Wednesday, April 18, 2012

GFW Gala for the Arts

Friday night ushered in a slew of black bowties and long gowns as more than 100 guests enjoyed the 2nd Annual Gala for the Arts in support of Rocket for the Arts.

The night consisted of a Rent the Runway fashion show, and for the first time ever, two kids fashion shows outfitted by Sironna Swimwear and AJNEL designs. The sexy sounds of Savants of Soul filled the room as guests dined on a delicious spread catered by Celebrations Catering.

The night was complete with a silent auction benefitting Rocket for the Arts. Items included original art work, gift baskets provided by Macy’s and M.A.C, gift certificates, as well as a hotel stay in New York City for New York Fashion Week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

INsite Music and Fashion Night!

Thursday, April 12 was all about INsite, all about fashion and all about music. To sum it up, it was a night of our favorite things! It was the first night of runway shows for GFW 2012. After some mingling, everyone took their seats and the shows began.

Maghan McDowell of INsite Magazine was the emcee for the night. She looked absolutely stunning and effortlessly introduced the designers. The night's headliner and Project Runway season 9 contestant, Laura Kathleen, is a friend of Maghan's from their intern days in New York City. It was such a special evening for them, especially when Laura's designs hit the runway...but we'll get to that in a bit!

The first show of the night was The 10z Project, led by Albey Coronel. When The 1oz Project took center-stage, it was clear that color was of high importance. It was all about making a statement. Sometimes, literally. Check out our photos from The 1oz Project show and see for yourself!

Next was Levels Boutique, which Maghan hinted might have a store coming to Gainesville (our fingers are crossed)! We loved the trendy urban vibe from Levels Boutique. Color blocking was a major point for the show. We're so glad this is still on trend! We could see these pieces on any chic Gainesville girl on a fun night downtown, couldn't you? Check out the photos from the show!

Nothing made us want to "get a ring on it" like the Solutions Bridal show. The wedding gowns and even bridesmaids dress were drop dead gorgeous. Gone are the days of ugly bridesmaids dresses, these looks were absolutely chic and elegant. The models looked marriage-ready walking down the runway, I won't lie, I almost got emotional! Ladies, look at the Solutions Bridal photos and tell me you don't want to wear one of these gowns!!

Since the evening was a night of music as well as fashion, it's only fair to mention that DJ Klarc Shepard was spinning all night long for every show!!! He's played for us several times before, and we just love him! So much fun and such a talented guy! We also heard live music from Janna Pelle & the Half Steps, an awesome blues and pop band straight out of the Univeristy of Florida! Read more about their story on INsite Magazine's website!

Back to the fashion, Macy's was up next! As Maghan told us, they wanted to take us on vacation. We were so ready for that!! The beachy looks made us wish we had our toes in the sand sipping on [insert fruity drink of choice here]. We may be biased, but the guy's looks were pretty stellar. Can you say abs? Go see for yourself...brace yourself, though!

Francine Elizabeth was up next, and wait until you learn all about her...she debuted her line last year at GFW 2011, on her 18th birthday. She taught herself everything she knows and hand-makes everything. We can't to see more from her, especially after she attends SCAD, starting this Fall! Her looks were so edgy, yet completely wearable. Her color story looked fabulous on the models, look and prepare to be amazed...don't forget, it's HAND-MADE!

Last but definitely not least, was our headliner: Laura Kathleen! She is as wonderful and sweet in person as she is talented! We were just blown away by her designs. You can't help but feel empowered, fierce and on fire in one of her looks...and the models proved that. Take a look! Personally, I felt like I was back on the streets on Manhattan, there's was just an overall city-chic vibe that gave me chills!

Don't miss the Gala for the Arts tonight and the next set of runway shows. It's truly a stunning experience that you won't forget!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

GFW Opening Night! Red Carpet and Art Show at Villa East

The night we've all been planning for has arrived! Gainesville Fashion Week 2012 kicked off Wednesday night with a red carpet and an art show at Villa East. The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce also helped ring in the night with the official ribbon cutting while Florida Works joined in the festivities.

Over 40 national and local artists came out to showcase their art for the event, including several live artists.

Guests mixed and mingled amongst the art, got crazy in the Phobooth, and stayed merry all night long, thanks to Monster.

Special thanks to the soulful sounds of John Jordan and DJ Blaise James for spinning the night away. Also, KISS 105.3 was posted up outside all night playing music and hosting games for guests.

Thursday night opens with our first batch of runway shows at Villa East starting at 7 pm. There is still time to buy your tickets for tonight, as well as the other shows! See you on the runway!


Monday, April 9, 2012

GFW: Defining a Production Through Numbers

The beginnings of the GFW DNA are rooted in a unifying spirit aiming to bring the community together through a common conviction for all things fashion. This vision emerged from a humble design studio in the heart of Gainesville. Albert Coronel, creative director at neutral7 design group, funneled his entrepreneurial spirit into producing the area’s first all-encompassing production.

