AUSTIN – Day two of South by Southwest’s Style X has come and gone, leaving fashion lovers longing for more of the up-and-coming talent spotlighted this week. The style showcase’s second, and last, day was jam packed with shopping, panel discussions, and another runway show featuring festival musicians strutting their stuff in designers’ looks.
Opening the day was American Apparel’s hotly anticipated Factory Flea Market, where shoppers got to scour discounted and discontinued merchandise from the Los Angeles-based retailer. The event has added Austin to its list of targeted cities for the third year in a row, bringing more than 20,000 reduced-price garments to Style X and SXSW attendees. Lines were long and jackpot items were scarce, but finding that perfect pair of high-waisted pleat-front trousers at 50% off was well worth the effort.
While SXSW is known for its fair share of celebrity cameos, Style X hosted a few familiar faces of its own with a series of insightful panel discussions on various fashion-related topics. Chloe Dao, Project Runway season two winner and owner of Houston boutique Lot 8, Moe Boualaphanh of Marilyn Modeling Agency, and other industry figures hosted a conversation on fashion vs. style and the ever-present issue of how to break into the industry.
After the discussion, we asked Dao what she though of Style X’s first run. “It’s good to start small to see what works and what doesn’t, then get bigger and bigger,” she said. “It’s like the beginning of Pool [a tradeshow] in Las Vegas.”
The Glamourai blogger Kelly Framel, and Marissa Evans, founder of New York start-up GoTryItOn.com, were among those leading the second panel discussion on the growing relationship between technology and fashion.
“Technology has allowed consumers to find their own experiences with fashion,” said Framel. The popular blogger and industry darling also noted that fashion is moving toward consumer-driven content and trends, allowing individuals to really find their unique place in the fashion world.
The evening ended with a final runway show, this time presenting menswear and women’s “night out” wear–which looked a tad more like daywear to us. Much more tamed and organized than its predecessor, Style X’s second catwalk highlighted some of the most noteworthy brands of the entire two-day showcase. A beautiful black and peach colored dress from Austin line Toxophilite was paired with one of Bolingo Bags’ luxury leather hobos, and eyewear from expo superstar Tortoise & Blonde was worn by almost every model.
Each one of this year’s brands brought something unique to Style X. From organizations like Open Arms and Krochet Kids supporting refugees and underprivileged populations around the world, to social media platforms like Lyst connecting consumers and brands in new ways, each company is redefining fashion in one way or another.
And while SXSW will undoubtedly remain an indie music haven, it’s exciting to see that fashion has finally found a place at one of the world’s biggest creative conventions.