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"Pet Fashion Week" is a misnomer in every way: It's not a week so much as a weekend, and it's not for all pets so much as sweater-happy dogs. (Which is good: Nobody wants to see a runway show starring parakeets.) The event turns three this year, and as befits a maturing institution, it has now developed a social conscious. This year's theme was "sustainable style," and a fashion show at 11 on Saturday morning attempted to "spread the message of heightened awareness," as the host explained over barking from backstage.
To that end, the runway was decorated with chicken wire and barrels labeled toxic, and all the human models were styled like Mad Max extras, with massive dreadlocks. The woman behind the line SimplyShe introduced her designs with a little speech about how important it is to "make people's lives a little bit better by putting clothes on dogs" —she didn't seem to be taking the theme very seriously.
The show really began with a dance performance by three fishnet-clad women with lights on their hands and feet and wires coming out of their enormous teased hair (so no cats, but shades of Cats!) who eventually scampered up ladders to train spotlights on the fashions. Highlights included Idawg, which sent out models wearing significantly less than their canine companions; the model in ladylike separates who wheeled two tiny bulldogs down the runway in a shopping cart for Turkish line Oomaloo; and Cadelín's bare-chested male model and big macho dog wearing matching plaid capes.
The finale announced itself with a portentous aria and smoke machines. An announcer offered us "visions of what will happen when human and dog styling become one." And models with dogs done up in matching hairdos began marching across the stage. One German Shepard, perhaps afraid of this post-apocalyptic future, refused to go. When his model finally coaxed him down the runway, he tried to make his escape, clambering onto the lap of a man in the front row. Tyra would have booted him for un-model-like behavior, but the audience just went "awwww."
· Pet Fashion Week [Official Site]