UPDATED with PHOTOS! Style Week January Day Two: Lahens, Wickman, Mercado

Cocktail Hour Sponsored by Reginas Universe

The Providence Biltmore was abuzz with fashionistas last night for the second night of Style Week. The evening kicked off with acocktail hour sponsored by Regina’s Universe that featured a clothing presentation from the legendary Jeff Lahens of ECC Style with his incredible menswear. The L’Apogee salon was filled to near capacity and the guests treated with live music from the gorgeous Chantal Ambroise.

Jeff Lahens was in attendance with his gorgeous wife and new addition baby Sidney as well as the CEO of ECC Style, Shawn Harris. It was great to see their menswear that truly rocked the runway at Style Week in June in presentation style this season. The runway show was so impressive but seeing the clothes on the models so up close and personal and in everyday movement really showcases the quality of their garments. You could easily pick out the gentlemen wearing the collection and that speaks volumes for a designer.

The first runway show of the evening was the much anticipated collection Oui from designer Kara Wickman. I met Kara last season at many of the Style Week events and she incredibly kind and was just as excited as I was to see fashion of this caliber here in Providence. What I didn’t know was that she had a degree in Textile Design and that she’s even designed jewelry. When I found out that she was showing at Style Week I couldn’t wait to see what she was going to produce. What I saw took my breath away.

It would be tough to distinguish Kara’s debut from that of a truly seasoned professional. Her work was meticulous and gorgeously styled by Christina Pierce. She was striving for a look of the Parisian woman on the go who doesn’t sacrifice style and she nailed it. Kara’s designs were sexy, wearable, and she chose the most incredible fabrics to bring her designs to life. Her collection was pure luxury and definitely conveyed her vision. She also received the very first full standing ovation of Style Week January.

Her family told me in the cocktail hour that she’s been working on the collection since September and that makes this grand debut even more impressive. Kara has not only worked on her collection tirelessly for three months she’s also at the very end of her pregnancy! When I was pregnant I could only create complaints so I’m even more in love with what she produced.

The next designer on the runway was Maria Del Carmen Mercado. I actually met Maria last season as well and she showed me a scarf that she hand dyed and I was thrilled to see that she had made it into Style Week. Maria’s collection was showing the different sides of fashion through the different seasons while showcasing her incredible dye work and women’s wear.

Maria’s scarves have made their place in Providence fashion and it was time to show her collection. Her work flowed beautifully and the colors absolutely evoked the seasons. I absolutely loved the quilted jackets that were dyed in nearly electric colors and she really paid attention to how the garments would move. She may have had some slight fit issues but her models were very strong and confident. I think that Maria has a definite future in Providence.

Overall, it was an incredible day and I look forward to seeing the next shows!


5:30-7pm – Check-in & Cocktail Hour hosted by Rockstar Limo
7pm – Karen Beebe Runway Show
8pm – Samuel Vartan “Dark City” Runway Show
9-11:30pm -After Event Soiree at Nara Lounge – hosted by Redken

About the Author

Regina Foster Bartlett is a mother of two teenagers who recently married her soulmate and believes her favorite wedding gift was the addition of four stepchildren and four grandchildren! She’s a confessed tech-nerd who loves all things social media. She’s also a published freelance writer and she’s been blogging since before blogging was cool. She's the voice behind the radio broadcast and writer behind this blog. Always on the lookout for interesting stories she can be reached by emailing: regina@reginasuniverse.com or using the Contact form by clicking the link above.