Spotlighting couture-conscious and responsibly produced fashion — and its designers — the annual Redress Raleigh Fashion Show is bringing #ecochic back to the catwalk at CAM Aug. 18. In front of the show, we chatted up the seven designers/design teams on their style, philosophy, inspo and more — even who they’d swap closets with given the opp. Click here to meet all the designers. Below, your behind stage view with Mariangela C. Walker.
Mariangela C. Walker
Brand: Guarantee Happiness™ (We’re not saying we guarantee anything. It’s more of a philosophy. If you are wearing great, comfortable clothing, it certainly is a start!)
Designer: Mariangela C. Walker.
Your collection’s style: Two main styles in this line: the sporty/beachy Tee Skirt Dress, and the jazzy-elegant style dresses.
Collection pieces? Sporty resortwear and elegant, comfortable dresses.
Fashion show collection sneak peek: Two new styles of T-shirt dresses so cute they will become new staples of the wardrobe!
In one word, this collection is: YUMMY!
Your fashion philosophy: Buy only what you truly love and make sure it is comfortable. Some shoes can pass on the comfort rule if they look stunning and make you feel like a star.
Cultural influence? I picture these being worn on a yacht while enjoying the good life in style and comfort.
Your MO? Created to be a reliable, beloved, grab-and-go solution for what to wear when you’re planning on having fun. Tennis, dancing, running, relaxing, beach … you name it! … Dresses built to last, so comfortable you’ll want to live in them.
Target buyer? Active women who want to have a fun.
Your style inspiration(s): InStyle Magazine!
Your style icon: A blend between practical, carefree and classic — perhaps the easiest icons to name in that genre could be Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow, but I hesitate to mention names because it’s so limiting.
I would love to swap closets with: Well, OK. Fantasy version? Lisa Vanderpump.
Your fave local fashion designer: Zac Schell is very creative.
Take us shopping locally, globally or online. Where are we going? OK, you asked for it! Start at The Art of Style in Raleigh because they are simply the most luscious local boutique. Then go to Edge of Urge to add something delightfully unique and unexpected. Vert & Vogue in Durham has a wonderful European feel. For luxury global, pop into the chic gift shop at The Umstead Hotel. Finally, go to Dovecote in Fearrington and luxuriate in their ambience — create a list and then sit next door and have a scone and tea while you contemplate your next move.
Piece you can’t live without: Handbags by Gigi Karmous-Edwards, of course.
Never leave the house without: Um, I’m not that person.
Fashion item you’d love to acquire: Jewelry designed by Delouis Wilson at Jewelsmith in Durham or by Jenny Garrett McLauren at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro.
We like spreading the local love … fave hot spot: The Umstead Hotel bar and restaurant, great for people with an impeccable eye because you can go and relax and truly enjoy the fact that all the finer details are being attended to! Beautiful pottery by Mark Hewitt, and, oh, they have wildly delicious, healthy nonalcoholic drinks.
What you hope the future of fashion looks like: Eclectic but with a lot less cheap polyester.
What eco fashion means to you: Better quality, better fabrics. Produced thoughtfully with care, including mindfulness about impact.
Best style advice you ever received was: “Being perfectly dressed allows one to focus not on one’s self, but on everyone else one encounters when properly dressed.” I can’t remember whose quote that is…
Why Redress Fashion Show is a must-go: Redress Raleigh fashion shows are about high-quality: They are very well-done, and I’ve been a fan of theirs for a good while!
When: 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18 (7 to 8 p.m. cocktails with live jazz; 8 p.m., fashion show; exhibition with designers afterward)
Where: CAM Raleigh, 409 West Martin Street, Raleigh
Cost: $70 Front Row; $35 General Admission