Indie Designers Rock at Nolcha Fashion Week

Lady Gaga may be temporarily out of commission on the concert circuit due to an injury, but her eclectic, fashion-focused spirit lived on yesterday at Yotel, a mod hotel on Manhattan’s west side. That’s where Nolcha hosted its Fashion Lounge as part of its Fashion Week spinoff showcasing the collections of independent designers.

As a quick recap of all the recent fashion action, New York’s Fashion Week is a multifaceted affair. Much of the media and public attention focused on the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. That event concluded yesterday, but it wasn’t the only game in town: Over the past few days, Nolcha Fashion Week featured independent designers on the runways of New York’s Pier 59.

Independent designers have gained cachet during President Obama’s time in office after FLOTUS Michelle wore their creations during high profile events at the White House that provided great publicity to young designers such as Jason Wu and Isabel Toledo.

Nolcha Fashion Week capitalizes on that indie creative trend, just like the Sundance Film Festival does for independent filmmakers. As Alyson Roy, partner publicist for amp3, the PR firm that organized the event said, the fashion lounge is all about the sponsors. They included clothing and accessory designers, who displayed their wares in accessible private cabin spaces. Another sponsor manufactures hair products, so part of the event was turned into a hair salon.

Various fashion-related causes and platforms were also represented, in keeping with the industry’s activism. Not surprisingly, many of the items featured were made of organic or sustainable materials, such as (non-edible) banana envelopes and cork handbags.

Even though we didn’t attend the runway shows, at the lounge event we still got to mingle with an assortment of colorful characters and admire their outlandish outfits. Since it was Valentine’s Day, the industry attendees also dressed in mufti. Below are some of the more notable designs and fashionistas from the lounge scene: