By Llana Samuel, Staff Writer
Savannah Fashion Week is set to reveal itself through a stylish new lens for its fifth anniversary this year.
Founded by a group of local retailers who wanted to highlight the city’s creative talent, Savannah Fashion Week has taken many shapes and forms over the last few years. When asked what makes the event unique, Savannah Fashion Week president Heather Burge said “the focus is on Savannah.”
She is not wrong, as all the designers who will show during fashion week have ties to the city, which distinguishes it from the glamor and bustle of similar international events. While fashion week, wherever held, is an exciting opportunity for creative minds to showcase their talent, it should also be a celebration of the location and Savannah does an exceptional job of incorporating both.
Burge also stated that Savannah “has a lot of resources” and hopes it will one day become “a style destination of the South.” This year’s Fashion Week looks to be a step in the right direction, featuring special collections by hair and makeup teams and the first-ever pop-up shop by the B Street District – which Burge thinks “might just rival the runway show.”
Of course, there can be no fashion week without a runway show and after previously being held in the Jepson Center and Lucas Theatre, this year’s show will be held in Forsyth Park on May 1, the perfect backdrop for the theme “White Modern Luxe” which, if the name is anything to go by, will definitely contrast well with the mystical ambience of the park. According to a press release, this will be the first time Savannah designers show during fashion week alongside local boutiques. Brooke Atwood, Catherine Faine and featured designer April Johnston are just a few of the designers expected to show. Of course, April Johnston won’t be the only featured designer as women’s designer Chris Benz will receive the Savannah Fashion Visionary Award.
The award, created by the organizers of SFW, is the first of its kind and on being the first recipient, Benz, quoted from a press release earlier last month, said he was “equally thrilled and humbled to be honored by Savannah Fashion Week.” Benz is also the recipient of the coveted CFDA Emerging Designer Award which he won in 2003 while attending Parsons. He also interned with Marc Jacobs before moving on to launch his own label in 2007.
Another highlight of the weeklong event is the feature film Mademoiselle C, a documentary about legendary Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld and her journey to creating her own fashion publication. Mademoiselle C will show on Wednesday April 30 at the Jepson Center and is free with a student ID. For those who aren’t accustomed to fashion week, these less intimidating and more relaxed events are the best way to see what it’s all about.
The creators of Savannah Fashion Week hope tourists and locals alike will come out and experience the style and culture the city exudes. They also hope to help students who aspire to work in the creative industry through a charitable new fund. As stated in a press release from Orange PR, the Savannah Style Fund will “assist the next generation of design professionals on their path.” This is being done predominantly through sponsorship packages this year, where certain ticket purchases grant access for a Savannah Arts Academy student to the fashion show.
The focus on students doesn’t stop there, as the fashion scene at Armstrong was discussed during an interview with Burge. As a way to unite our campus fashion enthusiasts and those curious to discover Fashion Week, Burge has offered a 20 percent discount code for all Armstrong students who would like to attend Savannah Fashion Week. Enter “ARMSTRONG” online at www.savannahfashionweek.org when purchasing tickets to receive the discount.
Savannah Fashion Week runs from April 28–May 3. For a full line-up of events, check out The Inkwell’s website.