Fashion Week El Paseo goes out in style

A textured blouse and tulle skirt designed by Gemma Khang
A textured blouse and tulle skirt designed by Gemma Kahng (Photo Credit: Crystal Harrell/ The Chaparral)
An ensemble featuring leather pants and an embellished top designed by Gemma Kahng (Photo Credit: Crystal Harrell/ The Chaparral)
A red gown with ruffle accents designed by Gemma Kahng (Photo Credit: Crystal Harrell/ The Chaparral)

By Crystal Harrell


The finale of the tenth annual Fashion Week El Paseo, featuring New York-based designer Gemma Kahng, brought every bit of glamor and high-profile luxury as promised: bold fashions, exquisite entertainment, and an endless supply of dazzling faces.

The reception for the Palm Springs Life-produced event took place at 6:30 p.m., where guests gathered in a Big White Tent on Larkspur Lane, within the Coachella Valley’s famed fashion district, El Paseo.

Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments were served to lavishly-dressed patrons, while music was courtesy of local DJ Alf Alpha. Fashion Week attendees were also able to sample eyelash and eyebrow extensions at a booth set up by Wink Lash & Beauty Bar, and preview some inventory from Destination PSP—a retail company from the valley that strives to reflect the Palm Springs lifestyle.

“It’s been a fantastic experience being part of Fashion Week; we’ve been here every night during the event… and [the finale] is a culmination of the fabulous fashion [guests] have seen thus far,” stated Destination PSP booth attendee Rusty Dye.

The Gemma Kahng fashion show began at 8 p.m., as the style icon displayed the newest additions to her collection of high-end silhouettes and sultry evening wear. The clothing consisted of a mostly-black-and-white color palette, with some vibrant red styles making a colorful splash towards the end of the show.

“It’s never the same experience when thinking of a new design,” explained Kahng. “So many different things go through my mind, and sometimes you have to start from the bottom up. It’s like an evolution: you design something, you think about it, then you modify it more and fix it until you think it’s right.”

The types of materials Kahng used in her garments ranged from soft, billowing chiffon in ballerina-esque skirts and gowns, to sturdy, accented leather in fitted trousers and vests. This mix of off-beat delicateness is a testament to Kahng’s reputation for “giving women’s fashion an extra edge.”

“I define ‘edge’ as not fitting into the mold. I think there are a lot of women who feel they have to look right and proper, and that’s how they think they should look. But that is not true. I think we need to surprise people by thinking out-of-the-box to try something new and see what looks good,” stated the fashion icon.

Gemma Kahng’s Fashion Week El Paseo finale was much like the clothing she creates—exciting, sophisticated, and one-of-a-kind. The week-long event united the community for a cultural soiree deserving of its red carpet status.

“Fashion is a very tough business… There are a lot of things that happened to me that made me who I am today. Being part of [Fashion Week El Paseo] has been great; everybody’s been so supportive, the team is amazing… It’s just been so easy sharing my fashions with everyone here,” concluded Kahng.


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