Fashion Week in Westchester

Haste is the bane of a runway show. A splashy turn does little to highlight each painstaking stitch, sublime fabric and inspired form from designers’ showcases. The team at Marteal & Estrada offered a novel solution at last night’s event – a fashion exhibition – that brought Fashion Week to Westchester.

Hundreds gathered for the Fall 2013 Collection Exhibition featuring work by the designing trio of Marteal Boniello and twins Jesus and Antonio Estrada. The Gaucho Grill transformed for the show Fashion Week style complete with a red-carpeted step-and-repeat greeting each stylish guest at the door and tall florals dotting the jam-packed bar. Fluorescent uplights engulfed a DJ who spun party sound for what looked like an open dance floor lined with more than a dozen short square tables. Not tables, I learned from designer Jesus – tableaus.

It’s a new spin on runway shows where models, more like mannequins, pose atop the tableaus to display 360 degrees of clothing like artwork. “They’re doing this now in the city,” says Jesus, a former contestant on Project Runway Season 7, who spent the hour-long exhibition graciously accepting accolades from devotees old and new.

Though the feature of the evening, the collection – an Audrey Hepburn-inspired assemblage of timeless feminine silhouettes with playful modern touches – wasn’t the only exhibition of the night. An unexpected surprise was the exposed backstage area, a sliding glass door where guests got a full view of the designers dressing, primping and zipping models with Scarsdale’s Julius Michaels creating classic hair and Jessica Chavarro painting glam faces. The chance to enter taboo voyeur territory – Do we peek? Do we not peek? – and see the pre-show scuttle so rarely revealed gave the type of thrill that Fashion Week should be all about.

Of course, it’s also all about the clothes, so check out our gallery to see what stood on last night’s tableaus. Among the bright red lips, lush lashes and platform pumps, the designers showcased snug bodices with full tulle skirts and funky gloves. Goddess-draped chiffon donned leather detail, and a floor-length evening gown stunned in regal red. A nude shift got swanky with lace, and rich mustard damask got girly with a floppy satin bow. Oversized rhinestones adorned dresses short, long and ruffled, and a salt and pepper cape with leather collar finished the collection with a fashionably fall feel.

See more in WAG’s March installment of WAGwatch, and find Marteal & Estrada’s ready-to-wear collection plus jewelry, accessories and vintage goods at 512 Mamaroneck Ave. or online at martealandestrada.com. For details, call (914) 993-3303.

– Andrea Kennedy

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