• Austin Nelson

Best Accessories: Copper Penny

Not surprisingly, Copper Penny, local clothing, jewelry and shoe retailer, sent the best accessories down Thursday night’s runway. Youthful heels, such as uber high, gold painted, cork platforms, spiced up trendy silk mini dresses and “going out” tops. Woven, black stiletto sandals were a welcomed update on the strappy classic, while brightly hued chunky necklaces and bold bangles created a playful contrast against mint, magenta, and turquoise frocks. Perhaps the best accessory of all were the freshly cut daffodils the models tossed into the audience during the finale. An appropriately seasonal touch.

Best Styling: Hampden Clothing

Perhaps it was the gifted hand of guest designer Logan Neitzel — whose sharp leather pieces endowed the show with provocative panache — or the experience of the store’s stylish owner, Stacy Smallwood, but whatever the cause, Hampden Clothing’s runway presentation skillfully styled garments and accessories to create edgy, high fashion looks. From sporty lace-up platforms and knee highs to of-the-moment long, side-swept braids to sequin boyfriend sweaters paired with delicately ruffled miniskirts, Hampden Clothing’s style was au courant.

  • Austin Nelson

Biggest Flop: Tommy Bahama

Spanish guitar music is perfect on a candlelit date or romantic getaway, but — lacking a strong beat or high energy — it makes a dreadful choice for a runway show, as Tommy Bahama so painfully proved last night. Even the models looked bored as they unenthusiastically strolled down the runway in the casual beach- and sportswear of the well-established national retailer. From “dad jeans” to bikinis, the label covered no new ground, and looked more like a mature Abercrombie & Fitch than a fashion presentation.

  • Austin Nelson

Most Theatrical: Mary Porter

Glamour overflowed during the Paris-inspired Mary Porter show, as models took to the runway one at a time, escorted only by the charming French music booming from the speakers. Drawn out flirtatious walks met the end of the runway with exaggerated poses, and a butler emerged to assist one model with her shopping bags. While the glittery fabrics occasionally bordered on pageant-like, sharp silhouettes kept the looks chic. Slinky sequins and feather-encrusted ensembles seemed fitting for a French version of the Marilyn Monroe classic “Gentleman Prefer Blondes.” From the opening floor-skimming brown velvet dress, enhanced with exaggerated tufts of celery hued-silk that poured from the hip and shoulder, to the later, glitzy and fluid beaded ensembles, Thursday night’s final show did not disappoint.

Most Overplayed Song: MGMT, “Kids”

The hip song that had the audience bouncing in their seats during CFW 2009 returned this year with a vengeance. Less novel and more overplayed, “Kids” boomed through the tents in Marion Square Thursday night before, during, between, and after runway presentations. Turns out there can be too much of a good thing.

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