Styleweek Northeast to feature micro show Thursday in Providence

A runway model from last year's StyleWeek Northeast fashion show wears a design made from recycled materials for the SEED competition. This year's StyleWeek will be a micro fashion event on Thursday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Providence's Capital Grille

PROVIDENCE — StyleWeek Northeast takes to the runway Thursday night from 5:30 to10 p.m. for a micro fashion event that packs in two collections, a recycled-fashion student competition, a silent auction for student art and a special accessories installation. 

The show will be on the patio at the Capital Grille, against the Waterplace Basin setting. That’s where the 10th-anniversary event was held last October, limited by the pandemic to 85 guests wearing their StyleWeek face masks.

This time, for the 19th season celebrating fashion, there will be 125 guests in attendance. 

There was no question there would be a micro fashion event, said StyleWeek founder and president Rosanna Ortiz. It’s something people need now. 

"Fashion always matters, because it’s an expression of who we are," says StyleWeek Northeast founder and president Rosanna Ortiz, who has reimagined this year's event as a one-day micro fashion show.

“Fashion always matters, because it’s an expression of who we are,” she said in a recent interview. “It allows you to be expressive, without judgment.” 

“And it’s fun,” she added. “It makes you smile, and we need that today.”

Ortiz also noted that it gives the public something stylish to look forward to after most had a dress-down year at home.

StyleWeek starts with accessories

Like any good fashion, the evening begins with accessories. 

Jewelry designer Nicole Romano will be collaborating with Providence designer Kent Stetson on a handbag collection. An installation will be unveiled during cocktail hour.

Rhode Island handbag designer Kent Stetson, seen here at his studio in Pawtucket's Hope Artiste Village, will collaborate with jewelry designer Nicole Romano on an accessories installation.

Stetson has been turning his fine art into handbags for almost two decades. Romano’s statement jewelry was “discovered” by “Sex and the City” stylist Patricia Field, and her jewelry was frequently featured on the show.

Designers on the runway

There will be plenty to see on the runway with women’s collections from Rhode Island-based designer Jess Abernethy and Boston’s Lalla Bee. Both have showed previously at StyleWeek.

Ortiz is excited for both collections.

An archive photo of Providence designer Jess Abernethy recutting a dress pattern.

She describes Abernethy’s style as what would happen if Marc Jacobs and Rebecca Minkoff had a baby.

“She always has the juxtaposition of modern with a throwback look,” she said.

Abernethy said she hasn’t created a collection in almost three years, and she’s missed the excitement of the shows.

“I love the choosing of the fabrics again and putting something together that people will hopefully love and wear,” she said.

As for Bee, Ortiz called her “meticulous.” 

Boston fashion designer Lalla Bee, seated, will show a collection at StyleWeek.

“She is very ethereal and designs for every woman with every body type,” she said. Bee is body-inclusive, and she includes a runway model who is in her 50s.

In what has become a signature runway event, young designers are again tasked with making an outfit using recycled materials as part of StyleWeek’s SEED — Student Design Challenge. Eleven students from The Lincoln School will each create one garment.