Through the years creative connoisseurs have flocked to GFW for the wide variation of talent that falls under its hood. Fashion is a given, but since inception in 2008, GFW has incorporated music, art, philanthropy, special events and partnerships into its equation. The production’s second year held a fall and spring showcase, earning GFW recognition and esteem within the community. Turn the calculator on to break down the production and you’ll see a meager, but promising three designers in the first season. This year, 14 designers and boutiques are signed on to grace the runway at Villa East.

Different additives have been thrown into the equation since 2008. Local designers have been at the core, as GFW builds a following and establishes recognition alongside the artists it propagates. Starting in 2010, New York based designer, Miguel Blanco and a Columbian designer duo coined “Sironna Swimwear” joined the GFW mix. Audience expansion followed suit, with an increase from 600 attendees to 1,500 in 2010.

GFW also draws models and production staff from the rising talent pool in Gainesville. Shed the facad of colorful bubble graphics and numbers, and our workforce emerges. This is where GFW distinguishes itself among other fashion shows. An internal structure focuses around producers Albert Coronel and Tiffany Williams, with a team drawn from the rising talent at the University of Florida. A student co-producer, who works hand-in-hand with the oh-so-savvy business professionals, is joined by a team of specialized directors and interns to orchestrate the spring event. GFW has built up a team of 36 staff through the years, allowing more realms of event management to be added. Directorships focus on talent, sponsorships, promotion, event management, model coordination, media and design.

Pop your head into a Tuesday night team meeting and you’ll overhear teammate breakout sessions, infused with the spontaneous inside joke aside because – hey – only a GFW intern could understand. After a year’s buildup and the final reprieve come fashion week wrap-up, the team typically spends roughly equal time around town in celebratory mode and then they’re off focusing on new ventures or tackling next year’s showcase. It’s why they’ve set out for lofty futures globetrotting to London and Paris Fashion Weeks and working in various fields for Vogue, Urban Outfitters and prestigious firms in New York City and Miami. Co-producer, Kristi Desoiza is in the process of scouring Miami for jobs in advertising management.

“Being part of the GFW expansion during college has opened my eyes to what’s outside of textbooks and Weimer Hall,” DeSoiza said. “I think I speak for the whole team when I say we’re going to dominate our first jobs.”

Flavia Cervantes, once-model-director-turned-marketing-guru-for-Urban Outfitters, asserts that GFW played an instrumental role in framing her perspective on youth culture and trends, especially understanding what young, creative people want from fashion and the creative lifestyle concept.

Next in the quest for a balanced equation was substantial and recognizable branding. Neutral7 redefined each showcase through different lenses like 2010’s “Destination” and 2011’s “Celeb Gossip.” This year the staff members, many of which have defined their undergraduate years working for the production, are finding nostalgia appropriate. As they look back on GFW history, 2012’s theme of “Fashion Mathematics” allows them to breakdown the roadmap of GFW and see work concretized into growth through numbers. Thus far, the team is celebrating the addition of Project Runway designer Laura Kathleen to Thursday’s lineup and recognition by international fashion aggregate, Fashion Politique. After a year’s worth of planning, the team anticipates topping its own track record with expansions each season.

Curious as to how GFW breaks down by numbers for each season? Checkout the newest addition to the design portfolio - the infographic in the HOME Magazine's April Edition.

We hope to see you for what promises to be the most diverse showcase to date!

Get your fashion on Gainesville,

Kasi Martin

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Mikael Ennis

Mikael Ennis, is one of this year’s directors for Gainesville Fashion Week's opening night art-show. An amazing yet very busy artist himself, we were lucky enough to snag him for a couple minutes to hear about what we can expect for this year's art show thats rumored to be GFW's best YET!! He's been scouting all over the world for new found pieces to wow the Gainesville community for Wednesday's grand opening of festivities! Check out his exclusive interview with GFW about his inspirations, his personal art-work and how he choose the artist that will be on displaying their work at this year's GFW 2012 art-show!

Q. Define your style of art? Is there a certain name, genre?

A. “I feel as though my art is always changing and to label it as a certain genre or style would be quite difficult.”

Q. How do you get inspired to do the art that you do?

A. Ennis told GFW that most of his art and creativity driven behind his work is influenced by music and different life occurrences.

“I believe a lot of things factor in that give me inspiration when doing my art. First and foremost my first true inspiration was graffiti,” he said. “Once I started I was immediately addicted.” “Second, I think my mood plays a huge variable in my art.”

Q. Who is your favorite artist & why?

A. “I get this question asked way too often. It’s such an easy question, yet so complex. My newest would have to be EL MAC. He's a photorealistic artist out of Mexico that does a bunch of collaborations with a west coast artist RETNA,” Ennis said. “Also an artist called KOFI. He's a drafter by trade and it definitely reflects in his calm and elegant pieces of art." “Lastly, another personal favorite is Fran├žoise Nielly, I am extremely excited to see her work in person this summer while visiting Paris."

Q. As art director of GFW 2012, you’ve seen all of what’s going to be showcased? Can you give us a sneak peak of what we can expect?

A. “I hand picked a majority of the artist this year by taking many different avenues to reach them, he said." "I am beyond stoked to have the lineup that we have this year we have a bit of everything for everyone's liking.”

