Austin Fashion Week Honors Four Style Setters
By Rob Giardinelli
Photography by Carlos Barron, Gregg Cestaro, Candice Ghai and Brianna Moore
THE SCENE: Who doesn’t love a week where hundreds – no, thousands of event attendees witness the latest in cutting edge fashion, couture, and artisan jewelry, as well as honor several philanthropic women who have set the pace for combining impeccable style with high level community philanthropy? This year’s Austin Fashion Week, also known as Fashion X Austin now in its eighth year, provided several unique and powerful fashion experiences by honoring four Style Setter women and nonprofits who have helped make Austin the world class city it is today.
THE VIBE: The week of glam began at Austin’s grand dame Driskill Hotel for the Fashion Week Brunch sponsored by John Hardy to honor Style Setter Aida Dieck with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the American Heart Association. The hotel’s mezzanine was transformed into a Balinese oasis for a once-in-a-lifetime experience featuring John Hardy’s artisans, flown in from Bali, hand crafting their one-of-a-kind heritage pieces before the awestruck crowd, beautifully showcasing the care and attention to detail that goes into each and every piece of jewelry. As guests dined during the brunch, models circled the table featuring collections from John Hardy, Lexicon of Style by Alexandra Dieck, and Big Bertha’s Paradise. Guests were able to beckon models to their table to inquire about specific pieces they admired, creating a uniquely intimate fashion experience unlike any other.
For the second half of the week, the action turned to Austin’s JW Marriott for three evenings of runway events, where each night over 800 of Austin’s fashionable, social and cultural elite mingled together to view boutique collections by emerging Austin-based designers as well as designers from other markets in Texas and beyond, including several collections by alumni of the hit Lifetime series Project Runway.
The next three Style Setters showcased their love and support for the Austin fashion community. Each of the honorees wore looks from top Austin designers, while being showcasing with how each of them loves giving back to Austin with a personal video that inspires their fashion sense and the charity they were supporting their evening. The runway show celebrated their favorite Style Setter looks worn at the various philanthropic endeavors they have supported over the years.
THE CAUSE: Laura Craddick was honored the first evening, wearing a beautiful ensemble by Austin-based designer Katie Kime with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Dell Children’s Medical Center. Bobbi Topfer, sporting a stunning number from Austin-based designer Rare Trends was honored the second evening with a portion of the proceeds benefitting ZACH Theatre. Andrea McWilliams was honored the final evening, sporting a refreshingly inspired dress complete with a floral-immersed corset designed by Austin-based designer Tiburczio Tzc of Mandarin Flower Company, with a portion of the evening’s proceeds benefitting Ballet Austin.