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First-ever Boston Fashion Awards showcase city's promising couture scene

Posted by Alex Pearlman  April 30, 2012 05:30 PM

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BFA (Boston Fashion Awards) 061.JPGBy Tamar Zmora

Milan. Paris. London. New York. Is our fair city the next fashion capital? Sure, neither Kanye West nor Joan Rivers graced the VIP section, and the evening was devoid of Botox and obvious plastic surgery, but last night, in the dimly lit Bijou, fashionistas, models, and designers gathered together for the inaugural Boston Fashion Awards.

The brainchild of Tony Hyppolite and Mike Zotos, the Boston Fashion Awards are the realization of a vision to fuse performance and fashion. Seeing a void in Boston and tired of living in the shadows of New York City's vibrant fashion scene, the organizers wanted "to create an opportunity to build a positive image of the Boston fashion scene internationally and strengthen the fellowship within the local industry," according to the event's website.

Following a VIP reception, the evening's festivities began, as models wearing Candice Wu's eclectic -- and often too literal; see her piano and flower dresses -- spring collection flounced down the runway to music from Ben Goodman.

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Also featured were designs from Heiress Boutique, Drea Designs Couture, Samuel Vartan, Andy Jacques, and M. Miller Furs and musical performances by Kao Vanny and Louie Bello, among others.

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No overarching cohesive look tied together the evening's featured collections, which ranged from evening gowns and wedding dresses to club wear and beach wear.

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Drea Designs Couture's beach attire was accessible and ready to wear, but pairing the designs with gilded belly dancer Il Nara's performance distracted from otherwise good pieces.

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Throughout the night, awards were also handed out, in categories like Best Model, Best Stylist, Best Photographer, Best Retailer, and Best Designer. Winners were chosen by a combination of votes from industry professionals and an online popularity vote.

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Certainly, most would agree that Boston has a long way to go before it becomes a fashion beacon to the rest of the world. But everyone has to start somewhere, and this event is promising. After all, fashion often comes from humble beginnings, whether it's a wannabe designer working her way up The Devil Wears Prada-style, a salesperson with the innovative idea to open a tie store, or an inability to travel.

All proceeds from the Boston Fashion Awards will go to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and The Jimmy Fund. This event may not get Boston out of the top spot on GQ's "Worst-Dressed Cities" list, but at least it showcased our entrepreneurial and charitable spirit -- so take that, New York!

Photos by Tamar Zmora

About Tamar -- I'm a recent Wellesley College grad with a degree in English and studio art. I grew up in the Midwest and briefly lived in Europe and the Middle East. My name is often mistaken for Tamara from "Sister, Sister." I love exploring coffee shops and am almost always highly caffeinated. I am very interested in films, the arts, theatre, painting, photography -- you name it -- '90s TV shows, and music.

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This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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