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Making a fashion statement PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 18:36

With designs produced in her Port Washington studio, Madalyn Manzeck wows the Milwaukee fashion scene with ‘perfect’ work, wins Designer of the Year award

    Madalyn Manzeck’s first Milwaukee Fashion Week was an unqualified success by any measure.
    Not only did the Town of Belgium woman and her company, Madalyn Joy Designs, win two People’s Choice Awards — for best presentation and most likely to be a fashion icon —on Monday Manzeck learned she had been named Designer of the Year.
    “I’m still in shock,” Manzeck said Tuesday.
    She received the crystal award in a surprise presentation at her studio in the Harbor Center on Port Washington’s lakefront.
GIRL LG Robert Reimer, vice president of Milwaukee Fashion Week, said Manzeck was an easy choice for the award.
    “Everything she did was perfect,” he said. “She stole the show.”
    Manzeck’s show on the first night of the three-day event was a sensation, Reimer said.
    “The response of the audience was, ‘Wow,’” he said. “I heard comments all night long about how great she was.”

   A number of those at the show compared Manzeck to Mark Roscoe, a noted designer featured at Milwaukee Fashion Week, Reimer said.
    “For her to be in the same company with him is remarkable,” he said.
    Manzeck’s designs are spot on, he said, well tailored and exhibiting an understanding of fit and fabric as well as style.
    Her collection at the show was titled Flora and Fauna.
    “It’s about being inspired by nature and life and flowers,” Manzeck said. “I just wanted to create a beautiful collection.”
    The 10-piece collection featured bodysuits and skirts, all with handsewn appliques, in champagne, blush and bordeaux. The skirts, of tulle and silk, were mostly floor length. They brought a flowing feeling to the ensembles, Manzeck said, noting one tiered skirt featured more than 120 yards of tulle.
    “It’s very dense and fluffy and magical,” she said. “Adding a flowing fabric or flowy skirt adds that dramatic flair you need for a fashion show.”
    Manzeck, who focuses on creating fashions that combine beauty with comfort, said she tried to “blend the line between innerwear and outerwear” with the collection.
    Milwaukee Fashion Week featured more than 30 designers in shows from Sept. 21 to 23.
    “I’m thankful everyone enjoyed it,” Manzeck said, adding the designers don’t get to see the audience reaction because they’re backstage throughout their shows. They only get a glimpse during their walk down the runway at the end, and she was too busy concentrating on not tripping to truly enjoy the reaction.
    Generally the Fashion Week awards are announced at the close of the event, but that didn’t happen with the Designer of the Year award.
    “All of us were kind of biting our nails,” Manzeck said.
    So she was surprised to receive the award on Monday, she said, adding her family and boyfriend all knew of the honor before she did but none of them spilled the beans.
    “I’m still pinching myself,” she said. “It means so much. If you win it, you know the people really enjoyed your pieces. I’m so thankful.”
    Reimer said the award recognizes the designer’s achievements, and Manzeck’s are clear.
    “I would say she’s up and coming,” he said. “If she were to pursue something nationally, she’d give other designers a run. Madalyn is on course for greatness.”
    The award comes with a few perks. For example, Manzeck is now automatically entered into Milwaukee Fashion Week 2018 at no cost.
    “Of course I’ll be there,” Manzeck said. “I was going to participate anyway.”
    But for now, she has a few more immediate concerns. On Tuesday, she was at a photo shoot for the bridal magazine Unadorned for an issue coming out in January. There are orders to take and fill, and work to get her designs into boutiques.
    She’s also planning for her first solo show, tentatively set for Feb. 10 at Gallery 224 in Port Washington, just below her studio. She’ll debut her next collection there.
    That collection, which she’s already working on, is inspired by disco and the 1970s, Manzeck said. It won’t be a literal interpretation, she said, but one that draws on the silhouettes and overall feeling of the time.
    There will be jumpsuits and a few more evening pieces, she said, adding that “everything will have a lingerie feeling.”

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 October 2017 18:38