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Fashion show puts area designers in spotlight

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Published:   |   Updated: September 21, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Some of the areas up-and-coming local designers stepped into the fashion spotlight Friday at Tampa Bay Fashion Week’s Designer Runway Show.

The Hilton Tampa Downtown was the place to be as spectators surrounded the catwalk to see a dozen area designers show their latest collection There were few surprises, and some lines left you scratching your head, but designers showed a mix of fashion that ran the gamut from simple to sexy to eclectic to just plain weird.

First to grace the runway was Kato “Potato” Kaelin of O.J. Simpson fame, who debuted his line of men’s and women’s loungewear that included an assortment of robes, drawstring pants, T-shirts and jumpers designed in collaboration with Rhonda Shear Intimates.

Shear, creator of the best-selling “Ahh Bra,” took the stage next with a collection of sexy shorts and leggings, slinky one-shoulder dresses and airy caftans and revealing jammies for entertaining at home or wearing out on the town - depending on your mood.

Stephen Ogaga of SW8 Clothing featured a dark mix of pieces made of leather that included shirts and shorts, ripped jeans, hoodies and casual wear; while Audrey “Pat” McGhee put the spotlight on menswear looks for women and men that included polka dot jackets and cut-off pants for the man who isn’t afraid to draw attention.

Designer Elizabeth Racker showcased a combination of shorts, skirts, dresses and palazzo pants in warm fabrics and rich colors.

For the finale, Kimberly Hendrix of k.hendrix presented an ethereal collection of gowns, undergarments and dresses in fleshtone colors accented with sequins replete with branches and twig headpieces.

Since its founding in 2007, TBFW has grown steadily and includes nine days of events aimed at drawing attention to the Tampa Bay area’s fashion scene and talent. The event concludes Sunday with a bloggers conference at Channelside.

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