Austin Fashion Week 2012 Kickoffs – Shift Into Style

It seems like just yesterday we were gazing at motorcycles while Betsey Johnson frocks were strutting by attached to legs miraculously functioning properly while wearing five inch stilettos. Believe it or not, Austin Fashion Week is back and in full swing. Perfect timing too! What with big news of a fashion icon (and genius), Diana Vreeland documentary coming out soon and the unfortunate passing of longtime Cosmo-naught, Gurley Brown, yesterday, the men and women who have made fashion into an art form and a profession are having their time in the spotlight.

The official kick-off event was hosted at the Bob Bullock Museum this year and was absolutely packed. F1 cars sat outside looking as cool as you would hope, and we would dare say that the attendee attire and overall caliber of the event had kicked it up a notch from years past. With F1 themed ice sculptures daring the 100+ outdoor temperature to sway them and a swirl of activity taking up three floors of the museum, we barely had time to soak it all in before taking our seats.

After the maxi skirts had untangled themselves from neighboring feet and the clutches had found their way underneath the seat backs in front of them, the lights dimmed and a roaring F1 promo video came on. Following the reel, which described the coming Austin facilities, Anita Perry took the stage. Yes, that Anita Perry.

“Polarizing choiiiiiice…..” my co-worker whispered next to me. Almost as soon as her lips closed from the sentence, “I don’t design clothes, but I design dreams,” boomed through the microphone via Mrs. Perry. Well slap my knee and call me Judy – the lady designs dreams.

Political opinions removed entirely, there was something about her stating that F1 was going to put more CEO’s in Austin, TX than any other place in the world that made us question whether she’s actually ever walked an Austin street in her life. We certainly don’t give a tattooed hiney about CEO’s, nor would a room full of budding Austin designers, photographers, makeup artists, business owners, jewelers, bloggers and other self-made local creatives we’d boldly imagine. “DID SHE JUST SAY THAT?!” CEWoah. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about bolstering the Austin economy and bringing business to our lovely town, we just don’t think we need the CEO’s of the world present to be awesome and successful. We digress.

After we came down from our unexpected tizzy, the lights dimmed and New York based, d a n e s, started their show.

Talk about some amazing dresses. Floor length chiffon was ever present with the starting dress being a gorgeous yellow maxi with a gray bust. The line maintained an appreciation for simple silhouettes yet threw in tiny details with scattered pleats, a chiffon black polka dot overlay, di-cuts and asymmetrical hems. It was certainly a lovely way to get the week going.

Following their trail was Austin’s own fashion savvy Keepers. If there’s one thing we love this in this world, it’s a man that can dress well. The best part about watching men’s fashion is the shoulder tightening fear that comes with watching size zeros walk a foot above your head in suicide-heels is gone. Hey, stud muffin.

Hey girl, like my shoes? Don't worry about it.

Round three was my personal favorite. Ross Bennett started his collection in 2008 with his wife after graduating from UT and was seen in NBC’s, Fashion Star. He provided the first look at the COTA Girls, The Circuit of the America’s signature brand ambassadors. Gimmeoneofthoseskirtspuhlease.

All in all we’d have to say we were extremely impressed with the elegance this year’s kick-off possessed. While Austin may be a place we fear CEO’s of the world power walking about in their Hugo Boss monkey suits and weekend golf polos, it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate sophisticated fashion as being one of the most expressive art forms there is. Catch tons of local and national designers at parties all over town this week, and be sure to check out who is in the running for the mash up team competition. 

We’ll be out at the Driskill starting tomorrow night for the specialty shows. Stay tuned for more footage and photos and let us know what events you hit.

Stay fresh ya’ll.




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