Related Articles: Clothing & Accessories, All

Santana Row Poolside Soiree

Santana Row designers saluted the return of the goddess at annual show

WITH WINDSWEPT white curtains and tents flanking the pool, the sun deck at Santana Heights was transformed into an archetype of Greek revival. The row’s residential complex paid homage to fashion by hosting Santana Row’s second annual Poolside Soiree last Saturday. Models sauntered down the runway in vogue splendor, showcasing the work of 19 Santana Row designers.

Guests nibbled on wasabi deviled eggs and bacon-wrapped dates from Village Bistro and Thea Mediterranean before sampling some sparkling wines from Vintage Wine Bar. A dozen or so browsing booths lined the entrance, wares glittering in the sun.

The show opened with a women’s collection by Anne Fontaine that offered a vignette of what was to come: a blithe return to the romantic goddess. Many of Fontaine’s pieces illuminated the idea with ribbon tie-ups and flowering trim. Especially eye-catching was a black and charcoal corset top accentuated with fairylike, petal-shaped gatherings at the neckline. Pink Stripes and Anthropologie promoted tiered dresses and long flowing numbers, while boutiquey Harajuku chimed in with a toga-looking number that distinguished itself with an array of multicolored drapery.

Ruffles, one of the big summer 2010 trends, were represented by virtually every woman’s designer on the runway, from subtle ripples on tops to dripping cascades on dresses by Penelope. This textured accessory, which has been popular since the days of Marie Antoinette, can add a noble flair to any piece. The key to avoiding looking overly theatrical, however is to pair ruffles with something tailored to give a balanced, yet unpredictable feel to any outfit.

Like the women’s designers, the men’s designers showed their sensitive side. Franco Uomo and Tommy Bahama revealed that they weren’t afraid to wear pink. Business casual jackets with cool pink, purple or kiwi colors peeking underneath demonstrated a gradual chipping away at traditional tropes of masculinity this season. More importantly, one can surmise that a few thoughtfully chosen pieces can separate men in a way that sends a message of assertion and success. During this difficult economy, those are valuable attributes that can prompt a strong positive impression.

Saving the best for last, the threads that overwhelmingly snared the most attention were the ensembles by the row’s newcomer, Priscilla of Boston. The wedding-dress designer had guests holding their breath as the poised brides floated weightlessly down the aisle, the crystal jewelry setting off a lingering twinkle. Priscilla showcased a spectrum of styles from extravagant gowns with tiered bottoms to short, sassy and flirty creations. The procession of white was a captivating force that made the show’s finale dreamlike and pronounced at the same time.

The runway show was accompanied by get-up-and-dance melodies, and ended with a post-party celebration at the Santana Row Penthouse.

Martinis and Manicures

June 1, 5pm

Hotel Valencia, 355 Santana Row, San Jose