Philly agency presents its own brand of fashion week

Posted: September 27, 2012

After six years of toiling, not to mention the fierce fight they won to brand a single fashion week in the City of Brotherly Love, Kevin Parker and Kerry Scott seem to have finally perfected their formula.

The duo - who run FBH-The Agency, a modeling and fashion-show production company - presented five days worth of sleek events last week that featured an accessories party, a networking cocktail hour, a black-tie gala, and two runway shows, all under the well-earned label FBH-The Agency Philadelphia Fashion Week.

The posh production served as a stylish exclamation point to the city-sponsored The Philadelphia Collection, which ended Thursday and featured more than 100 events throughout the city.

"We are finally breaking into another level," said Parker. This week, FBH will produce two New York fashion events, including a runway show for Baltimore-based womenswear designer Bishme Cromartie. "When you have people contacting you from Paris, India, New York, and L.A. who want to show in Philadelphia with us, we know we have effectively stepped up our game."

The caliber of this year's designers is proof Philadelphia is quickly becoming a hub for emerging artists who want to get noticed. With four of the 25 coming from New York, it also shows there's a potential market for the nascent manufacturing industry here.

This weekend, former Oscar de la Renta intern Michael Thomas presented a collection of church-appropriate yet sexy frocks.

Pretty Pretty Rebel designer Leah Delfiner did it Betsey Johnson-style with her happy dresses. Earlier this month, Delfiner debuted her spring 2013 collection at New York Fashion Week.

But the real sartorial treat was the work of local womenswear designers Irina Sigal and Melanie Brandon.

Sigal, a dressmaker with a boutique in Elkins Park, was appropriately fashionable with her sharp collection of black-and-cream color-blocked sheaths. My favorite was the black dress with a removable cream smock.

Brandon's Von Alexandria collection, known for voluminous silhouettes accessorized with recycled gun metal, toned its shapes down a bit. But the spring collection, in creamy yellows, peaches, and blues, still featured the signature feathers. The construction quality was phenomenal as well.

Now, if there were as many U.S. manufacturing facilities as there were burgeoning designers, maybe we'd see these labels in more specialty boutiques.

Contact Elizabeth Wellington

at 215-854-2705 or,

or follow on Twitter @ewellingtonphl.

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