AUSTIN--On Saturday evening, a rather large, well-dressed crowd gathered at Austin advertising firm GSD&M Idea City to kick off the city's second annual fashion week. Show goers were treated to delicious cocktails and choice snacks while braving the intense 104 degree heat. Various donations provided by local businesses, artists and sponsors furnished a silent auction benefiting the charities Austin Involved and Dress For Success.
But it wasn't until sundown that things really got moving. The show opened with a performance by '80s darling Tiffany, followed by a short runway presentation featuring classic, free flowing silhouettes from Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent and beautiful patterned pieces from Robert Stock for Robert Graham. The night ended with a mash up catwalk showcasing the collaborative efforts of 25 teams, each consisting of a local apparel designer, a jewelry designer, a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a photographer, and a model.
A city known for doing things their own way, Austins' fashion week follows suit. The kickoff event, reminiscent of Austin's music festivals, seemed to pay homage to the city's effortless style while creatively blending all corners of the fashion industry. The unpretentious, friendly atmosphere was welcoming, much like the Austin itself. The runway was quaint--a white, lengthy catwalk--providing a beautiful foundation for the unique garments it showcased. And the teams portrayed a total spectrum of color palette and silhouette, from muted Grecian inspired gowns to slim fit structured suiting with hair and makeup to match...a truly beautiful display of creative commerce.
Austin Fashion week was founded by Matt Swinney of Launch 787 as a way to cultivate all aspects of the city's fashion economy. This week, true to Austin's festival style, over 100 different events and shows will take place throughout various hot spots in the city. The festivities will conclude with an award show, gifting coveted "best of" titles among other prestigious honors. It'll be exciting to see what's in store sartorially for the state capital. Laurel St. Romain is a milliner and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. You can see her hats on Ilovefactorybk.com and read about her life on Alltomorrowscostumes.com.