Photos: Dock Side Fashion Show clings to summer 

Grand Old Maritime

Fishermen gawked and tour boat-bound tourists gathered around the edges of the Maritime Center Saturday night to take in the Dock Side Fashion Show. The venue was changed to a slightly less sunny spot than the previous year — chairs were set up in two long rows in front of the Center rather than on a dock, which is actually a much safer set-up, especially after a few glasses of vino.

After a fashionably late start, Clewis Reid kicked things off with a collection of featherweight sundresses, cover-ups, and rompers. Several of the pieces incorporated fabrics from local textile designer Proud Mary, and models sported bold jewelry to play off of the simple, summery clothes. The looks were all about comfort, but a few of the models were swimming in their clothes, readjusting their way down the runway.

Anna Lassiter was next with a feminine, romantic collection that needed refining. Crooked seams, safety-pinned zippers, and poor-fitting pieces detracted from the show’s few strong looks. The designer excelled in the gown department, with the stand-out being an asymmetrical strapless gown with a layered, petal-like skirt. A sequined, serpentine gold gown also had us mesmerized with its fishtail hem.

Sarah Maxwell, the event organizer, presented some of the strongest looks of the night, with a line of ready-to-wear dresses. The collection’s purple palette blended in perfectly with the setting sun. Between their floppy hats, pretty ringlets, and super-feminine frocks, the girls looked ready for a stylish garden party.

After an intermission, Rachel Gordon’s One Love took the runway with an earthy, elegant collection. Though the designer hasn’t evolved much since she hit the scene a few years ago, her long, drapey gowns with low, sexy backs are still killer. With bell sleeves and asymmetrical necklines, some of the shorter dresses had more of a ’70s Foxy Brown feel.

Julie Wheat’s Cavortress wrapped it up with a colorful, diverse line including ’50s-esque bathing suits (with the perfect butt cuts), separates, and dresses. One of our favorite pieces of the night, a basic black dress turned out to have a beautifully draped back with an unexpected swatch of blue. Many of the pieces incorporated similarly surprising details.

Overall, the timeline lagged a little, and there were lighting issues toward the end of the show, but you can’t beat the location of Dock Side, and it seemed to put everyone in a happy mood. Unfortunately, the casual setting also resulted in some rude guests getting up and moving around mid-show, which is a no-no, no matter where you are. We would have loved to have seen some more seasonal looks, but at the same time, Dock Side seemed a fitting farewell to summer.

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