I admit that I’ve been hibernating from the Austin fashion community this summer, but the Austin Fashion Week Kick-Off last night, Shift Into Style, a motorsports themed fashion show featuring looks from The Danes, Ross Bennett, Linda Asaf, Keepers, and Ferrari, got me back into the groove. There were some definite hits and misses during the show, but overall, the designers had different points of view that made the show eclectic and interesting. The timeless elegance of The Danes was particularly my favorite, capturing the true essence of women in unexpected ways with various colors, textures and silhouettes. If I were a woman, I would have to own one of their dresses. Or maybe I can just dabble in drag.
I was excited to see several familiar faces at the show including Isaac Gomez from L Style G Style, Eve Nicols, professor from the UT Apparel Design program, photographer Waytao Shing, designer Anslee Connell of savannahred, and met the co-founder of Austin Social Planner, Laura Villagran Johnson, who was a joy to sit next to. When the male models from Keepers came out, I thought she was going to have to find a bucket for me to collect the drool. Overall, we had lots of fun watching. And on another tangent, did anyone else think it was random that Anita Perry was the introductory speaker? What contributions has she made to fashion? Maybe I’m missing something.
The kick-off this year was packed with many guests, so of course there was a plethora of great style to be seen. However, I can’t say that anyone wowed me with any outfits. Too many safe cocktail dresses and not enough adventure. This is Fashion Week! But here are a few stylish looks from the crowd that caught our photographer, Patrick Meredith’s eyes.
Animal print done the right way with a chartreuse colored belt livening up the zebra print.
Shelley from ATX Street Style rocking this simple, yet adorable black & white frock.
Isaac Gomez and myself. I wore all black, but kept it interesting with a hand-painted tank top.
This woman’s lime green dress was refreshing to see among a sea of black.
I personally think the Cruella de Vil hair works.
Jonathan Shakarisaz staying true to the motorsports theme with fingerless leather gloves.
The show itself opened with The Danes, who were particularly my favorite collection of the night. My favorites are always the ones who stay cohesive throughout the show with their looks, but excite us with different colors, silhouettes, etc. Colors such as emerald green and coral were seen, as well as more elegant, neutral colors such as crisp champagne and black. Some unexpected things were seen as well, such as lattice over a black dress.
Being male, I was looking forward to Keepers right after. And let’s just put it this way: I wasn’t just looking forward to the clothes. And judging by the row of middle aged women in front of me who were casually sipping on wine (and who I named ‘The Real Housewives of Austin’), they weren’t either. However, I was impressed with some of the outerwear that the collection presented. I wasn’t that impressed with certain looks, but I appreciated the different paterns and materials used, such as the purple velvet and Elvis-inspired coat.
The show closed with “Cota Girls” for COTA, designed by Ross Bennett. Bennett’s claim to fame is from NBC’s Fashion Star, and his skills as a designer were put under the fashion microscope with this collection. I thought the collection was bland in certain ways. Where Bennett shines though is his superb ability to appeal to a younger, more marketable crowd. The one look that I liked (and the only one that clearly stood out) was the sheer red shirt. You can see Ross’ own collection at the Austin Fashion Awards next Saturday.
Closing the show was two of the “Cota Girls” along with Alexander Rossi, top ranked American F1 test driver in a racing suit of his own. I don’t really see the correlation between Rossi’s Ferrari look and girls in short skirts and cowboy boots.
Attending Shift Into Style has got me excited for what else Austin Fashion Week has to offer this year. Make sure to check back here and our Upcoming Events page for what all Joanna and I will be doing this week!
keep austin stylish