Stars, Local and Discover: Austin Fashion Week 2016 Recap

The eighth annual Austin Fashion Week took place this past weekend at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Austin. The largest fashion event in Texas featured thirty full collections presented in three segments over three nights: Stars, Local and Discover. Stars included notable figures in the fashion industry, like former Project Runway contestant Samantha Plasencia who was recognized by BERNINA as their Fashion Fund recipient.

Story by Ethan Elkins

Photos by Dahlia Dandashi and Miranda Chiechi

Local featured successful designers who operate in Austin, Discover showcased up-and-coming designers and “Capsule” collections, which featured designers from Austin who walked the runway with three of their most defining pieces, were also featured at the weekend-long fashion event. Each evening was dedicated to a local leader, including philanthropists and event planners Laura Craddick, Bobbi Topfer and Andrea McWilliams. Each Austin leader had the opportunity to showcase their favorite pieces from their personal closets on the runway. A portion of the proceeds from each night went to each leader’s favorite charity. As many as 50 models walked the 200-foot long runway surrounding the main stage, where the event’s founder made speeches and musical guests performed each night.

Upon entry into the hotel’s ballroom, guests were directed across a red carpet sponsored by the CHLOE Wine Collection. Attendees were treated to champagne samples by CHLOE as well as gift bags from the nutrition bar brand, LUNA. In the past, Austin Fashion Week events were scattered throughout the city. But this year, the events were held almost exclusively at the J.W. Marriott, allowing sponsors to take an interactive approach with the guests. CHLOE invited guests to participate in a #ChloeRedCarpetChallenge by posting a picture on the red carpet with the hashtag, and a winner was given a wine basket at the end of each evening. LUNA set up a slow-motion photo booth to entertain guests throughout the event. Boutique vendors’ booths lined the ballroom for guests to shop before the presentations and during intermission. Other sponsors of the event included Lyft, the Art Institute of Austin, Red Stella Salon and Palm Beach Tan.