From a bird’s eye view, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum generated busy voices from
high energy spectators - waiting in floor seats and eagerly overlooking the railing, during Austin Fashion
Week’s (AFW) “Shift Into Style” Kickoff Event last Friday. Article by Audrea Diaz. Photos by Waytao Shing.
Parked on the red carpet outside, a sleek preview of F1 racing cars glistened, serving as illustrations for the inaugural 2012 United States Formula One Grand Prix . In partnership with Circuit of The Americas, Austin Fashion Week’s evening began with the First Lady of Texas, Anita Perry, setting the tone for creative inhibition. “I don’t design clothes, I design dreams,” she said, quoting Ralph Lauren.
San Antonio native Robert Danes showcased “The Danes Collection” in collaboration with his wife, promoting lustrous evening apparel. According to additional runway reports by local scarf designer Ashley Behnke of Onyx and Pearl, the two utilized “flowy fabrics and draping” to produce “cocktail dresses in dainty silk fabrics and silhouettes."
While the men’s clothing store Keepers (6th and Congress) portrayed outerwear in rich colored fabrics for fall, emphasizing a modern take on classic “tailored looks” with the “heavy use of lambskin coats and wool.”
Closing the runway, UT alumnus and NBC’s Fashion Star contestant Ross Bennett showcased 10 southern enthused looks styled by Edith Henry and team, modeled by and for Circuit brand ambassadors the “COTA Girls, ”with Alexander Rossi (American F1 test driver) accompanying, fully clad in his racing suit.
Co-founder of local Edge Boutique Phillip Solomon, summed up the event when he stated, “fast fashion and fast cars, it’s beautiful.” Solomon wore Leauge of Rebels, whose Brand Manager Musa Ato, was close at hand networking, and promoting Rebels fashion show at the Driskill this Friday night.
True to the event title, Melissa Hess, owner of the social media management/event planning business, Connected By Melissa Hess, noticed a shift in the relaxed atmosphere that the city continuously offers. “It’s the one time of year that Austin gets dressed up,” she said, in describing AFW.
Neil Diaz, founder of Neil Diaz PResents, has been surrounded by local style since 2000. He said the Kickoff provided a “statement of not only the creativity that we have here, but of the fashion conscious.” Diaz says he is looking forward to “being surprised” by up-and-coming talent, noting that, “to [him], that’s what Austin Fashion Week is all about.”
Exemplifying this surge of fresh skill sets was recent UT graduate Cameron Fry, who has been interning and now steadily working, for AFW founder Matt Swinney.
“[Austin] loves a person who is willing to try new things,” said Fry. “Everybody here is interested in making [the city] a destination.”
With AFW’s showcase events already in full gear, the days ahead are paved with potential. -Audrea Diaz
Kickoff event proceeds to benefit Seton Breast Cancer Center, Dell Children’s Blood and Cancer Center, and the Arc of the Capital Area.
For a list of scheduled events, please visit the AFW website HERE.