👠 Strut your stuff at Philadelphia Fashion Week

Hello hello!

It’s about that time to be thinking about warm sweaters, apple cider doughnuts, corn mazes, fall foliage — and, of course, fall fashion. This weekend, however, is shaping up to be a bit of a rainy mess, so stay dry out there!

This weekend, dress up or down for Philadelphia Fashion Week, check out Camden’s Xponential Music Festival (weather permitting), explore several art exhibits and make those plans for Oktoberfest celebrations.

— Rosa Cartagena (@_RosaCartagena, Email me at thingstodo@inquirer.com)

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Strut your stuff

courtesy of PFW

Are you stepping out in style? We’re in the middle of Philadelphia Fashion Week, the annual celebration of local style with fashion shows, panels, and networking events. Philly’s version of the Met Gala, the flashy and fun Avant-Garde Ball, is on Friday.

Your weekly social calendar

🎨 Last call for some modernist art: Painter Joseph Stella created colorful and complex portraits of industrial America. His incredible art is on view at the Brandywine Museum of Art in “Joseph Stella: Visionary Nature,” which closes this weekend.

🪄 Maestro’s magic wand: In the upcoming Leonard Bernstein biopic directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, there’s a special Philly connection in the conductor’s baton. Meet the local maker whose father crafted Bernstein’s batons in the past, and who crafted Cooper’s batons for the movie.


📺 New true crime: 72 Seconds in Rittenhouse Square is a new documentary series about Michael White fatally stabbing Sean Schellenger in 2018. It premieres next week.

🎤 Can’t stop, won’t stop: This weekend is the second Montco Jazz Fest, and Philly vocalist Miss Justine is coming out of retirement to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and perform one more time for her devoted fans.

🎥 Looking back: The 1978 documentary Amateur Night at City Hall: The Story of Frank L. Rizzo was so incendiary upon its release that WHYY nearly lost its Living History Center headquarters. The film will screen at the Lightbox Film Center on Friday.

👗 Legendary dressmaker: Famous Black designer Ann Lowe crafted high fashion for rich families like the Carnegies and the Rockefellers, including Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress. Lowe is now the center of a new exhibit at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Del., presenting 40 of her couture creations and a replica of Kennedy’s stunning dress.

🎸 Next fest: This weekend’s Xponential Music Festival is shaping up to be a rainy experience, but weather permitting, there will be tons of talent descending on Camden for three days, including the shirt-ripping band Low Cut Connie.

📅 My calendar picks this week: Catch flicks at the Women’s Film Festival, explore various cuisines in Dine Latino Restaurant Week, and sample all sorts of food at South Street Smorgasbord.

The thing of the week

Ray Bailey

Opera Philadelphia’s O23 Festival kicks off today showcasing an array of contemporary opera. I’ll be attending tonight’s world premiere of 10 Days in a Madhouse, about investigative journalist Nellie Bly’s undercover journey in an asylum to expose horrific conditions. (Look out for my upcoming review with Inquirer classical music critic Peter Dobrin!) There’s also a Philadelphia premiere of Unholy Wars, which reframes the Crusades through a Middle Eastern lens; Late Night Snacks from the Bearded Ladies Cabaret; and a new production of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. With 33 performances over 11 days, the festival runs through Oct. 1. Keep an eye out for our coverage.

Fall into fall 🍂

📝 For all youse newcomers: My coworker Paola Pérez just launched a new Inquirer newsletter for Philly transplants — Navigate Philly! Whether you moved to town this month or last year, we’re here to help with a start-up guide to everything you need to know, from local vocab to DMV tips. Sign up here!

💀 Share your thoughts: The famously macabre Mütter Museum has been going through a major direction shift under new leadership regarding its world renowned collection of human remains. This week, they announced a series of public town halls to gather public feedback on ethics and consent.


🍺 Prost!: Oktoberfest is coming up and we’ve got a roundup of 15 great festivals and parades to celebrate the hop-filled holiday.

🎷 Jazz it up: The Branford Marsalis Quartet, Christian McBride’s New Jawn, Pat Metheny, and more jazz stars are performing in Philly this fall. Here’s your guide to the best jazz in town.

🚀 Take off: Immerse yourself in a black hole simulation, learn about the future of space travel, and get up close to space rovers in the Franklin Institute’s upcoming “Wondrous Space” exhibit.

🎨 Determined to be: The first retrospective of undersung-yet-remarkable sculptor John Rhoden will open at PAFA in October, showcasing some 70 sculptures of bronze, stone, and wood alongside archival materials from Rhoden’s prolific life.


🌽 Will you be a survivor?: Don’t worry, I’m talking about corn mazes. Reba McEntire corn mazes, to be exact. Five farms in the region will be opening Reba-themed mazes this season.

❓Pop quiz❓

Black couturier Ann Lowe grew up in which state?

A) Alabama


B) Delaware

C) Pennsylvania

D) Texas

📮 To let me know which of the above is correct, write me back.

This week, I’ve been obsessed with The Other Black Girl, which has so far been a super faithful adaptation of the suspenseful office-horror novel, thanks to author Zakiya Dalila Harris’s participation. Are you watching anything scary to get into spooky season? Let me know!

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