By Natalie C. McGovern, Contributor
Elisa Ilana’s Fashion Night Out, a high fashion event showcasing Omaha’s exclusive jewelry gallery, was a smashing success. VIP registered guests mingled and perused the floor while looking at statement pieces and one-of-a-kind signature pieces displayed ranging from precious metals and gems to beads.
Seabass caviche, soy glazed salmon, caprese skewers, prosciutto, pesto shrimp with roasted tomato and chicken croquettes appetizers were catered by Crave. A full bar served drinks for the gentlemen and ladies, offering whiskey and mixed cocktails. Gourmet cupcake deserts were served by Cuppycakes.
Grey pearls and crystals in a pewter setting, freshwater pearls by Ozatu, and pieces by prominent designers Vahan and Frederic Sage were just some of the exquisite pieces on display. Outdoor on the patio a large tent was set up where a high fashion photo shoot took place. The atmosphere held a trendy, high fashion vibe DJ Ema Marco mixing uptempo club beats, matching the energy of the event.
Models showed off every kind of gemstone, from freshwater pearls and turquoise pendants to yellow diamond earrings. Up and coming fashion boutiques such as Statement, Sheila, and Bliss were showcased as models traipsed the aisles and waited backstage for a photo shoot close-up opportunity in the new season’s Look Book.
Event Marketing business Step Group hosted the event, and ran a tight ship, making sure everything operated smoothly. Esoteric Velvet provided the styling for the show and coordinated looks between boutiques, hair and makeup. Hair was courtesy of Kontempo Salon, and makeup was provided by freelance Lancome artist Linda Miller.
Most of the models were local and walked for Omaha Fashion Week, Esoteric Velvet owner Stephanie Stormberg said.
“Some haven’t done print,” Stormberg said. “The catalogue shows the recent and current collection, and [showcases] the jewelry.”
Elisa Lau and Nancy Anaya, UNO PR and Advertising students and recent models for Omaha Fashion Week, worked the scene with an elegant flair. The students wore designer names by Sheila and Bliss and showed off an exclusive array of Elisa Ilana bracelets, necklaces and earrings for the catalogue photoshoot. Anaya was garbed in a Sheila cold-shoulder print top and black pencil skirt from Bliss.
“I am wearing a baroque pearl bracelet with Swarovski crystals,” Anaya said.
Justine Marr, a model for Elisa Ilana, wore a black and white ensemble from Sheila, an off-the-shoulder black top paired with a black and white blocked skirt. Marr wore a bracelet with moonstone and freshwater pearls, an Elisa Ilana necklace with onyx stones and sterling silver earrings, she said.
Model Stephanie Finklea wore a black knit peplum top and sported snakeskin print pants from the boutique Statement. She completed her look with long dangling sterling silver and turquoise beaded earrings from Elisa Ilana.
“[It’s all about] supporting a local business and getting something unique,” Finklea said.
A highlight of the evening was Kkini swimwear, designed by Omaha Westside graduate Michaela Cawley. Commissioned by Jimmy Choo, Cawley sells couture swimwear exclusively to boutiques in Beverly Hills Las Vegas and Cape Hart, Cawley hand cuts the fabric and creates one of a kind lycra swimsuits.
Cawley spends her day “sussing out fabric shops” to “create something different,” she said.
“The fabric knit is unconventional because it has stretch in it,” Cawley said of her shimmering bikinis.
Elisa Ilana owner Laurie Langdon-Gerber called her gallery vision “old world meets mod.”
“Frederic Sage features his designs with some of the rarest of gemstones and is based out of Great Neck, N.Y.,” Langdon-Gerber said, referring to one of their most prominent high-end lines. “We carry a lot of up and coming designs. The new trend by metal prices are so high, [Elisa Ilana] has contoured looks and not the price.”
Elisa Ilana has exclusive rights to carry Vahan and Frederic Sage, and is the only high-end jewelry store to be found in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.