Monday, December 7, 2009

Get Your Thread In The Game

Since I am not in the typical fashion mecca's of NYC or LA, I try to stay as linked into the San Diego fashion scene as one can be. Other than ASR, there are not many large scale productions where you can view upcoming collections for next season, or even get to sample more than a few local lines lost among a sea of mainstream brand names. Thread is a bi-annual show, held in SF and SD every year, that boasts local designers and hip up and coming trendsetters that are taking the fashion world by storm one boutique at a time. Buyers and shoppers are of equal value, and drinks flow like the Pacific Ocean tide. A culmination of music, art, fashion and events come together for a two day celebration of all things chic before the rest of the world gets to hear or see their genius.

This year, I attended Thread Fashion Show, with my fellow fashionista Erica, at the old Wonderhaus Bakery building downtown on 14th St. The entryway where guests checked in was adorned with gorgeous globes by TEND that were filled with miniature landscapes like little vignettes transparently floating midair. The space was industrial and open, and filled with booths of clothing, accessories and one of a kind jewelry. What makes Thread such a hit among fashionistas is it isn't just for those of us that work in the industry, they welcome all shoppers as well and possess a wide array of ready to wear goodies for everybody. Notable booths to stop & revel at: the stunning feathered hair accessories by Rachel Larraine and HEADCRAZED, the chunky chic and vibrant vintage neacklaces by Micha Designs (below), and the beautiful boho designs of Babykakes.

Key social issues expressed in this years show was the green movement and the demand for wallet friendly options in the recession. On their website, Thread promotes alternative transportation by encouraging bike riding instead of driving. An array of eco friendly lines were in attendance. "This new section at THREAD focuses exclusively on eco-fashion and sustainability" says Thread's website. The green movement continues with the preservation of greenbacks... This year, the annual event had a 'swap section' where new or barely used items could be donated to a shelter or traded for items among other shoppers and donators. Those that donated a bag of clothing received a discount upon entry, while those that donated 10 items of clothing, could choose 5 items to swap. This was obviously an instant hit, since those who love to shop as much as I do like to save a pretty penny wherever we can, especially if it means purging our overflowing closets even the slightest bit.

The local support at the event was very visible, as well. The Sezio booth upstairs featured custom screen printing on basic tee's and scarves to take home and wear that day. The local non-profit company "provide[s] resources, exposure and community support to artists and musicians through a variety of new media, events, retail and community programs". Local infamous nightlife photographer James Norton was also featured at the event, exclusively providing photos of attendees and models alike. And GOGA by Gordana, a new brand to the San Diego fashion scene with a just-opened location on Market St. downtown, was featured and promoted by the Project Runway runner up who's creative genius makes up her namesake clothing line. I also saw some familiar faces from the Ocean Beach Farmer's Market: local jewelry designers Coco Loco and internationally inspired handbag designer Chi Stylezs, both of who's works can be viewed on Newport Ave. in OB on Wednesday afternoons.

The highlight of the trends being shown at the event was the twice daily runway show, hosted by one other than Gordana. The catwalk production we attended featured some of the top designers at the trade show, including: Jeans 4 Justice, Holiday Matinee, Supastar Co., and a mens underwear line that stood out due to the male models personality peppered walks that made all the female guests melt. The catwalk was covered in astro-turf and was held in a concrete room, giving it a sub-urban feel typical of Thread. The composition of different designers gave the show a segmented perspective varying from half-naked and whimsical, to politically charged and intentional.

In addition to the runway shows and booths featuring over 100 up and coming brands, A Style Concierge hosted a free hair and makeup booth, which was conveniently set up directly next to James Norton's photo booth where attendees were photographed sipping champagne cocktails in their hot new threads. Vin De Syrah was also present at the event, hosting an Alice & Wonderland themed lounge with a free wine tasting of some of the wine parlor's new labels. Upstairs, was a photography and art exhibit showing off the works of local artists, where you could sip cocktails and get a free massage by Chiropractique.

It is no wonder that San Fran and San Diego are the only two select locations chosen to uphold the hip reputation Thread has created over the years. The amenities, local support, and political savvy of the event made for a sharp, swank afternoon spent among fashion producers and consumers, alike, and really showed off the local flavor that our beloved city has to offer. Photos of the event can be viewed at James Norton's gallery, and to access a list of designers featured at the show, check out Thread's site. My own photos will be uploaded onto facebook today, so check out the runway and photo lounge shots I got of my friends and I!

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