Nashville Designer Showcase Preview

It's time to start talking about the upcoming events for Nashville Fashion Week  2015 in earnest. 

For my part, it's interesting to revisit the idea of a Nashville Fashion Week and compare it to my experiences and expectations during NFW2014. I was a novice last year, and it was an honor to be  able to cover it as part of the Media. The fashion community isn't necessarily eager to embrace diversity, which made my attendance and the accommodations made for my disability all the more impressive. Remember, this year it's up to you to get me to NFW2015. Clink here or on the graphic in the sidebar to help get me there. 

This time around the events will include a Nashville Designer's Showcase, Accessories as Art show, Design + Fashion, Ready to Wear Runway Show, Fashion Industry Panels and a Fashion Forward Gala. Nashville will also play host to two very special guests during the festivities; Nigel Barker and Fern Mallis. 

Barker is a New York Times bestselling author, internationally renowned photographer, fashion authority, and judge on the popular TV show, America’s Next Top Model. He was awarded the “Film Heals” Award for Humanitarianism at the 6th Annual Manhattan Film Festival for Dreams Are Not Forgotten. Using the power of photography and motion pictures he has been able to spread his humanitarian message to vast audiences, resulting in films, PSA’s and traveling exhibitions for The Humane Society of the United States, The Humane Society International, The Make A Wish Foundation, The Do Something Organization, The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation and The Edeyo Foundation.

Last month, Barker released the New York Times Best Seller, “Models of Influence: 50 Women Who Reset the Course of Fashion,” presenting 50 of the most influential models from the 1940s to today through a wealth of full-color photographs from the world's most renowned fashion photographers. Nashville Fashion Week, along with Parnassus Books, will hold a free book signing and presentation with Nigel Barker at The Loews Vanderbilt Hotel on Tuesday, April 7 from 4 - 6 p.m. Barker will also attend as a special guest at the Nashville Designer Showcase runway show later that evening at Acme Feed & Seed. A second book signing will take place post runway show on Tuesday night at the Official Kickoff After Party on the Acme rooftop. 

Fern Mallis , is an author, host of Fashion Insiders with Fern Mallis on Sirius XM Stars and President of her own international fashion and design consultancy. She has been called an “industry titan,” “doyenne” and “The Godmother of Fashion,” and is hailed as the award-winning creator of New York Fashion Week. This year marks her second year at Nashville Fashion Week.

“I am thrilled to be coming back to Nashville Fashion Week,” Mallis said.  “I was impressed on my first visit by the whole Nashville scene – the culture, the music, the food.  I love the energy and enthusiasm of the Nashville fashion community… their talented designers and their fashion sense.”

As the creator and host of premiere conversation series Fashion Icons w/ Fern Mallis at New York’s prestigious 92nd Street Y,  Mallis assembled an incredible roster of guests for her now signature in-depth interviews, including Calvin Klein, Norma Kamali, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford, Michael Kors, Diane von Fürstenberg, Polly Mellen, Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, Vera Wang, Suzy Menkes, Oscar de la Renta, André Leon Talley, Bruce Weber, Isaac Mizrahi, John Varvatos, Lauren Hutton, Bill Cunningham, and most recently – Valentino. She will release her book, “Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis,” on April 14, a compilation of her 92Y interviews.

She's also one of my heroes, so I'm thrilled at the prospect of meeting her - and Barker, too, for that matter. But I'm most excited to see an old friend and her incredible collection at the Nashville Designer's Showcase on opening night.

Amanda Valentine and I have been friends for years. During that time I think it's safe to say we've both come a long way. It's been wonderful to watch her gain the notoriety and respect her works so richly deserves. Better still to see her come to understand her creative talent has merit. She's always included me in all of her events and trunk shows, and I'm just over the moon at the prospect of seeing her designs on the runway at Acme Feed and Seed on April 7th - and collecting that post-show hug (worth more than the priciest piece in anyone's collection, anywhere, ever).

Six other local designers, Ashley Balding, Eric Adler, Leslie Stevens, Maria Silver, Truly Alvarenga and Van Hoang will be showing their latest collections on April 7th as well. Tickets for the Nashville Designers Showcase, the after-party, and all access passes are available here

Linking up with Patti for her bi-weekly Visible Monday and Claire Justine for Creative Mondays