The Look Sharp! Selling the Image panel Wednesday at Emma Bistro had a packed house, many of the attendees looking to be in the high school/college range. Moderated by local fashion guru, writer and media consultant Libby Callaway, this panel featured Nashville designer and recent Project Runway contestant Amanda Valentine.
Joining Callaway and Valentine were Carrie Phillips, owner of Bismarck Phillips Communication, Alexis Borges, agency director at Next Model Management, Sally Lyndley, fashion/celebrity stylist, and Lauren Zwanziger, O'More student and Pinterest superstar.
An overlying theme of the panel was the way in which television, the growing presence of the internet/social media has "broken" the sanctity of the fashion world, as Callaway put it. Ten or 15 years ago, fashion magazines like Vogue called all the shots. But the subsequent rise of bloggers, social media and reality shows has allowed civilians a glimpse behind the curtain of the fashion industry, and the introduction of exciting new voices.
"It was not OK to do television," Lyndley recalls (more on her here). "This has drastically changed, with Lauren Conrad and Teen Vogue — that’s when Conde Nast changed their mind about TV."
With Nashville Fashion Week drawing to a close tomorrow, there’s been a lot of discussion about all things sartorial. And while the nightly runway shows and events provided an opportunity for the local community to congregate, celebrate — and perhaps even collaborate — the daytime panels on Wednesday set the stage for an honest conversation about the maturation of this community.
As we discussed in last week’s cover story, this community is experiencing some growing pains, especially among the designers in the group. Nashville is home to many talented apparel and accessory designers — Amanda Valentine, Jamie and the Jones, Otis James, Peter Nappi, Emil Erwin, to name a few — all of whom have helped change the perception of what "Nashville style" is beyond our city limits.
But the majority of these designers are a little stuck, limited by a lack of available resources and capital, or the lack of a plan — or maybe even a vision — of how to proceed with their respective brands. On Wednesday, the Emma Bistro provided a forum to tackle these problems.
Just like last year, the part of fashion week I was looking forward to the most was the industry panels. And, just like I was enamored with Natalie Chanin (silverfox Debbie Harry) after being introduced to her as a panelist, I left yesterday's panels with a total obsession with Sally Lyndley, the ballsy, don't-give-a-fuck stylist who was part of Libby Callaway's Look Sharp! panel about branding. Abby White will have an in-depth look into all of the industry panels later today, but I couldn't let the opportunity to praise a new girl-crush of Sally's caliber pass me by.
Sally is originally from Dallas, and told the audience that her first stint as a stylist was for the Dallas Morning News. Fast-forward about five years and she's introducing P. Diddy to Zac Posen and working as the fashion editor for POP, one of the most respected mags in the business. Aside from her obvious brains and talent, the secret of her quick rise to success seems to be that she's a hard-working reservoir of opinions. At this point in her career, she's working with Drew Barrymore, Victoria Beckham, Anna Wintour, and just about every other household name in the business.
Her recent series of YouTube videos on Look! TV is the best possible vehicle for her brand of balls-out confidence, and I watched a big chunk of them after the panel and felt inspired by all that straight talkin'. After the jump, check out Sally's take on your best bets for Spring/Summer 2013. And sign me up for that Youthquake Feminist/Slutty Nun look, please.
So where do we go from here?
Providing a variety of answers, questions, possibilities and hypothetical situations worth exploring: former New York Post fashion editor and occasional Scene contributor Libby Callaway; recent Nashville transplant Sophie Simmons, who launched the upscale lingerie line Dessous and bridesmaid line Thread while in New York; design duo Jamie and the Jones, currently operating out of Nashville and Seoul simultaneously; and Jennifer Cole, executive director of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, who says, "There is a network of venture capital in [Nashville] that the creative community has not accessed."
Read the whole story here, and while you're at it, check out our fashion photo spread featuring some of our favorite Music City work wear. (Special thanks to the Ryman, Third Man Records, Barista Parlor, Polly's Service Center and Yazoo Brewery for lending us their unis and, in one case, their employee.)
Below, the TEDxAtlanta talk by Carrie and Matt Eddmenson referred to in the story — the one where the Imogene + Willie owners say the decline of domestic manufacturing is "killing" their dream.
I'm the only one at Scene headquarters who hasn't yet seen Spring Breakers, so the duty to attend tonight's in-theater premiere falls squarely on my fashion-conscious shoulders. Luckily, Opening Ceremony totally has my back. The New York-based shop also has outposts in L.A. and Tokyo, as well as a strong Web presence. And they've just launched an exclusive collection inspired by the subject of this week's Scene cover story, Spring Breakers. And NYLON mag has curated its own collection of wares to fill in the gaps.
Scroll through some of our favorite looks after the jump, and grab what you can on the shops' websites.
