Fashion Rio’s Runway With A View-------
The New York shows are a relatively staid affair when it comes to staging. The most dramatic location comes courtesy of the Lexington Avenue Armory, where Marc Jacobs (with the aid of Stefan Beckman) puts on the week’s show to beat. Paris fares better, with elaborate stage sets in rundown theaters and frigid warehouses and of course the many palais. But when it comes to breathtaking settings, the off-site shows at Fashion Rio have a leg up on the rest of the world. Mass-market brand Redley kicked off the excitement, having a parade of editors make a style pilgrimage up the side of a massive hill and deep into the jungle. The somber collection was set off by dappled sunlight through the treetops and a manmade haze courtesy of smoke machines creating the kind of magical moment of which designers dream. Another standout came courtesy of the label Printing, which set its show in the Centro Cultural da Ação da Cidadania. The cavernous brick-walled space provided a more glamorous impact for the jewel-toned, embellished collection than a typical runway venue. In most cities, either space is at a premium or nature isn’t terribly abundant or accessible, but in Rio the best of both worlds collide, and for a few hundred lucky fashion folk, they’ve got a front-row seat.