Cocktails X Couture @ The Ritz

For the third year in a row Cocktails & Couture absolutely SMASHED IT at The Ritz in Ybor Tampa.  The Cocktails X Couture event was held Saturday, January 17th and was sponsored by Tampa Bay Fashion Week, Tribeca Color Salon, Square One, The Ritz Ybor, & Kevin Murphy and select proceeds benefitted the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.  I’ve been in attendance since its inception and can honestly say that this recent #CXC15 was gloves down the most entertaining show to date. What a visual cornucopia of flavor… a people watcher’s dream come true!  This fashion-lover’s event was jam packed with style, both on the stage and in the audience.

Essentially, it was a show within a show within a show.  There were three shows performed on stage in the impressive main ball room, breaking up the audience’s night into alternating periods of being entertained and being fabulously sociable.  There were two additional bar rooms which housed performance art, local art for sale, and fashions by the designers featured in the runway show.  This seemed to be where the pulse of the networking crowd would escalate between sets, where all walks of style combined and mingled with one another until the next show.  I thought the timeline flowed nicely and was blown away by the music DJ Elias Throux was pumping out throughout the night.  The runway fashion featured a wild mix of everything from everyday jeans & tees to whimsical paper dresses to leather body harnesses, a little something for every palette.  I was also impressed by the heightened fashions adorning the diverse crowd of culture connoisseurs.  All walks of life came out for this stylish event and I think that speaks volumes about the rise of fashion here in Tampa, Florida.

Being greeted by Vegas Showgirls upon entry is not a bad way to start the night…  CXC01- Vegas ShowgirlsDesigner fashions from Dolce Creative (above) and Madel Fashions (below)…CXC02- Red Carpet

The lobby and bar rooms featured several mediums of art on display, from photos and painted canvas to dancers and modern movement innovators…
CXC03-Art Display

CXC04- Lobby Sideshow

Rocking their GoBearr harness fashions, the bartenders served up custom cocktails like ‘Chris-Gin Dior’ and ‘Gin Kardashian’ to a very thirsty crowd…
CXC05- CrowdSeveral talented dance companies appeared throughout the show. I loved the infusion of dance, song, and theater,
CXC06- Dance Troop1 CXC07- Dance Troop2CXC08- Sideshow The evening’s host with the most, The Ritz Ybor’s Okie Tilo…
CXC09- Okie Host Let the fashion begin! Here are some of my favorite looks from the show:
Black and Denim Apparel Company…
CXC10- Black and Denim CXC11- Black and Denim1 CXC12- Black and Denim2Dolce Creative…
CXC13- Runway 01Madel Fashion…
CXC14- Runway 02GoBEARR…
CXC15- Runway 03DOLLFACE…
CXC16- Runway 04 CXC17- Runway 05 CXC18- Runway 06La France
CXC19- La France 01 CXC20- La France 02Solimar Collection…
CXC21- Runway 07 CXC22- Runway 08CXC23- Runway 09 CXC24- Runway 10 CXC25- Runway 11Gianna Love & the House of Love ft. Haus of Blackbird…
CXC26- Show

The finale featured modern concepts from House of Hollywood.  This was my favorite collection in the show…CXC27- Hollywood 01 CXC28- Hollywood 02 CXC29- Hollywood 03 CXC30- Hollywood 04

Photo Credits: Aimee Blodgett and Rafael Martin

Runway Fashion: Black & Denim Apparel Company, Dolce Creative, Go BEARR, Madel Fashion, DOLLFACE, La France, Solimar Collection, and House of Hollywood

For more info and pictures from the event visit the Facebook Event Page for Cocktails X Couture here.

RT Signature

P.S.~ Stay tuned for my next post about ‘The Butterfly Effect’, a private fashion trend event hosted by Neiman Marcus for the Straz Centre.

Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013 Runway Presentation

Wow!  What a week!  The 6th Annual Tampa Bay Fashion Week was a whirlwind of stylish receptions, designer and model parties, vendor and exhibitor boutiques, a blogger conference and fashion shows… the proceeds from which will benefit Shoes for the Cure.  There were so many opportunities to learn about the local fashion scene as well as brush up on everything from the history of fashion to kid couture to what’s hot in bridal wear… literally something for everyone.

