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Posted on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 : 8:14 p.m.

Fashion in Detroit, Day 1

By Kelly Tinsley

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend Michigan's hottest new fashion movement - Fashion In Detroit, as a finalist in the local designer competition. I was one of three finalists nominated based on submission of a portfolio. The winner would receive a guaranteed spot in the next season's Fashion in Detroit event, (rumored to take place March 2010) with the $2500 designer's fee waived. Although I did not win, I was very honored to be a part of this, and to have my designs displayed for everyone to see. Below is a photo of myself and the other two designers, Adriana (the winner) & William Malcolm and Karen Buscemi who is the editor of Styleline Magazine and part of the executive committee for FID.

I sat front row for all of the shows today (and I will be there tomorrow as well) and I have to say, it was amazing experience. Bryant Park better watch out, because the Detroit Zoo is coming up fast behind you! It was simply pure joy watching gorgeous glamazon models in 4 inch heels and outlandish fashionistas in couture ensembles weaving around the zoo patrons and the stone animal statues, making their way to the tents. It gave it this great character and somehow a nice, more down to earth and slightly comical feel, even though the fashion was truly on par with NYC's Fashion Week.

The first designer was Joe Faris (Project Runway fans may remember him from Season 5) for Schott NYC. Joe is definitely someone I have huge respect for, not only as a great designer but also because he was one of the main masterminds of this event. To witness people doing something great for the city of Detroit, and also the Michigan fashion community as a whole, it's just really inspiring and motivating. The leather jackets in this collection followed by the corset at the end - just simply stunning, with flawless construction. I loved the wide variety of styles and colors.


Green leather jacket by Joe Faris for Schott NYC


Schott NYC corset (this was the finale piece and also the only female look in the collection.) A beautiful closing piece and a super cute idea!

Next up was PS. by Peter Soronen. Very beautiful corset inspired mini-dresses with meticulous boning details. I think this was my favorite collection of the day. It made me itching to get home and start working on a corset myself. :)


PS. by Peter Soronen


The student show was next. It showcased 12 designers from the leading fashion schools in Michigan, including Wayne State University and IADT. There were some really stunning an amazing creations, all inspired by the theme "Motor City". Below are photos of the "Heidelburg dress" and "Detroit Red Wings. Each of the 12 designs was unique and beautiful. These students all did an outstanding job.



Following the student show was Diva Groove, which was founded by designer Dana Keaton, who is also a professor at the Art Institute of Michigan. She had many cute quirkly little dresses, skirts and shorts which truely spoke "spring!"



Diva Groove

The last designer I was able to see was Marlaina Stone, who designs jewelry. Her pieces were beautiful and unique. Sadly as we were outside schmoozing, I was late to my seat and had to watch from the isle. My fiance, who is quickly also becoming my professional photographer while I'm out "on the scene" was able to snap this awesome photo of the runway from afar during Marlaina's finale.


Marlaina Stone Collection, photo credit: Martin Sager

It was a great day, and I'm really excited for tomorrow's shows! I believe they still have tickets available on the Fashion in Detroit website. And with exciting designers such as Femilia Couture, Betsey Johnson and Made in Detroit - tomorrow's event is not to be missed!! I will be back with more photos for you soon...... now I'm off to revel in the afterglow of the realization that Detroit is starting to have a real fashion community. That is a huge accomplishment, and you truly could see how much work had gone in this event, from the "red carpet" quality of the tent, to the sound and lights, to the amazing models - everything about it was simply delightful.

The Freep also has a great article on the event.

Also, great Photo Gallery of FID Day 1.

Kelly Tinsley is an Ann Arbor-based fashion designer who blogs about fashion and style for You can visit her Web site at, email her at, become a Facebook fan of her designs and follow her on Twitter.


Kelly Tinsley

Thu, Oct 1, 2009 : 9:03 p.m.

Notably, if anyone reading this knows the names of the other two designers, especially the woman who won, please let me know! I'd love to give them credit, however the whirlwind of the moment caused me to not remember their names. :(