Todays post is by StyleBlueprint Birmingham intern, Jordan Keay Carlson:
The third annual Birmingham Fashion Week took the city by storm recently and featured eight full days of fashion, hosting headlining designers such as Tibi, Anthony Ryan, Heidi Elnora, and Prophetik by Jeff Garner. Birmingham Fashion Week was founded in 2011 by Heidi Elnora and Jeanna Lee Flemming to encourage and inspire the next generation of talented designers, while promoting creativity and unity within the community. Birmingham Fashion Week benefits Camp Smile-A-Mile, a year-round program for children in Alabama with cancer, and Alabama Forever, an organization that was founded to help Alabama communities in need from the aftermath of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes. Birmingham Fashion Week is about more than simply fashion and the organization of a runway show; it’s a platform for established designers, aspiring designers, hair stylists, makeup artists and models to showcase their craft and talent across a large, national audience. Birmingham Fashion Week aims to celebrate and recognize the fashion community in Alabama by featuring local boutiques that are able to bring their stores’ fashion and flavor to center stage as headlining Runway Retailers.
Bringing together our fashion forward youth, Birmingham Fashion Week hosted a Rising Design Star competition, where middle and high school students could showcase their vision using non-traditional garment items such as cardboard, bubble wrap, potatoe chip bags, soda cans, aluminum foil and plastic plates for a chance to win cash prizes and an opportunity to take their looks to center stage. Notably, Mountain Brook High School student, Annie Bloomston was awarded BFW Rising Design Star award and received a $500 Summit gift card and emerging designer Elizabeth Singleton took top honors, winning the $1000 Summit gift card.
Local Birmingham Fashion Week Runway Retailers included Laura Kathryn, Gus Mayer, Theadora, Soca Clothing, Marella, Vineyard Vines, Shaias, Pure Barre Birmingham, lululemon athletica and the Pants Store. Pure Barre Birmingham presented Karma, an active performance wear line that encompasses a head-turning lifestyle look. Laura Kathryn featured fifteen bohemian-inspired looks in several on-trend color palettes–black and white, pastels and bright colors.
Birmingham Fashion Week co-founder, Heidi Elnora surprised the audience during the final night of BFW with a surprise runway presentation of her “Heavenly Days” bridal couture. Ms. Elnora drew inspiration for each handcrafted design from last year’s hit movie, Snow White and the Huntsman. Elnora incorporated elements of a very contemporary princess look, featuring large ball gowns accompanied by glamorous fitted and flowy looks. Heidi Elnora’s dramatic showcase of her designs was tuned to music by Florence and the Machine, and was an exemplary runway show – certainly a treat for Birmingham fans who have followed Elnora’s career.
The grand finale and headliner of this week-long event was internationally renowned Tibi showing the Spring 2013 collection.
And StyleBlueprint was able to chat one on one back stage with Tibi fashion designer, Amy Smilovic. Here’s what she had to say:
SB: Would you say fashion is different in the south versus other regions?
The South tends to embrace color more. Southern women shop in packs, which is the hard part. There’s a lot of opinion giving going on and there is a lot of group consensus going on, which can go in your favor or not and poses an interesting dilemma in the store.