New Hampshire Fashion Week kicks off in Manchester

What do you get when you mix a variety of performers, designers and a fashion runway? The New Hampshire Fashion Week event held at the Radisson Expo Center in Manchester.

The weekend was full of surprises, as designers who have walked in New York and Paris fashion week showcased collections from their lines.

The first designer to take the stage was Inga Pizikov and her collection Jewelinga Designs. Her concept comes from inspirations from the Earth and stones. Patty Vilela, of Bedford, was part of the kickoff, modeling Inga’s one of a kind pieces. "I haven’t walked the runway in years and I think the last time I had that many flashes going off from cameras was when I performed as a New England Patriots cheerleader, as I’ve already been asked to model at many more events, which I am extremely excited for."

One of the designers not only showcased his collection, but also his dance moves ending in a split on the runway. Earl Battle is the designer for the line Battle Designs which Vilela walked for as well. Three collections were put together, and showcased this past weekend. His inspiration came from fruit and chocolate, an Italian painting from the 18th century and the theme tough but classy.

Vilela along with her daughter Alexis also had the opportunity to walk for Rimma Zaika, the designer of Wearable Arts collection. She creates one of a kind hand-made contemporary knitwear, as her inspiration comes from the techniques used in Russia. "The colors in the collection are very colorful and come from what people wore when I was young. I’m sick of seeing black everywhere," Zaika said. Her designs are full of history, festive, vibrant and are overall uniquely alive.

Pierce Jackson Connolly, also from Bedford, was the first to rock the stage in a designer tuxedo. Pierce says "I wasn’t nervous at all in front of the crowd and cameras, and is already looking forward to next year’s event."

Finally, Alexis had the privilege to walk for two more designers, one of which she got to wear her fairy tale dress – a dream come true. Designer Marie Luce’s passion has always been to make little girls feel like princesses. All of the dresses are designed with quality fabrics, laces, embroideries, beading and trim with an artistic style and attention to detail. Alexis said she would love to do many more fashion shows and hopes to pursue a career in modeling and acting. She is currently a cheerleader for the Bedford Jr. Bulldogs Mitey Mites and feels excited for the opportunity, especially since her mom Patty is her coach.

Overall the weekend was a huge success and benefited 68 Hours of Hunger as well as Steven Tyler Janie’s Fund and will appear on Chronicle on WMUR at 7 p.m., April 15.