As always, my favorite part of any fashion week are the runway shows.  Tampa Bay Fashion Week’s presentation of the 2014 Spring/Summer Collections at the Hilton Tampa Downtown did not disappoint!  I went as a guest of my friend Emily from Deocapac Designs, one of the sponsors of the event.  Though we had great seats (there wasn’t a bad seat in the house), I quickly positioned myself on the front lines, at the very end of the runway, a few feet from the models, camera in-hand.  I just couldn’t help myself.  Here are some of my favorite looks from the show…

TBFW SW8 Clothing

TBFW Lolodaisy

TBFWAudrey Pat McGhee

TBFW IADT Students

TBFW Monstuosite

TBFW Sandra Hagen

TBFW Elizabeth Racker

TBFW k.hendrix

For more info about Tampa Bay Fashion Week and a full list of participating designers visit  Stay tuned for my next blog post about the St. Pete Art & Fashion Week runway show!


Cocktails & Couture Fashion Show

I never mind going to a fashion event on my own.  It’s what I do.  However, when my good friend and style muse, Christina, rang my cell as I was heading out for the show, I was delighted to hear that she was able to accompany me to Cocktails & Couture at The Ritz in Ybor.  I had a feeling this was going to be a lot more fun than my usual Runway Translator appearance, I was hanging with my party girl partner in crime!  I’m telling you this as a sort of apology, because I had such a great time that a few of the details are hazy.

Here’s what I do know:  Cocktails & Couture is an annual runway show presented by KEVIN.MURPHY & The RITZ Ybor that benefitted the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.  It was one of Fashion Week Tampa Bay‘s many fabulous offerings around town.  This year’s line-up was styled by Danielle MacFarland of Don Me Now and consisted of fashions, jewelry, and accessories from several shops at Hyde Park Village (listed below), Keys Country, and Revolve Clothing Exchange.

Singer Anye` Cole opened the show with an impressive rendition of  “Who You Are” by Jesse J, only to be topped by her second number, a mesmerizing version of “Wildest Moments” by Jesse Ware.  If you’re impressed that I remembered that, don’t be.  I met her after the show and tracked her down the next day for info.  Cole is pictured below next to that crazy cool pic of this stylish fashion blogger, from the perspective of the models on the runway (the background is a shot of the amazing ceiling at The Ritz).

C&C-RT and Anye Cole

There were over sixty looks for women and men ranging from athletic wear, to cocktail attire, to ummmm… what the???  You’ll see.  I’ll take you on a little ride through most of the show.  Follow me!

First we take a visit to the gym, where workout wear and spandex were abounding…

C&C-Active Wear

Then we see some cute printed dresses, perfect for daytime or anytime…

C&C-Short Print Dresses

Next we ‘get our boot on’ with some fun ensembles for the country gal in all of us…


We make our way into the cocktail/ date night/ girl’s night out portion of the evening…

C&C-Party Separates


We travel through Man Land with lots of looks for the boys…

C&C-The Guys

Aaaand then we take a hard left onto Goth-Punk Avenue!  Whoa!  Where am I?  Don’t be afraid, they won’t hurt you… they’re actually very nice…

C&C-Punk de soleil

Albeit a little disconnected from the rest of the show, the ending was quite fabulous!  I was drawn to the freakishly over-the-top androgyny of it all.  I did a little research and now I’m following Branden Hollywood (red leather pants above) on Instagram.  He’s the visual artist responsible for the strange and provocative looks that wrapped up the show.  I also got a chance to speak with stylist Danielle MacFarland backstage.  I admire her as an entrepreneur.  She managed to successfully transition her business from being a service to becoming a storefront.  When she’s not styling runway shows like Cocktails & Couture or Rays on the Runway, or on buying trips to New York, you can find her at Don Me Now- Styling & Clothing Lounge.  Tell her Runway Translator sent you!


The Shops of Hyde Park Village:  Albisia’s Jewelry, Betty, Don Me Now, Brooks Brothers, FITniche, Francesca’s Collections, High Cotton Living, Lululemon Athletica, Navy, The Pink Petticoat, The Poppy Boutique