National media has jabbed at Buffalo for our snow, and our Super Bowl losses – and yes – even for our collective fashion sense.
Long-derided as consisting mostly of Bills jerseys and pajama pants (or dad jeans), Buffalo’s fashion ecosystem has been evolving in recent years, albeit in fits and starts. Buffalo Fashion Week and Mass Appeal were both sold big, but each went over like a man bun in the Southtowns.
However, with the New Buffalo movement now in full swing – it seems like the perfect time to build on Buffalo’s nascent fashion community with The Buffalo Fashion Show 2015.
“I feel like most people don’t really see how much fashion is in Buffalo, but there’s a ton,” local designer Gabi Bourcier recently told me at a walkthrough for the event. “If you just walk down the Elmwood Strip – you see countless boutiques and our fashion department at Buff State is definitely one of the best around.”
Held at The Hotel Lafayette, the fashion show will feature 10 different collections and a host of local vendors. Showgoers will be able to view the collections, have their picture taken by event photographer Vincent Lopez, listen to music from Alex Sarabia, mingle with designers and have drinks at the bar. The VIP experience ($100) includes hors d’oeuvres, front row seating for the show and a swag bag.
In addition to the loungewear and streetwear being shown, some designers will be putting more artistic or abstract collections on display. Yes, you may see a few outfits straight out of Zoolander, but these pieces are meant to be taken as art, not something you could wear to the gym or office.
One emerging artist set to have her work appear at the show is Ashley Kay, who just showed collections at Music is Art and RAW: BROOKLYN. At the Buffalo Fashion Show, she will have a wearable art collection on the runway she described as ‘boho queen’. The collection is inspired by the bohemian looks of the late 19th century, but with slimmer, more modern lines.
“My pieces are kind of along the line of costume design and some are more like wearable sculpture, sort of like art pieces that can be worn,” Kay said.
Bourcier, currently a senior in the fashion program at Buffalo State, is more inspired by fantasy culture and will be showing a cosplay-inspired art collection she designed for her college’s annual runway show.
She suggested people walking away from the fashion show feeling inspired to make their own creations should consider looking at Buffalo State’s program, which is flourishing now more than ever.
“If anyone out there is thinking about fashion, I feel like Buff State is definitely a place to consider – because all of the technology we have now and all of the potential this department has,” Bourcier said.
Event organizer Steven Bales, who will be showing a collection of loungewear, noted fashion events are about more than just the clothes, they’re a great place to meet people passionate about creativity and city culture.
“Definitely come early and stay late,” he suggested. “Whether its hair, makeup, modeling or design – there’s going to be so many people you can meet and interact with in the city.”
“Even if you’re just a person that works hard and all you want is somewhere fun to go out to – it’s almost like a fashionable concert,” he added.
The official event after-party is being held at The Lodge on Chippewa and those with a ticket from the fashion show get both free admission and a complimentary drink.
The Buffalo Fashion Show 2015
The Hotel Lafayette, 391 Washington Street, Buffalo
October 23, 2015
Doors: 6 pm, Show: 7:15 pm
Regular: $40 in advance, $50 at door
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