Curator and Scene photo contest judge Susan Sherrick and fashion journalist and Nash-Up panelist Libby Callaway have just announced their newest project: Joint. It's a series of pop-up happenings that's taking off alongside Nashville's fashion week, and will feature photographs by a mixture of internationally recognized photographers and local up-and-comers. Every Joint project will have a different theme, but this first one will be tough to beat — fashion photography has a long, glamorous history, and many photographers who are known for their work in fashion also have other subjects under their belt (see above photo of Woody Allen by Irving Penn).
Photographers include Richard Avedon, Lee Friedlander, Horst P. Horst, Mikael Kennedy, William Klein, Saul Leiter, Vivian Maier, Sarah Moon, Irving Penn, Heidi Ross, Josef Sudek, Joshua Black Wilkins and Josh Wool.
The exhibition will be up for one weekend only — Friday, April 5-Sunday, April 7 — at 1107 Caruthers Ave. Look for reports from the scene on Country Life, and find more information about Joint at thisisthejoint.com
All right, Amanda Valentine fans. This is our week, I can feel it. The last Project Runway challenge was, um, challenging, but everybody loves a comeback, right?
Well, everybody but Kate. KATE! Kate has been on my nerves since week one. Kate is like an evil combination of Nellie from Little House on the Prairie and Election's Tracy Flick. She's lucky I'm not in the workroom with her, with all those sharp objects laying around and everything. KATE thinks that Amanda is the weakest designer and will go home after this challenge. I think Kate might return home to Chicago after she gets eliminated and find a box of doll heads on her front porch.
Over in the boys' room, they thought Amanda would go home over Ben, but they're obvi on Ben's side because boys tend to be vs. girls this season.
Amanda is aware that her teammates/competitors thought she'd be sent home. But ever our optimistic gal, she says that she's focusing on the fact that she's been "saved" from elimination and using that to move forward instead of being so hard on herself. Mature. I'd still rather see her give Kate a creative haircut while she sleeps, but whatever.
We start this episode in good spirits, because our girl Amanda Valentine redeemed herself during last week's challenge.
Heidi Klum tells the crowd that the next challenge will remind them that fashion is timeless.
Enter the dancing grannies. Oh, hell yes.
Amanda admits that she's never designed for this age bracket, and she's nervous to get her POV across while catering to the whims of her client. Fortunately, Amanda's client, Rosalie, is a painter and loves color. Amanda is a whiz with awesome patterns, so this could be magical. Amanda also knows how to make clothing for real people above a size zero, so we think she's got this.
Carrying on the team challenge theme of this season (last week the contestants split from two big teams into pairs) Amanda and Benjamin are still on a team together, but they don't have to create coordinating outfits for their clients. So I'm not really sure how this is a team ... I guess one helps the other if they get in the weeds.
Amanda admits that her initial plan isn't working out — she's trying to do a structured dress with a flowy fabric, and she's uncertain of the length of the dress that her client requested. She admits early on that she's spinning to a dark place. Benjamin remarks that Amanda doesn't push the envelope enough — he's checking in with her a lot. Good teamwork, guys.
As Amanda consults with Tim, she admits she doesn't like her print because it looks like a vintage housecoat. Amanda says she's just trying to get through it.
Moustache calls Amanda and Benjamin's dresses frumpy. And the mudslinging begins!
Anyway, I think we should celebrate the damn good looking people in the 615. And there are a lot of you, and you know how to dress. Thus, I offer my picks for Best Dressed from Sunday's Oscar Experience party at The Belcourt. I hope you enjoy my slightly blurry iPhone photos.
First we found lovely co-host Holly Hoffman, who looked amazing in her super sparkly mini-dress.
Last night, I was rushing from a fancy event so I could get home in time to watch Project Runway so I could write about it for you fine folks. It was cold and raining but that is irrelevant. Anyway, as I was waiting in the valet line for my car, I was chatting with our photog Eric England about Amanda Valentine and how her team threw her under the bus last week.
"Yeah, that was totally uncool," one of the valet dudes said.
I kind of thought he was making fun of me, but then the other guys chimed in, agreeing that team Keeping It Real was way harsher on her than she deserved. We all engaged in a lively Amanda Valentine/PR discussion until my car arrived.
I love Nashville.
Anyway, so everyone on Team Valentine was eager to see how our girl redeemed herself from last week's episode. When Heidi and Tim announced that the upcoming challenge would not be a team challenge, and that the designers could choose a partner to work with, everyone seemed relieved.
Then they realized they had to work one-on-one with someone else. Eek.
"Along with this weekend's midnight shows of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — the…
Wow, Amber, chill.
Amanda did great. Love her choices.
Amber, she did show at NYFW. They show more than the top contenders so the…
Wow, jealous much?
and she did not make it to the finals she was eliminated week 8. she…