As the lights came up on the first big show of Boston Fashion Week, it became clear that the new tent in the courtyard at the Mandarin Oriental signifies a dramatic upturn in quality from previous seasons. A pristine white runway sliced down the middle of the room, while Boston’s fashion veterans (Yolanda! Marilyn! Doris!) claimed their territory in the VIP section. If it weren’t for the lack of climate control - show programs double nicely as fans in the stifling tent - and a few DJ-related mishaps at that particular show, the scene could have been taking place in that fashion behemoth to the south. (There were even models nearly tripping on their dresses, just like New York.) As the shows begin winding down (tomorrow night’s finale is Daniela Corte) here is a look at the action in the tent so far.
MIKE & TON: The idea sounded more like a whim than a fashion line as dentist-turned-jewelry designer-turned-clothing-designer Tonya Mezrich teamed with Braintree designer Michael De Paulo to create a new line called Mike & Ton. A show earlier this year at the W Hotel revealed that the element tying their pieces together was a zipper, its black tape prominently displayed on every dress and skirt. It felt like an unsustainable gimmick. But in the Spring/Summer 2012 show, the clothes were much stronger. In wisely chosen shades of paprika, ivy, and black, the pair showed voluminous poof skirts, form-fitting wool dresses, and an impressive three-piece suit. What was most remarkable about the collection is that the two have a fully formed vision of their customer: She is young, smartly attired, and cocktail ready. The color block pieces, particularly a band dress with their signature spring colors, was as forward looking as a Mondrian.