You Better Work!: Local designers’ fashions stalk the runway during StyleWeek

When it comes to fashion, designer Zoe Grinfeld isn’t afraid to roll the dice — or perhaps play a game of RISK. A senior at RISD, Grinfeld explains her aesthetic as “clothing with a sense of humor.” She organized her first fashion show when she was 11, with garments made of dollheads and plastic cups, and exhibited at StyleWeek ‘17 as part of StyleWeek’s SEED Student Design Challenge before returning last year with a runway of her own.

So what can we expect when Grinfeld returns to StyleWeek this year? 

“Classic game pieces,” Grinfeld says. “Twister mats and fuzzy dice. My collection this season is actually inspired by board games, dice and probability, and in exploring the relationship between strategy and chance. I was also interested in making clothing and accessories with an element of interactivity, such as a magnetic checkerboard jacket which doubles as a playable checkerboard.” 

Grinfeld’s runway will be held on the closing night of StyleWeek Northeast, the three-night long fashion event running September 19 through 21 at the Providence Convention Center. Now in its 17th season, StyleWeek Northeast was founded in 2009 as a means to focus on the business of fashion and showcase emerging and veteran designers under the same roof as buyers, press and the public. 

The event kicks off on Thursday with the SEED Student Design Challenge which, this year, will highlight 10 students from Mass Art in Boston. The weekend will also include an accessory showcase with mobile boutiques and pop-up shops.

Nearly 200 designers have showcased on StyleWeek’s runways since 2010’s first event. Designers come from across the country with a variety of backgrounds. This year’s runways include looks from the Chicago-based designer and two-time “Project Runway” alumni, Peach Carr. (Carr will close the event as the final runway on September 21.) Boston designer Corey Ortiz, who turned heads on Season 15 of “Project Runway,” will also show off his latest looks during his runway on Friday, September 20.

Returning for her second StyleWeek runway is RI designer Brianna Moon.

“My aesthetic and style have always been inspired by the past, specifically the ’60s,” says Moon. “I’ve always had a deep love for clothing made from that era; the techniques and attention to detail were exquisite. These are things we don’t really see anymore, unless it’s luxury wear.”

Moon is most intrigued by simple silhouettes and beautiful fabrics. She considers her process for this year’s StyleWeek quite different from her first outing in 2011.

“(After 2011), I took a step back for a very long time,” Moon says. “This time I wanted to immerse myself in images and places that inspire me, but most of all surround myself with people who inspire and believe in me. I sit up on Pinterest for hours when I should be sleeping, just saving anything that inspires me. This season I’ve had so much going on, all at once, within my personal and professional life, so whenever my anxiety started to get heavy, I would channel that into creating.”

Part of Moon’s personal and professional balance includes maintaining her storefront at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, where Rhode Islander’s can shop Moon’s accessories and apparel. Five percent of all proceeds support the fight against domestic violence and violence against women.

Regarding her runway’s materials, Moon notes, “I think the most inspirational thing is that we are having a real moment where people are realizing that fast fashion needs to end, unless it’s completed in a sustainable manner and workers are paid a living wage. Trust me, I love getting items on sale, but I feel like more and more people are beginning to talk and listen. This time around, the fabrics I’m using to create are dead stock or organic fabrics.”

Brianna Moon’s runway will be held at 7:45 on Saturday, September 21.

For more information, tickets, and full event schedule, visit