that show).
This year, for the first time, Fashion Week included brand names in the runway shows, from Banana Republic to Free People to Pandora jewelry. On the one hand, it was polished and professional and you can hardly blame them for wanting to show off Florida-friendly styles from mall retailers. On the other hand, it was a good reminder that nothing can replace the exhilaration of seeing local designers, who were still in the mix. When Elizabeth Carson Racker's line sailed down the runway to Beyonce's Freedom, it was chill-inducing. Her show was built around the concept of unity. Models wore labels like "Democrat," "Republican," "Conservative" and "Progressive" and ripped them off once they got to the end. It obviously took a lot of planning and thought, and all the polish and perfect seams in the world can't make up for seeing that kind of creativity born in our own community.
Friday, the models were fierce (some of them were REALLY enjoying their moment at the end of the runway) and the designs and styling were on point. Take a journey through the slideshow above for some gorgeous runway shots by our fave Fashion Week photog, the Times' Luis Santana.