Let’s be honest, Austin does not have the best reputation when it comes to fashion.  So what is to be expected about an event which is centered around a topic that its city is specifically not praised for?  It should come as no surprise that Austin Fashion Week has had its ups and downs, and weird moments.  Remember when Tiffany (yes the 80s pop star) sang at the Austin Fashion Week Kick Off a few years ago? Remember when the runway shows took place at La Zona Rosa and it rained through the leaky ceiling onto the runway?  And, frankly the results of the Mash Up Team photo competition this year left me a little confused as the majority of the photos looked like they shared some sort of weird “fairytale princess” theme.  Sometimes Austin Fashion Week feels kinda like your awkward kid sister who’s still growing up and trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs, and at times I just want to allow her to spend a day with my friend Virginia and let her smoke weed and listen to Bongzilla.

Regardless of the questionable aspects of Austin Fashion Week, at the center of it all is a group of creative individuals who are trying to make something of the fashion scene in Austin.  Whether or not Austin Fashion Week is helping to shape the public opinion of the fashion scene in Austin in a positive way is debatable.  But regardless of your opinions of the event, the fact that anyone is talking about the fashion scene in Austin at all is a really good thing for the growing community of us in this town who have decided to make fashion a part of our lives.

Here’s why I’m excited about Austin Fashion Week this time around:

UT Austin’s Fashion Show “Spectrum”

Every year the UT senior fashion design students show off their final collections at the UT Fashion Show, and it is always my most anticipated show of the year.  Not only is it a huge show which takes place in the Frank Erwin Center with great production value, but because it shows off the work of new talented designers, you never know what to expect.

This year is actually the first year that the UT fashion show is associated with Austin Fashion Week, and it is acting as the official kick off to the week.  I think it is a great addition to the schedule! (check out my recap of last year’s UT Fashion Show for an idea of what to expect)

Details: Thursday, April 24th | doors 5:30pm , show 7:15 pm | Frank Erwin Center (map it) | FREE

Crowned Bird’s New Line “BAKA”

It’s crazy to think it has only been 2 years since Priscilla Barroso launched her first collection for her line Crowned Bird.  Since then, I’ve been following this fashion designer’s journey (both virtually and literally as I joined her on a trip to Tokyo a few months ago), and I have loved watching her grow and gain attention in such a short amount of time.  Priscilla’s cute and colorful second collection “Dream Pop” made its premiere at Austin Fashion Week last year and was easily one of my favorite shows of the week.

This year Priscilla will be debuting her brand new collection “BAKA” or “Be A Kid Again” for Crowned Bird on the Austin Fashion Week runway Wednesday night. I’m truthfully dying to see what her new collection will look like (I’ve already demanded that she give me a sneak peek.)

Details: more info on Wednesday’s runway shows and buy tickets here

Shopping!

Besides all the trunk shows and launch parties, this year Austin Fashion Week will also be hosting one huge shopping event.  Around 60 local boutiques, brands, and designers will fill up Austin Music Hall for one night of shopping, Austin style.  Tickets are $10, but you will receive a $10 gift card to use towards a purchase once you are inside, so that means you are pretty much guaranteed not to leave empty-handed.

Details: Monday, April 28th | 5:00 – 9:00 pm | Austin Music Hall (map it), list of vendors & buy tickets here

The Men’s Event

For the first time in Austin Fashion Week history there will be an event geared entirely to the guys.  Let’s ignore for a minute that this event is sponsored by SportClips and focus on the fact that there will be scotch, beer, and wine tastings, along with a chance to try out some cigars. Plus, Ross Bennett himself (with or without the gloves?!) will be there along with some cool local menswear brands like Bryan Ashley Clothiers which makes fun bold socks, and Dandy’s which specializes in 1890’s – 1930’s inspired suiting and apparel.

And I just gotta say- if any cute single straight men decide to come out to this event, don’t hesitate to say hi to me.

Details: Tuesday, April 29th | 6:00 – 10:00 pm | Austin Music Hall (map it), list of vendors & buy tickets here

Isabella Rose Taylor

I was first introduced to Isabella Rose Taylor at Austin Fashion Week 2 years ago.  The then 11 year old designer blew everyone away with her first runway collection which was designed for her fellow tweens.  Since then, the young Austin based designer has rightfully attracted national attention for her designs.  Isabella has appeared on the TODAY Show and her line is now being carried at Nordstrom.  During last year’s Austin Fashion Week, Isabella showed off some super cute statement tees which have become one of her most talked about pieces.  As Isabella grows, so does her talent, and the now 13 year old designer is sure to keep wowing us with her natural ability.

Isabella Rose Taylor will be one of three designers to show a collection at the Austin Fashion Week Awards.  Of the three, hers is definitely the one I’m looking the most forward to seeing.

Details: Saturday, May 3 | 6:00 Red Carpet | 7:30 Show | Austin Music Hall (map it), more details & buy tickets here

 

For a full look at what Austin Fashion Week has to offer, you can check out their website.

 

 

Joanna Wilkinson
keep austin stylish