NEW YORK — Carmen Marc Valvo celebrated his 25th anniversary in the fashion business in a big way — and with a big surprise.
The longtime designer, a Texas favorite who is a featured designer at Elizabeth Anthony, took over the large tent at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and invited more than 1,000 friends and media to join in the fun. It caused a bit of chaos as the doors remained closed after the start time for the show passed and impatient, increasingly unruly guests were kept waiting outside.
Gowns were belted, too, with flowing skirts made of chiffon or organza, sometimes paired with sporty tops in black, silver and white.
However, once they took their seats, calm prevailed as Valvo unveiled a spring 2015 collection that has a retro feeling with touches of modern fabrics and 21st-century design. He opened with several day looks in a blue floral pattern belted at the waist and sleeveless to showcase toned arms and shoulders. The '50s floral pattern and was offset by sporty mesh insets and contrasting piping.
Gowns were belted, too, with flowing skirts made of chiffon or organza, sometimes paired with sporty tops in black, silver and white. Several polished and sexy nighttime looks featured beaded flower applique on mesh in strategic places.
Valvo surprised the crowd by also sending out male models for the first time in his long career. His menswear looks included fabrics featured in the women's collection, with the same blue floral pattern featured in tight slacks with a black cummerbund, tiny swim trunks in an orange and black fabric and suits with a hint of sparkle in the fabric.
Valvo celebrated his milestone anniversary with a big party at the Players Club in Gramercy Park Saturday night. Vanessa Williams and her band, including her daughter, performed, along with Carmen Ruby Floyd and Ariana & The Rose. To the delight of the large crowd, Valvo and his partner, Christian Knaust, announced that, after nearly 40 years as a couple, they recently have tied the knot.