Picture the scene with Carrie Bradshaw on Sex in the City. She walks confidently down the runway and falls on her face. Her friend Stanley then exclaims from the audience, “Oh no! She’s fashion roadkill!”
Could that be what Birmingham Fashion Week has become? Fashion Roadkill?
Every year that it’s been in “The Ham,” I’ve wanted to go, but for one reason or another I’ve had to miss. Not this year! For the first time in 6 years I was able to go on the opening night. My mom and I had terrific seats right next to the runway on the second row. We sat directly across from Heidi Elnora who is one of the co-founders of the event. I can’t even begin to express what a fantastic time we had. I was unable to attend the other nights which I’m sure were just as fabulous as the one we attended.
On Sunday, I couldn’t wait to read online who had won the competitions and see pictures of the designs I’d missed. I was so very disappointed to read that this year – my first one – may actually be the last year for Birmingham Fashion Week. I had no idea that the whole show is put on by volunteers. Six years in a row of hard work and dedication by volunteers!
Emcee, Tara Gray
Founders of Birmingham Fashion Week – Jeana Lee Thompson and Heidi Elnora
The one night that I was able to attend offered everything that I expected in a professional fashion show. Birmingham, please WAKE UP!!! Charleston, SC has a great fashion week. (I was there!) Atlanta has a great fashion week. Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Kansas City all offer a peak into the creative side of their cities. Isn’t that what is so fabulous about Fashion Week, after all?
Jeana Lee Thompson, co-founder of BFW
Fashion is how we express our personalities. Fashion makes us feel good and confident about ourselves. Fashion sets different cultures apart. Fashion can portray religious beliefs and it can rebel. It can make us scratch our heads or laugh out loud. But all in all, where would society across the world be without it? Designers keep our closets from looking like a surplus store. I mean yes, uniforms have their place, but how do we people-watch if everybody is wearing brown? I mean really!!!
So how do we keep Fashion Week in Birmingham? I’m asking you to reach out. Comment on their Facebook Page. Find out what’s needed. Share this post! Selfishly, I’m asking for your help! I only got to go once! These ladies have worked TOO hard to bring something of its calibre to our city to see it end so soon.
Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
My best friend from elementary school and I used to play house. Guess where our inspiration came from? The JCPenney catalog. We would pick out our clothes, shoes, jewelry – heck, we even picked out our husbands from the men’s department models! I’m chuckling out loud at that memory!
Playing house was a LONG time ago, and fashion has changed so much since then. Young girls don’t wear “smock tops” with bell bottoms and platform shoes anymore. Models are finally beginning to look more like Main Street, USA and not solely Size 2’s. Fashion is becoming more inclusive and progressive and I don’t know about you, but I strongly feel that Birmingham NEEDS something like this!
I was completely blown away by the beauty of the special guest model of the show, Madeline Stuart. This young girl told her mom, Roseanne, from a young age that she wanted to be a fashion model. A lot of mom’s might have ignored her and directed her down a different path. But no, a runway was where she was born to walk – even with Down Syndrome.
With this being Labor Day weekend, I have to end with one more thing. The creativity and hard work of seamstresses, designers and textile manufacturers is a vital force of the American economy. (For those designers who have their fabrics made in the USA.) Why not spend this one weekend of the year supporting and paying tribute to those who work behind the scenes? It is truly a worthwhile and fun event for our city.
The photo above and all those below were part of the Rising Design Star Competition. All Rising Star Designers used materials like wrapping paper, coffee filters, and my favorite (above)… plastic spoons.
Let’s please don’t let this become fashion roadkill in Birmingham! Please support Birmingham Fashion Week. Ladies, let’s bombard them with helpful hands. I may not be able to sew fabric, but I can certainly sew goodwill toward such a great event for our city!
Linking with these utterly fabulous parties: