On a warm summer Friday evening, it was more than just the weather that was gorgeous. The State Theatre rolled out the red carpet for the annual Macy's Glamorama event, packed to the brim with the city's most fashionable folks. The event kicked off the first of a four-city tour that will travel to Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
See also: Glamorama 2014: Party people
Each year, a portion of the proceeds goes toward worthy causes around the nation. This year, the Minneapolis event once again benefited the work of the Children's Cancer Research Fund. The crowd watched as Ryan Seacrest, via video, introduced the family of a young boy who was diagnosed with cancer at just a few months old.
With nary a dry eye in the theater, the now-six-year-old Jack came out to kick off the event, "Thank you. Actually, that's about all I want to say." And after some careful prompting, he yelled, "Enjoy the show!"
Glamorama isn't about haute couture (though in previous years, they'd highlighted some choice collections from the likes of Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier), and it isn't really about true streetwear looks. Glamorama is about the spectacle and accessibility. This year's theme, Fashion Rocks, truly did live up to its name. As popular rock music from AC/DC, Aerosmith, and Queen played, the crowd saw ready-to-wear fashion that was ready to rock everything from the skyway to the street.
Macy's showed off some of its most successful commercial lines, including Tommy Hilfiger, Weekend Max Mara, Men In Suits, INC, Macy's Impulse, Hello Kitty, Denim Nation, Calvin Klein, and Diesel. Each collection was showcased by models deftly navigating the multi-tiered, inclined stage setup.
Unlike other smaller fashion events, there's less time to consider each look individually, as there's an onslaught of music and lights and a continuous rotation of models showing off the best sides of their outfit while making way for the next. Here are our five favorite looks and collections that truly stood out from the crowd at this year's show.
This slinky silver dress closed out Calvin Klein's runway collection, and it was phenomenal. The way the fabric caught the light combined with its sleek silhouette made this one the night's winner.
Yeah, the kid's line from Hello Kitty made the list. The models wearing Hello Kitty may have been pint-sized, but their performances were big. In fact, this collection was the most entertaining of the night, with the kids dancing to complicated choreography while showing off their outfits. And that's what's important: Can the kids actually move around like kids in these clothes? Do they look great? Yes and yes.
Weekend Max Mara's collection focused mostly on just black-and-white pieces, each of the models topped off with a shock of white hair while strutting down the runway to Blondie. While the wigs lent the collection an air of haute-ness, these outfits were really looks you could easily see at the office or a cocktail event. There was definitely sophistication in Weekend Max Mara's simplicity.
Denim Nation showcased three different takes on denim, each with a different rock-based vibe. From an edgy mix of glam and punk rock to Woodstock-inspired fringe to more hip-hop tinged looks, Denim Nation's expansive collection showed that no matter how you roll, you can always rock a good pair of jeans.
Tommy Hilfiger isn't reinventing the wheel. These looks are part of Hilfiger's classic style -- the autumn-loving prepster collection, if you will. The old-school red-white-and-blue will make you wistful for cool-weather hikes and picnics on the Cape (even if you've never been).
Check out the rest of the photos from Glamorama 2014.
iHeart Radio's Rising Star winners Before You Exit performed one of their songs, hopping around stage and getting the crowd going. The trio, backed by a band, were what you'd expect from a contest-winning boy band: innocuous, a little too-choreographed, and very well-coiffed.
Jason Derulo closed out the show with a handful of songs, appearing silhouetted on the top-most tier of the stage, flanked by backup dancers as he began his performance. Even if you're not a fan of Derulo's music, you've got to admit this guy can move. He made his way down the slopes and to the front of the stage, dancing his way through his songs including his latest hit, "Wiggle." The crowd definitely got down during Derulo's set, standing and grooving near their seats until a shower of confetti marked the end of the show.
The spectacle didn't end with curtain close. The audience filed out of the theater and flooded the streets toward Macy's for the after party. This isn't just any after party, it's arguably one of the best of the year with killer views in the heart of downtown from the Macy's eighth-floor rooftop, incredible people-watching, plenty of fun ways to show off your outfit... oh, and an open bar.
The party varies each year, but some things stay the same: the Macy's-catered food always satisfies that post-show peckishness and there's always a DJ and a photobooth to flaunt what you've got on and off the dance floor. This year, crowds saw the addition of a hair extension station where you could add a little vibrancy to your look with a rocker-chic, technicolor streak. There was also a ridiculously popular attraction that featured the Bumbys: two anonymous performance artists equipped with wigs, fast fingers, and typewriters that would "honestly" describe the way you look (no negativity, just warm and clever wit).
The crowd: A mix of ages, all dressed to the nines and thrilled show of their looks. Lots of platform pumps. Lots of selfies.
Overheard in the crowd: After the Denim Nation showcase: "I want to go change now... like my outfit is not cool enough." "I know. Me, too!"
Random notebook dump:
What would Glamorama be without the ever-popular Diesel men's underwear portion of the show? This year, the gents appeared on a pitch-black stage as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" blared from the speakers and spotlights lit up groups of guys one by one in time with the music.