I miss being involved in the fashion world, so this year I decided to volunteer for Austin Fashion Week. My first event was Noir & Encore – dinner by the amazing chefs from Olive & June, an all-white runway show, and an after party. The event was held at Brazos Hall, which I think has to be one of the most genius renovations in downtown Austin in the last few years. As long as I’ve worked downtown there has been a big, empty warehouse at 4th and Brazos. Finally, about a year ago, someone bought it and turned one side into Wanderlust (my yoga studio) and the other side into an event rental. I had a chance to be in that space during SXSW, but it wasn’t until AFW that I got to experience their epic rooftop.
I thought I would be backstage helping the models when I was told to wear all black, so I dressed fairly casually, but I showed up to front-of-house duties. Thankfully I had thrown on a little eye makeup at the last second!
I worked with two great girls from The Arc, a non-profit organization that provides classes for adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They were sitting in a tent that would later sell the clothes literally off the models’ backs. All proceeds went 100% to The Arc – now that’s what I call guilt-free shopping!
Matt Swinney is the founder of AFW and his wife is on the board of The Arc. The girls were so excited that their organization was getting so much exposure, it was wonderful.
As dinner started, the guests were seated and the models walked between courses. When the models went upstairs to change, assistants brought down the clothing and hung it on the racks in the Arc booth.
Here’s a vine video to give you a feel for the ambiance.
The rooftop party was beautiful and an amazing venue. 18 mash-up teams comprised of a model, stylist, and makeup artist presented their take on French contemporary fashion with some crazy results. Everyone got to text in their votes and the winning team will be announced this Saturday. My favorite look was this majestic garden beehive.
Although it was semi-painful watching the mouth-watering food and glasses of wine whisk by, I had a good time people-watching and look forward to volunteering again this Saturday. This time it’s the final, red carpet event! Check back for my recap of the show.
*Instagram images from Dose of Dash, all other photos from KeepAustinStylish.com