by Paula M. Riley

On Friday, Sept. 23, the 8400 block of Germantown Avenue willturn into Seventh Avenue when the Chestnut Hill Business Association presents Fall for Fashion in Chestnut Hill.

This fun-filled evening, celebrating fashion, style, and design is being held in conjunction with The Philadelphia Collection 2011.  For two weeks in September,  Philadelphia’s boutiques, salons and stores are holding fashion shows, fall previews, lectures, and offering free professional styling and advice.

Chestnut Hill’s Fall for Fashion brings these wonderful opportunities to the Avenue when shops, boutiques and services will keep their doors open late and welcome guests with wine and cheese and a plenty of fashion, designs and advice.

The newest in women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories will be on display for guests to sample and buy.  In addition to these items, guests can try out free makeup and skin consultations.

Artisans on the Avenue will be hosting an impromptu fashion show where customers will wear their merchandise around the store throughout the evening.  They are featuring young designer Devon Ackridge from Elkins Park who will bring his latest clothing creations for women.  Mary Wilkinson, known as the “Pearl Girl” will sell stunning jewelry she designs with exotic pearls.

“Her price point is great and it’s really nice stuff,” said Lisa Howe, co-owner of Artisan on the Avenue.

Many of the businesses were happy to have a reason to keep their doors open late. “The galleries have been working together to create evening art initiatives,” says Eileen Reilly, Chestnut Hill Retail Recruiter.    “The Philadelphia Collection was the perfect opportunity to build a framework and raise the fun factor for this event.”

There will be plenty of fun on Friday! El Quetzal is partnering with Diamond Spa and hosting a red carpet fashion show.  There will be make-up demonstrations to help guests perfect their “look.”   3000BC will be giving free skin care analysis and Delephine Gallery will be offering free appraisals of gold jewelry.  These appraisals will complement its jewelry trunk show.  Robertson’s will be featuring its new line of accessories.   Many other boutiques will host trunk shows as well.

The entire evening will be festive and fun.  Opera singers will be walking (and singing) along the Avenue, and a guitar and piano duo will be performing through the evening.  Most galleries and shops will offer cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and Weaver’s Way will have food samples as well as beauty products.

Fashion stylists from Philadelphia University will be on hand to help shoppers with their fashion choices and consult on the best accessories for your wardrobe.

“We are happy to partner with the talented students of Philadelphia University and are confident our shoppers will enjoy working with them,” Miller said.

Even our furry friends will get in on the excitement as The Bone Appetite hosts a Doggie Fashion Parade.

Howe looks forward to a great night.

“With so many design schools in the area, the Philadelphia Collection is a great way to put Philadelphia in the forefront of fashion. It’s nice to have a little notoriety,” she said.

For Miller, this is just the beginning.

“This is the first in what we hope will be a series of evening events in Chestnut Hill.  Hopefully everyone will come out and get some great fashion advice and have a fun evening out.”