Austin Fashion Week is a one-of-a-kind experience that gracefully combines big name showcases (like Betsy Johnson) with the creative, independent designers that Austin is known for (like Boudoir Queen). Every night is a party where fun is the objective almost as much as fashion. Jaded, stuffy industry types are no where in site. Instead you'll find artists, lovers of style, and designers full of passion, hope, and infectious vigor for their craft.
Austin is a city known for being the innovators for technology, music, and film-- that's why Twitter debuted here at SXSW, why Austin City Limits is a staple in the music industry, and why a lot of notable filmmakers and actors call Austin home. It's no wonder our fashion happenings (Austin Fashion Week and StyleX during SXSW) have started gaining national attention. We are becoming a city to watch for in terms of new designers. I love that I don't have to go to New York every year to get inspired by fashion. Inspiration is here, practically in my own backyard.
The fashion scene in Austin is just like our fair city: eclectic, laid back, and creative. The label chasers are few and far between; instead, the fashion forward will mix their investment pieces with conversation- starting vintage pieces or their favorite, broken- in boots that they've had for a decade or more. Carefully curated vintage shops are in every neighborhood and high end boutiques really strive to cater to their loyal customers. We are not slaves to fashion-- individual style is what's king.
Every year I find myself contemplating attending New York Fashion Week, not because I want to go to oh-so-serious fashion shows, but because I'd love to meet other bloggers and the people behind the brands that I work with. New York Fashion Week isn't really my scene, though, so I'm trying my best to convince the rest of the country to come out to Austin to see what we have to offer.
What I love about Austin Fashion Week is that it exemplifies my beloved city. I've said this over and over again, but it's true: Austin is a city that loves fashion but we don't take ourselves or what we wear too
seriously. At Austin Fashion Week I can sit on the front row with Intern Rachel and my buddy Joanna
while she says things like "Oh that one is kind of cute...in a slutty trailer park kinda way...". I can see a Betsy Johnson show (fall RTW), rock out with Austin's best 80's cover band
, then watch a runway presentation showcasing the state's best independent designers.
Look! It's Hannah from America's Next Top Model walking in the Betsy Johnson show (I still think she should have won!).
The really great thing about Austin Fashion Week is that there are 70 events, most of which are free and all of which are unpretentious. Here are some of my picks for this weeks' fashion week festivities:
Monday, August 22 (today):
"Live art by Brandyn Balmos, blo-tinis, and Etiquette Vintage designs. The DJ El John of Thievery Corporation spinning break beats, a fashion show with Rene Guest jewelry and a Blo on the Go curl station for guests, are just a handful of the highlights that will take place."
Venue: Blo | 1611 W 5th Street Suite #145 78703
Time: 6- 9 pm
Tuesday, August 23
"A French Carnivale inspired Austin Fashion Week soiree featuring accessories by Megan Pinto Designs and music by Ava Arenella, drinks from Cinco Vodka, Waialua & Dos XX, food from Kurant Catering and Sarabelles, fun and fashion including the latest styles from CiarlaBridal, carnival games, adult Italian icees, balloon artist, and photo booth!"
Venue: Mirror Mirror Salon | 4410 Burnet Road 78756
Time: 6-9 pm
Cost: FREE but RSVP required (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wednesday, August 24
Secrets of the Runway (for aspiring models)
"The CW Austin is happy to bring America's Next Top Model contestant Hannah Jones to Austin Fashion Week. Hannah will be walking the runway at various shows throughout the week. Now is your chance to meet Hannah, learn her Secrets of the Runway and hear what life was like trying to become America's Next Top Model. This modeling workshop is FREE, but space is limited to 50 participants. You MUST register to participate."
Venue: Driskill Hotel | 604 Brazos 78703
Time: 1-2 pm
Cost: FREE but must register [here]
MOSS Designer Consignment party
Please join us for a fabulous evening of of beautiful design and shopping! We are happy to be hosting Margot Wolf, an Austin based jewelry designer who creates handcrafted pieces primarily working with Argentium Silver. We'll also be presenting looks from apparel designers Petrecia&Monique. Delicious cocktails will be provided as well as hors d'oeuvres from West Eats. Sip, shop and enjoy! Plus, Special take away treats for our guests from Mere Made Sweets."
Venue: MOSS | 705 B South Lamar 78704
Time: 6-9 pm
Doo-Wop Fashion Bash
Dust off your dancing shoes, twirl that skirt and spin those 45's at a fifties-inspired jukebox party hosted by Tess Dress & Touch of Sass. Enter under the balloon arch and pose for a photo in our fresh-from-the-drive-in hot rod. Snack on burgers and fries from Terra Burger, sneak a slice of Americana from Tootie Pies and wash it all down with a signature cocktail cool enough for all you Cats and Daddy-O's. If that's still not enough to razz your berries, step into the photo booth or choose your favorite tune from our jukebox. And be sure to be on time, as the the first 100 guests will get swag bags stuffed with goodies from over 15 local hotspots.
Venue: Touch of Sass | 500 North Lamar
Thursday, August 25
"Langford Market and Song Fashions would like to invite you to Fashion Pop! Come in for a local collaboration of fashion, treats, music and design. Henry + the Invisibles will be providing music. Yummy cupcakes and ice cream treats will be provided by Lick it Bite it or Both and we'll also be serving Tito's cocktails."
Venue: Langford Market | 249 W. 2nd Street 78701
Time: 6-9 pm
Friday, August 26
The Domain Party
Various events at The Domain including a party at LOFT, Chaming Charlie, J.Crew, and a fall preview party at Neiman Marcus at 6:30 pm.
Venue: The Domain | 3400 Palm Way 78758
Time: 4-9 pm
Cost: FREE but RSVP required for the Neiman Marcus presentation (email email@example.com and specify Austin Fashion Week and the number in your party)
Saturday, August 27
Austin Fashion Awards
Austin Fashion Week culminates in a massive celebration with the Austin Fashion Awards at ACL LIVE. Recognizing the finest from the Austin fashion scene, Golden Boot Awards for People’s Choice and Industry Choice will be presented in select categories.
Time: 7-10 pm
Venue: ACL Live at Moody Theater | 310 W. Willie Nelson Blvd. 78701
See all my picks here and visit FashionWeekAustin.com for the complete schedule.