Irina Shabayeva Fall 2010

Where & When: Saturday, February 13 at 7 p.m., SIR Stage 37
Runway Recap: Irina Shabayeva earned the nickname "Meana Irinia" last season on Project Runway, but perhaps she was just annoyed about having to compete with contestants that were so far below her talent-wise. Shabayeva's skill as a designer was obvious from the start, and her collection last night proved that her win was no flash in the pan. The inspiration in her collection--birds--was clear from the invitation to the set design to the clothes themselves. You are either a bird person or you're not, and since I am, I was rather dazzled by what came down the runway: dramatic, high-volume coats and capes with hand-painted feathers; sexy skinny leather pants; an ombré chubby fur coat; and a spectacularly dramatic ribbed sweater coat. The feather-adorned dresses were a bit too literal for my taste, but the the three sweeping gowns that closed the show drew strong murmurs of appreciation from the audience.
Standout Look: While I wouldn't encourage you to wear these two pieces together--it would be a bit too matchy-matchy off the runway--here's one of Shabayeva's more subtle but still outstanding jackets, with the feather detailing just on the lapels. The truly fantastic skinny pants are beaded to look like feathers--a flight of fancy indeed.
Bonus Points: Shabayeva may be burning through her Project Runway winnings, but her packed show pulled out all the stops, from the well-stocked gift bags to the waiters circulating with cocktails, to the (gasp!) raised runway. Seriously, you have no idea how rare a raised runway is, and they're much appreciated to those of us who don't sit in the front row and would still like to see the models from the knee down.
Where to Buy: Shop online here.

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