As you might have read in my previous post, this past Saturday was Fashion Week Cleveland's black-tie gala. The Husband, Jen, Alicia & I got all dressed up and started the night out at Pier W. We then headed over to the Halle building where the gala took place. The concept of a fashion week here in the CLE is a great one for me. I shop at Valerie Mayen's Yellowcake, Dredger's Union and love Banyan Tree's Figwood line. I have accessories and jewelry made in Cleveland from local artisans. I will do whatever I can to support this, and any event that does, you can count me in. When the team at Fashion Week Cleveland contacted me asking if I was interested in doing a blog giveaway and offering me 2 VIP tickets to attend their black-tie gala, I was excited. VIP tickets were $100 a piece and this review will reflect that experience.
This is the 9th year of Fashion Week Cleveland and I'm really surprised it was met with so many glitches. There are many wonderful event planners in town and we have an abundance of large events that run smoothly. This was not one of them.
I want FWC to succeed! We have many great resources at our disposal and I'm a bit disappointed that the talent may be overlooked due to some poor event planning. All anyone talked about at this event was what mass confusion was occurring.
Here are the issues that arose.
-Tickets and website stated the doors opened at 7:30. We were told at the door this was wrong and that they hoped to let us in at 8:15.
-Our VIP tickets were taken and no stamp, wristband or ticket stub was given to us.
Drinks / Food:
-There was a champagne fountain that had warm champagne. They ran out of champagne after 15 minutes.
-Our VIP tickets stated "open bar" which was a vodka only bar that you had to wait in line 20-40 minutes for a drink. It was packed. Wall to wall people in a glass room.
-There was no way to differentiate who was VIP and who wasn't so what's the point of paying for $100 ticket instead of a $40 one?
-The food, however was delish. They had stands from L'albatos, Stone Mad and Flour. This was one area I felt they excelled in and it was appreciated.
-Again as VIP we were to have reserved runway seating and General Admission tickets were standing room only. Since there was no way to tell the difference it was a joke.
-The runway was not elevated. Meaning that you couldn't see anything if you weren't in the first two rows. This is a huge error. The whole point is the fashion and we couldn't see it.
I understand that things don't always run on time or smoothly. But this isn't FWC's first go at this. To spend $100 and have to stand shoulder to shoulder for a half hour in a tuxedo for a cocktail that you don't even get a choice in is ridiculous. To ask questions and have the people working the event roll their eyes at you and tell you they have no idea what's going on is unacceptable.
I would love to support this project and see it grow but I feel all the efforts of everyone that works so hard to put this together are wasted when things like this happen. We should be talking about the designers. We should be talking about the fashion culture we've created in our city. This was not the conversation on Saturday night. All the above issues could easily be improved upon and make it worth it for purchasing a VIP ticket in the future.
I am hoping this can be turned around. I'm hoping that for Fashion Week Cleveland's 10 year anniversary it's the gala of all galas. Because that's what Cleveland deserves. That's what the designers deserve.
This was hard to write. I thought about not writing anything at all. I wanted to be fair to my readers and give you my honest opinion. Would this be worth you spending $100 on? Renting a tux for?
This blog is called SMITTEN for a reason. I won't post something I'm not swooning over. I wan't your reading this blog to be a happy part of your day, not griping or complaining.
WHEW! All that said, everyone looked glamourous and I had great company!