Byline: Karen Parr

NEW YORK — A dozen emerging apparel and accessories designers took the spotlight at Gen Art’s “Fresh Faces in Fashion III” at the new Media and Arts Center in Chelsea last Wednesday.
Those who didn’t get a full dose of the latest looks obviously weren’t looking.
Models strutted down the runway, wearing accents from H. Stern’s fashionable fine jewelry, and an eclectic group of fashion accessories designers and firms assembled spirited installations for their collections.
Notably, jewelry designer Jill Platner spent two weeks before the show welding together a 12-foot-tall steel sculpture made of shapes similar to pieces in her line.
“I was so excited to do the sculpture,” Platner said. “I’ve been wanting to do it, and when Gen Art asked me to show, it was the perfect opportunity. I feel like my jewelry is sculptural.”
The event was held for Gen Art, a non-profit arts group.
About 900 people showed up, including editors, buyers and the general public, who bought tickets at $20 each. Musician David Byrne and actress Jennifer Beals also attended.
Ian Gerard, executive director of Gen Art, said the goal of the event was not to raise funds but “to get the designers shown to the broadest audience, which would help them in their careers.”
Clothing lines saluted were All Saints, Amaya Arzuaga, Alfredo Cabrera, F8, Girly NYC, Kos-tum, Rebecca Taylor and Heather Witt.
In addition to Platner, accessories designers with installations were Maria Turgeon, Red Monkey Designs by Torry Pendergrass and Meg Cohen. H. Stern and 9 & Co., just two of the sponsors for the show, also had installations. The exhibits were put up only for the evening.
H. Stern’s spring 1998 collection was worn by some of the models as they presented the clothing lines during a runway show. Andrea Menezes, H. Stern’s marketing director, said participation in such an offbeat event was part of the firm’s recent shift.
“We’re rejuvenating the brand,” she said. “For us, it’s a perfect tie-in with the young designers.”
Since last year, the Rio de Janeiro-based firm has spearheaded a global push for a younger identity.
“If it wasn’t for that turn, something like this would not be possible,” Menezes added.