AUSTIN--Designer Billy Reid was undoubtedly the best choice to host for American Songwriter magazine’s South by Southwest celebration yesterday. From the vintage-inspired venue to the unmistakably hipster vibe, the entire event was a testament to the simple yet romantic style we’ve come to know and love from the Alabama-based designer.
Hosted at Austin’s newest live music venue, Swan Dive, the party was a crowd pleaser, whetting music lovers’ appetites with the likes of Keegan DeWitt, The Apache Relay, Jason Isbell and The Civil Wars. Not only did the party provide a taste of what the Texas music festival does best, it afforded plenty of opportunity for the fashion-inclined to express their personal style. There were skinny jeans paired with brogues--no surprise, there--dresses paired with vests, and fedoras paired with Ray Bans. And while the core of the world renown festival remains in art and music, a definite niche has been carved for fashion. (A new sartorial convention, Style X, premieres this weekend).
The Shindig--as it was so affectionately named--really got under way as the last few acts took to the stage. More and more festival goers poured into the crowded bar, looking to get a taste of the musical brilliance inside. And even in the wake of his event’s popularity and obvious success, it was evident that Billy Reid genuinely embraces the relaxed southern charm and simple approach to fashion he has so skillfully based his brand on. Because really, how many bold-faced fashion designers show up to events in jeans and a baseball cap?