One of my favorite things about attending up-and-coming fashion events is the opportunity to connect more intimately with designers, media, event producers and behind-the-scenes support. Year two at Style X featured daily runway shows, multiple panel sessions and 55 vendors set up tradeshow style with a twist; the event itself was free and shopping was encouraged.
Fashion Brands at Style X SXSW
Over two days, I made the rounds several times. I especially enjoyed spending time with Tortoise & Blonde Eyewear, started by a father-son team and favored by the indie music set. While at the booth, I finally got to meet Bianca Caampued of Small Girls PR, (previously featured on PR Couture in this post about Lim College grads), who was on hand to help facilitate media inquiries, interviews and provide client support.
At socially responsible jewelry and accessory brand Raven & Lily, I met designer Lori Fox who travels the world working with women to provide creative inspiration and economic opportunity. I especially loved purusing their gorgeous brand collateral, hearing about an upcoming photo shoot in Morocco (with Elephants!), and learning about the real impact their business is having on women's lives around the world. I couldn't resist picking up this bracelet from Ethiopia and these gold leather earrings from India.
Finally, mostly self-taught shoe designer Deidre Wallace, who's feminine ferocity footwear line deeFind comes in sizes 6-11 (and needs your support on Indiegogo!), inspired me with her mission of encouraging women to take fashion risks and discover style and confidence with her line of bold heels and boots.
Fashion Panels at Style X SXSW
Sneaking a quick phone charge with the plugs under the couch at the Refinery29 lounge also became a favorite spot to catch a quick rest before furiously tweeting several of the panels - I really enjoyed capturing soundbites and sharing them out with the #StyleX hashtag. While most panels I attend leave much to be desired, founder Joah Spearman did an incredible job putting the Style X panels together - and each one featured a trove of talent and unexpected inspiration. Anya Strzemien, editor in chief of StyleList and HuffPost Style, stole my heart with her "good syntax is always in style," comment during our panel, and I enjoyed spending the afternoon with former WWD editor Jean Scheidnes, now social media managing editor of Neiman Marcus (check out their SXSW street style coverage).
However, taking the cake was finding unexpected kindred spirits in mother-daughter duo Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandlbaum of StyleLikeU. Elisa endeared herself to my inner academic with forthright declarations about fashion being a political statement and cultural hegemony "depressing," while Lily energized and clarified the distinction between fashion and style by saying simply, "fashion is a business, style is an art."
Here's some more great Style X coverage by SocietyHAE:
Many thanks to Joah and the SXSW Style X team for inviting me to attend! Also, I could not have had the incredible time I did without the support of one Martha Chavez, impromptu assistant, photographer and sushi-sharing, concert going companion (I only caught one show - Dark Dark Dark - but it was amazing!). Many grateful curtsies to T Anthony for sending me to Style X feeling like quite the classy lady with brand new leather & canvas luggage monogrammed in gold! I thought I had experienced nice luggage before - umm no. I now know why Greta Garbo, Prince and Gaga love the line and have already taken the roller bag with me to San Francisco as well. Kisses to the dear lovelies at Shabby Apple for the great pieces that I will be showing more of in the near future - the Mat Hatter line is incredible and this red pleated maxi skirt is amazing for re-acquiring your muchness.