This week is the 3rd Annual Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week, and I would be remiss if I did not write at least one piece on this event. A closet fashion enthusiast, I love that this week is full of fabulous fashion events, all benefiting Angel Flight NE.
With each year, I have had the opportunity to meet some really talented designers, including the mother (Marlene DiStafano) and daughter (Randi Sylvia) design team at Kenworthy.
Marlene and Randi, both Island women, own Studioshop, Flowers and Fashion, in the Arts District of Oak Bluffs (where PikNik used to be). Though in my neighborhood, I had never met this mother/daughter team.
So, Fashion Week gave me the perfect reason to stop by. Kenworthy will be showing on the runway Saturday night at MVFW’s Gala Event at Union Chapel.
I was met by Randi, who has a lot on her plate right now. Not only does she run the store and design clothes with her mother, their line, Kenworthy, will be showing 12 different looks. That’s a lot, six girls, two outfits a piece, a true runway representation.
I have to mention that Randi is just lovely, young and full of love and passion for fashion. I ask her which clothes she makes in the store, and she casually says all of them — minus the underwear, scarves, and baby clothes.
I stare in wonder at what they’ve designed. There are some really cute pieces that are really wearable and fashionable.
Next question, still somewhat in awe, where do you make them? She casually leads me to the front of the store where her studio is. It’s all right there in that sunny, little space. Her sewing machine, fabric, her design sketches for the fashion show are on the wall. I feel as though I am in seeing something special and very cool.
Randi then runs to get a number of the fashions that will be in the show. I feel like Tim Gunn on Project Runway, having a sneak peak.
There’s a fabulous leather Peplum vest, flower print dresses with hand painted leather accents, a clever mix of hard and soft. There’s this black sheer Swiss dot fabric in a shirt and a very sexy dress, the side slit is very hot, and more. Wait until you see the hats.
That’s my little sneak peak, to see the rest, you’ll have to go to Saturday’s fashion show to see all 12 looks, or of course, you can go tot he store.
Always curious about handmade items on Martha’s Vineyard, I ask about pricing. Surprisingly, the starting price point is $50. The shirt I loved was $72, less expensive than my last top from J Crew. How about that!
A Passion for Fashion Comes to Life
Ever since she was little, Randi was drawing designs for her clothes, for her mother to make. Marlene is quite the talented seamstress. She also helps with design, but most of it is Randi’s (who now can also sew).
Randi went to school for fashion at Parsons in New York and also at Otis (LA), and it has always been her thing. She worked for a high-end leather designer for years in New York City.
So, not only can she design and sew clothes but she also does leather work. The leather pieces in the shop are hers, the belts, the leather accents on clothes, which is great because leather is very in for the fall season.
Three years ago, Marlene and Randi were on the first committee for Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week. This mother and daughter duo decided they should be in it as well. So, a collaboration started right there and then, and they were in their first fashion show.
Now, they even have their own store. Both friends with Michael Hunter of PikNik, they jumped at the chance to have their shop in his original PikNik location in the Arts District of Oak Bluffs. If you notice, it’s StudioShop, Fashion and Flowers.
Marlene is also very talented when it comes to all things flowers. She does flowers for weddings, and frequently you can find amazing bouquets at StudioShop.
Soon, the ladies hope to have the right flower cooler so they can sell more flowers there, a mini florist so to say. A great idea since there really isn’t one in downtown Oak Bluffs.
Where did the name Kenworthy come from you might wonder? It’s actually Randi’s middle name. It has a nice ring to it as a clothing line. At only 25, Randi is really enjoying creating fashions. This is really her first year selling her clothes, and she could not be more excited.
This summer while at Mocha Motts in Vineyard Haven, she saw someone wearing one of her pieces. There the woman was walking by the coffee shop, and there was Randi smiling from ear to ear with surprise and pride. It was unlike anything she had felt before. People were wearing her expressions, her handmade creation.
At StudioShop, you might be surprised at the fact that you can find something for most age groups. Of course there’s a bit more for young women, but since Marlene is her partner, there are also things for women who are a little older.
I also need to mention the metal jewelry you’ll find there. It’s by Jane Herro. Jane and Randi have been good friends for a number of years, and Jane loves selling her handmade jewelry and Randi’s shop.
I have to tell you that I had to get the Chevron necklace. I loved it and had to have it. Sometimes my work ends up costing me money.
You can check out Kenworthy at the MVFW Gala on Saturday night, September 21st, at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the fashion starts at 8:30.
You can get tickets at TicketsMV.com. Not only will you have a great time, but this event is a fundraiser for Angel Flight NE. Also, there will be some great swag bags of course, because it is Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week. See you at the runway.