by Michelle McDermott

Prior to arriving in the desert, it would have been
difficult to imagine myself perched on a little white
chair in the front row of Phoenix Fashion Week, poised
with my Blackberry 8700g in one hand and glass of
champagne in the other.

New to the country and the fashion writing profession,
I was sure that the 2nd Annual Phoenix Fashion Week was going
to be an exciting fixture on my calendar. And so I set
off each evening, media pass swinging from my neck,
Blackberry charged to the hilt, and Lulu Guinness
purse crammed full of pencils, paper and lipstick!

Brian Hill, Founder and Organizer of the event, had,
in only a few short months, rounded up local design
talent, formed partnerships and turned the Scottsdale
area into a hive of models, make-up artists, Carmen
Rollers and Bentley cars—how fabulous!

Day One

On my arrival at the Axis Nightclub, the excitement
was already building in anticipation of the Emerging
Designers Fashion Show.

Let the show begin!

First down the runway were the models wearing Jett-
Lag Designs by Jett Weatherford (, an intriguing
collection featuring hats embroidered with huge
stitches, fleur-de-lys and Swarovski crystals.

At the
end of the first half, iFemme by Femme Athletic (
strutted their stuff in athletic wear. This was no run
of the mill sports collection but leisure suits for
the iPod generation. The selling feature of this
collection is the iPod pocket. Quite simply, there are
no excuses left for not working out!

As I made my way home from the show, I began to feel
like this merry-go-round of excitement had only just

Day Two

Wisely, I booked myself a room for the night at the FireSky Resort and Spa, formerly the Caleo. On arrival at the hotel, we made
our way along the red carpet flanked by two Bentley
cars (Bentley being one of the major sponsors of the
event), and once again the anticipation of tonight’s
event was palpable as the Amazonian models rushed
around in preparation for the show.

I was welcomed at
the wine reception—a novel idea—(one of the many) thought up by Kimpton Hotels, to allow single female
travelers to enjoy a glass of wine in the company of
others. Unfortunately for me, this was to be the
first of many glasses of wine imbibed!

With the tight schedule allowing only a quick, ten-minute stay in my guestroom, the surroundings pleased
me—L’Occitane in the gorgeous bathroom and Italian
Frette sheets on the bed.

With not a minute to spare,
it was time once again, to take my little white seat
in the front row (note to Brian: please make them
gold in 2007). So, as I perched again on the edge of my
seat trying not to spill my champagne on my borrowed
Blackberry (thanks Blackberry!), it happened…

Gift Bag Envy

There it was, right across from me on the other side
of the catwalk, being clutched in the perfectly
manicured hands of Miss USA. Who would have thought
this could happen to me? I wasn’t jealous of her
pretty face, her title or even her tiara—no! Just
her enormous gift bag!

As the lights dimmed, the music thumped and the
paparazzi jostled for position at the end of the
runway, Binky Couture ( sent their models down the
runway to open the show. Masters of the model walk,
hips swiveling and hair bouncing as they
strutted up and down. Average age? Let me see…7-years-old? Watch out Kate!

Alison Leigh Apparel (no website to date) was followed by Femme Athletic
and then it was a quick visit to the press tent where
the wine flowed freely to the sounds of Morgan Hynton
singing, “Beautiful Stranger.” I could get used to this

Day Three

With a thumping headache from too many glasses of wine
in the press tent, I remembered that today was my
appointment at the Jurlique Spa (

(Note to other fledgling fashion editors: spa
treatments are compulsory during Fashion Week.)

On entering the quiet, dark entrance to the spa, I
spoke in hushed tones with my therapist, Gina, and as
she opened the door to my private suite, I was
suddenly struck with a never before experienced
dilemma—should I step on the scattered rose petals
or walk around them?

The suite, a cross between a
rustic French farmhouse blended with Southwestern
warmth, was an oasis of peace and tranquility. The
ceiling, low and beamed, and the floor, wide and
planked, were offset by elegant jewel-coloured glass

Over at the window, my copper tub
awaited me. Stepping into the warmth of the silky
rose-infused water, I lay back and silenced the
non-stop fashion chatter in my mind—Gift Bag Envy
indeed! How ridiculous!

Acupressure, meridian points…these were some of
the words I vaguely remember being spoken by Gina. She
knew and understood talking was not on the agenda
today. I sank into oblivion as the meridian points
were tapped and gently kneaded, geranium oil was
smoothed onto my tense aching limbs (stilettos and
little white chairs do nothing for the posture).

instructed me to breathe deeply while she worked on my
body and soon I could hear my own breathing. Too soon,
my time came to an end. Left in peace at the end of
my treatment, I reluctantly, slowly awoke from my
semi-conscious state feeling like I had slept for eight hours, undisturbed.

Gathering my thoughts and
belongings together, I decided to go for a walk around
the resort and see what this Kimpton Hotels company is all

Earth, Wind, Water and Fire

Kimpton Hotels knows a thing or two about creating a vibe, and
as I strolled around the resort, I could see why Brian
thought this would be a perfect place in which to
showcase Fashion Week.

Eclectic and diverse, the
interior of the FireSky Resort and Spa features the 4 elements: earth,
wind, water and fire. The sand-bottomed pool,
surrounded by lush foliage and private fire-pit areas, make it hard to believe you are in the middle of a
bustling city. The company’s attention to detail is

Fancy some yoga in your room? Tune into
the Mind.Body.Spa channel on your TV. Dial 0 and
request your Mind.Body.Spa. complimentary tote bag.

Feeling a little lonely after the inevitable post
Fashion Show comedown? Then Kimpton will send a guppy
goldfish to your room to keep you company! Rather
reluctantly, I checked out, making a promise to myself
that I would return.

Later that sparkly Scottsdale night, I made my way
once again to the Arizona Biltmore for the final fashion show
and to hear singing Diva Natalie Cole. As I stepped up to
the red carpet one last time, one of the paparazzi
called out, “Who are you wearing?” I replied, “Vintage, darling!”

For More Information

PHOENIX FASHION WEEK will take place in the Scottsdale
area in November 2007. It’s the perfect excuse to leave your wintry city behind! Keep an eye out for the launch
of the new PHOENIX FASHION WEEK website.

FireSky Resort and Spa


FireSky has been awarded AAA Four Diamond Award

4925 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

Tel: 800.528.7867 or 480.945.7666

*Tango Diva loves Kimpton Hotels because they appreciate women! Ask about their Women InTouch Program when you book your room.

Jurlique Spa at FireSky Resort and Spa

Tel: 480.424.6072

Copper soaking tubs: 30 mins for $50

Other services include massages, facials, manicures
and pedicures, Vichy shower, body treatments,
signature treatments (acupressure massage), full and
half day packages and towel and robe service.


My Blackberry 8700g wireless hand-held
proved to be an absolutely essential item during
Fashion Week as I was able to email my notes back to
my home computer. Fabulous!


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