I had only been to one fashion show before I experienced STRUT’s first part of their summer series “Summer A La Mode” that took place last Saturday. My eyes, and more so my mind, are still new to the whole entire undiscovered world that is fashion, or as I see it now, art in motion, and because of this newness, I find myself still nervous to jump into the fast paced lifestyle of design.
I showed up to Allen’s Place, a bar that sits towards the end of Downtown Houston’s Main Street, dressed (hopefully and fingers crossed) in 90’s street style like clothing to match the theme of the runway show that would be taking place in just a couple of hours. When I walked inside the brick-walled bar, I began to see the makings of a show fall into place around me. Models, designers, the bar staff, my brother and his team, were all moving about the room making sure every detail was in place. The determination in their persistence on perfection showed it to be a labor of love, rather than just a job to get done.
VHS tapes were placed on each table top as classic 90’s hip-hop music videos played on every single TV that lined the walls of the bar. Models practiced their walks in vintage 90’s Tommy Hilfiger, sporting crop top sweaters, denim, and jersey like shirts. Tonight, was going to be a flashback to our pasts when Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was the best show on TV and we still had Destiny’s Child.
People started to crowd into the doors, and with them came incredibly creative outfits. Combinations I’d never in a million years come up with, wowed me. I kept thinking to myself that it must take such an incredible mind to come up with these mixtures of texture and color, of fabric and personality. Already I could tell that this evening would teach me even more about the unknown world of design.
A little after ten, the conversation was interrupted to announce that the show would be starting shortly. Everyone got their drinks, made their place around the runway, and turned their attention to the top of the stairs where the models would be coming from. Soon the DJ would start the playlist that would showcase the designer’s clothes and we’d be taken back into what street style used to be and how its evolving now. Everything about the show was a reminder that the old and new can come together to create unity. I can honestly say that I never thought that clothing could teach me something so big about the world, yet here I was, watching fashion create a message of togetherness throughout time.
In the middle of Allen’s Bar, as models walked past me and I sat in utter appreciation for their representation of this art, I realized that this entire idea, that of STRUT and that of those individuals dedicated so diligently to their wardrobes, is to create unity in a society that quiets the creative soul and expression, and how truly important that is, and how these clothes are so much more than just pieces of material.
As I write, you all wear, expressing yourselves through a silent flow of fabric. It is a type of bravery I certainly don’t have, but one enormously commendable, because even though people might not like it or judge your character based on it, you do it anyway, and wear it proudly. The confidence it must take to own yourself in something bold, is not only inspirational, but motivating.
So I went to a street style runway show last weekend to write about what I saw, but I didn’t just see clothes. I saw that fashion can create a message to the world about coming together, about remembering the past but looking towards the future, and I also saw a room full of people who knew how to be themselves by wearing clothes that match their personalities.
Written by: Anna Clarke
Photos by: Jesse Greene