Q. What are you most excited for at this year’s art show?

A. Ennis told GFW that he is excited for everyone that is a part of this year’s art show but he gave us a heads up on whose work he suggest to look out for!

“ I have two guys from Sarasota that I'm sure will definitely turn heads, “ Ennis told GFW. “Karl Boardman and Keith Alvarado. “Their styles are complete opposite of each other, but I'm a huge fan of both of them.”

Q. What is your favorite piece of art of your own creation?

A. I would have to say my blue hand. I really enjoy the light blues within the piece.”

Sounds interesting, wanna know what he's talking'll just have to come out to our event and see :)

Q. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?

A. “I hope to still be creating art. Moreover, I would like to have accomplished my childhood dream of traveling to every country,” he said. “If I could tie the two together, that would be great.”

Be sure to check out Ennis’ work and all of the amazing contributing artist’s pieces that will be on display at this year’s Gainesville Fashion Week THIS Wednesday, for our GFW opening night art-show at Villa East!

Dress Rehearsal at Villa East

‘Twas the week before Gainesville Fashion Week and all through Villa East.
Models were practicing poses and enjoying the Cafe C feast!

As much as I’d love to continue this little song and dance, I think it’s more important to get down to business...IT’S FASHION WEEK, PEOPLE!

As I mentioned before, this past Thursday was our dress rehearsal at Villa East! We finally got the models and team, including our fabulous volunteers, in the space.

After everyone got a tour of the venue, we real work began, as models ran through every single show. Midway through the runway practice, we all loaded up our plates with the most delicious food, catering by Celebrations Catering/Cafe C. It was amazing, and this is coming from someone who got in line late!

After we all finished our dinner it was back to work! Running through shows, and nailing down detail for this coming week, everything had to be set in stone.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all business and no fun! We all mingled and caught up on each other’s lives. Music was pumping, as per usual, and everyone busted a little move...even our models!

It’s true, there’s nothing like the energy and feel of a live show, but we sure came close on Thursday! It only makes us even more excited for this week’s shows!

Maghan McDowell of INsite Magazine was on location during dress rehearsal, and so were the double cover editions of INsite! We snagged the two models, Joe and Christen, in between runway walks for a quick picture with their covers! I don’t know about you, but I’m bringing both covers and getting them autographed!

Villa East, Cafe C and Celebrations were an absolute pleasure to work with, the models were on point and the team was working hard, as always. Don’t get left in last-season, buy your tickets for Gainesville Fashion Week now!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Sponsorship Alert: Sephora

What girl doesn't love to aimlessly browse the immaculately lit aisles of Sephora beauty stores? Maybe stop in for a mid-afternoon makeup session for no reason at all? And who can pass up their perfect rainbow of nail polish colors around every corner?

We are excited to announce Sephora as one of this year’s sponsors for Gainesville Fashion Week! With enough hair, nail and beauty products to last a lifetime, Sephora is a one-stop-shop when it comes to primping and prepping for daytime and night time makeup.

Look out for beautiful makeup dawning the runways next week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sponsorship Alert: COX Communications

Super special thanks to Cox Communications for sponsoring Gainesville Fashion Week 2012! We're so grateful to have them as a part of our team.

Cox Communications is way more linked to fashion than you think, rest assured! If not for Cox and their bundling plan on internet, phone and TV how would we online shop while making phone calls about designers AND watch Project Runway? All at the same time, of course!

It's taking care of the little things like this that make Cox one our favorite businesses in town. They take care of installing the necessities so we can focus on planning the best fashion week Gainesville as ever seen.

So here's what you should do:
1. Check out the Cox Communications website and see it for yourself!
2. Buy your tickets to Gainesville Fashion Week 2012!
3. Get excited!


Sponsorship Alert: KISS 105.3

You know it’s a party when KISS 105.3 is there! We're thrilled to have KISS 105.3, your Gator party station, as a sponsor for 2012 Gainesville Fashion Week!

Throughout the day KISS 105.3 provides the soundtrack to your life, playing the only top hit music. From a fashion perspective, we think it's IN to be tuned in to KISS 105.3 all day, everyday. This station isn't going out of style anytime soon!

From the KISS Morning Show keeping you posted on celebrity gossip and news to the rush hour jams that get you home on weekdays, there's no competition. It's clear KISS 105.3 is the best radio station in Gainesville!

Check out their Facebook page, as well as their website, where you can become a KISS 105.3 VIP!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

International Coverage Alert: Fashion Politique

Say hello to our new partners across the Atlantic, a new online aggregate of fashion shows and expositions across the globe. FashionPolitique, or 'f-politics' is based out of London and sets out to cover fashion paving the way in numerous cities through reporting and video coverage delivered via innovative digital platforms.

F-politics aims to be the creative, innovative and inspiring leader ofonline fashion journalism delivering high-quality fashion relatednews, comment and information that enables fashion designers to communicate and connect with fashion buyers and fashion retailers across the world.

You can catch GFW spotlighted in the news section among the likes of Paris, Montreal and Las Vegas Fashion Weeks.The GFW team is thrilled at this opportunity to gain international exposure for our designers and talent, all while partnering with achic new team.