No need to rely on Project Runway to see what’s in style; over the next couple weeks, New Hampshire becomes a fashionista’s paradise, with runway shows all over the state featuring local and national designers.
Spring into Chic
The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce presents its second annual Spring into Chic Fashion Show and Expo Thursday, April 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott in Nashua.
“The board came up with the idea last year, and everyone agreed, not knowing how it was going to turn out — but it was such a success, it is now one of our signature events,” said Patti Maccabe, marketing and event coordinator with the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, via phone last week.
The event is a two-hour fashion showcase featuring spring and summer clothing, shoes and accessories from local and corporate New Hampshire stores — like David’s Bridal, Fresh of Nashua, Downtown Nashua Boutique, Pastiche Boutique, Robin’s Egg Baby Bird Boutique and George’s Apparel. Mary Kay Cosmetics is designing makeup, and Michael’s School of Hair Design and Esthetics will do hair.
Models are ages 1 to adult. Some are local celebrities, like Merrimack Police Chief Mark Doyle and Merrimack Parks and Recreation Director Matt Casparius, while others are high school seniors competing for a $500 scholarship. Kevin Skarupa from WMUR emcees.
New Hampshire Fashion Week
New Hampshire Fashion Week runway shows are Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 9, at noon at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua. The event, also in its second year, features both regional and national designers. Director Cynthia Hudson conceptualized it years ago because she felt there was a void in the Granite State; it needed its own fashion week.
“Connecticut has one. Boston has one. Why not New Hampshire?” Hudson said via phone last week. “It’s a big production. There’s a lot that goes into this.”
One of the designers is Laconia artist Wanda Van Norden, whose jewelry is made from California healing crystals. Van Norden has sold at craft shows locally and nationally, traveling as far as Florida and Texas to sell, but there’s something incredibly exciting about seeing your work travel down the runway. Last year, her models wore black clothing to emphasize the large, sparkly pieces.
“It gives designers a chance to get their names out there and get people to see their work,” Van Norden said.
During intermission Saturday night, there will be performances by local singers and dancers and Shane’s Anti-Bullying Program, and the New Hampshire Brigade football team will throw footballs and promotional items out to the audience.
Other featured designers include Jewelinga, Chances R Designs, Jarfette, Alternative Designs, Takeiya Perry Designs, Nellie Designs, Nina Designs, Maritha Designs, Vermont Fashion Arts Collective and LuLaroe. Lord & Taylor and Gap dress the models Sunday.