Summer A La Mode Comes To An End

Summer A La Mode Pt. 5: The Grand Finale

If you are anything like me, you probably don’t think twice about the clothes on your back. If you’re anything like me, you don’t even care to glance in the mirror before you leave the house because the thought just never really crosses your mind. Of course, it has a time or two, usually only on those special nights when I actually decided to break out the one pair of good heels I own, or when I’ve have a big date ahead, but for the most part, it is not a part of my routine.


I could give you an extremely in depth story on the matter, tell you all why I consciously decide not to glance at my own reflection, but I will save that for another time, another article. For now, I’ll just say that these events I have gone to for the last five weeks, have done a great deal for me in the ways of change.

Summer A La Mode, as I’m sure you all know very well by now, was a five part series of runway shows that took place over the last five weeks at Allen’s Place, a bar on Main Street in Downtown Houston. Each week the audience was presented with different designer’s collections and new, local, DJ’s who would provide the atmosphere.

At first, I found myself dreading the experience. In all honesty, I’m quite a loner. I enjoy solitude and quiet, and if you asked me what I was doing on any given Friday night, I’d probably say something like “umm I’ll probably just do some yoga, meditate a little, cook some food, and go to bed” (super exhilarating, I know). The thing is, I’m not one for going out, but my brother asked me for my help, and I couldn’t say no.


So imagine me, Miss Social Anxiety Extraordinaire, walking into a bar that tons of people are going to fill, and the conversation of the evening will probably have to do with something (fashion) I don’t know anything about. It is safe to say that I was freaking out.

But that’s the great thing about change, isn’t it? It’s always terrifying at first because you have no idea what to expect, what the outcome might be, who you’ll meet, but then you try it, you try to change just one thing, even if it’s as simple as going out on a Saturday night, and you realize that you’ve been missing out because of your own fear.


Before every show I felt that fear creep up on me.

“Oh gosh, what do I wear?”

“How will people see me?”

“Am I going to look good enough?”

And after each show I felt that fear fall away a little bit more from my introverted self.


These fashion shows were pulling me out of my shell and giving me confidence. They were inspiring me to look in the mirror again and appreciate what was looking back, to take care in the way I present myself, not for others, but for me. They were teaching me that in order to move on or see your true self again, you have to push the boundaries of your comfortability.

Now I won’t lie and say that fashion is now something I’m extremely passionate about because I went to these shows, but I will say that going to these fashion shows made me see why its worth the second glace in that reflective surface. I understand now the pride there is in presenting yourself on your sleeve and wearing who you are, while being who you are. These shows changed the way I was seeing myself, they changed how I felt about being downtown on a Saturday night, and most importantly, they changed how I see the fashion community. All in all, they changed me.


To my big brother, Dick Clarke,
I’m insanely proud of you for pulling these STRUT events off. Watching you command a room with ease, astonishes me. Your ability to bring people together and make them feel welcome shows your character, and makes me proud to be your little sister. It was a pleasure to be present in your success, you really are talented. Thanks for letting me be the writer, and be the fly on the wall in your world.
Written by: Anna Clarke

Photographer: Jesse Greene