Fashion Week San Diego returns to La Jolla


Passes are on sale for the primo 2016 Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) festivities — all of which will be held in La Jolla, Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. With a new kick-off reception, two-night runway show and trunk show, the fifth annual FWSD will feature 26 emerging men and women’s wear designers – including a dog apparel brand, an event-first — showing off their 2017 spring/summer collections. Passes start at $100 for access to all four events, and often sell out in advance.

Leading up to the runway shows, the opening reception, “The Art and Beauty Behind Fashion” will take place 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 at Shane Bowden Gallery, 7655 Girard Ave., Suite B. “The art could not be more appropriate for Fashion Week San Diego, because it’s all Pop Art that references fashion icons and images,” said FWSD founder and director Allison Andrews. Fronting the gallery is a poster of Marilyn Monroe, surrounded by the symbols found on Louis Vuiton bags.

After converting Wall Street into a giant outdoor runway for the 2015 two-night showcase, Andrews said she decided to keep the fashion show, which features 13 designers each night, in La Jolla, but take it inside. “Last year, the energy was through the roof and La Jolla proved to be a gorgeous setting, it was so great,” she said.

So this year’s show, 6 p.m. Friday Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, will be held at Hotel La Jolla, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive. “We’re taking over the whole front driveway, pool and lobby area, and I’m so excited they are letting us take over the space,” Andrews said. “We love bringing this event to new venues to make it something new, special and unique for that year. The new settings provide a new feel and a new experience.”

2016 designers participating in the runway shows include: Albert Ray Collection, As Much Again, B.JASH.I Couture, Bryan VaughnBerry, Chavon Shree, Circa Suzy Vintage Couture, DeAnnah Rae Couture, Fuseik, GFASH, Gloria Guerrero, Jaded Marie, Killem with Chic, Laced with B, LK Fashion Design, Luis Rivas, Margaret the Maker, Odd Bird Designs, P.Sangeeta, Pashn by Survi, RACA Designs, Territa Torres, The Stylish Bisou Couture, Theo Doro Fairyland, Timmithea, Valleau Apparel, and y-u-l-i-y-a.

Of this year’s designers and the collection themes, Andrews said, “There seems to be a huge trend in cultural apparel ... This year, we have a designer from Africa who creates these out-of-this-world headpieces. They are so regal and elegant, they’re unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.”

There are also two designers from India, each presenting a different spin on Indian fashion. “One is very traditional in her prints and silhouettes, and the other is modern and contemporary with unique textures and colors,” Andrews said. “They bring a lot of their heritage and culture to the table with their aesthetic. We have some pretty cool standouts, but a theme thus far is people clinging to their cultural roots, which I think is refreshing and beautiful.”

Representing La Jolla, designer Suzy McCabe of Circa Suzy Vintage Couture will make her Fashion Week debut, showcasing her vintage-inspired jewelry. McCabe moved to The Jewel a year ago, and shares her time between here and the East Coast, where she has children in college.

“I always wanted to be a designer, and four years ago transitioned out of corporate America to design and make jewelry,” she said. “I take semi-precious stones and set them with unique broaches to create these one-of-a-kind pieces for women with some modern moxie. It’s vintage with a twist.”

Having collected vintage jewelry since she was 10, McCabe said she wants to give new life to pieces that might otherwise be stored away in jewelry box, never to be seen again. “My mom and I would go to flea markets and estate sales to look for unique pieces, so I had quite a collection to draw from,” she said. “My mom has since passed away, so this is my tribute to her. I modernize these pieces to share with the next generation.”

Saying she was “very excited” to show at FWSD, McCabe said this event has been the “pinnacle” of her career. The Week closes with a trunk show at La Valencia Hotel, where fashion-philes have the chance to meet the designers and purchase favorite pieces. As part of the 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 Trunk Show, the Awards Show will be held at 1 p.m. to announce the top designers as voted by the audience.

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