Photo by Mari Hernandez
“The show must go on.”
That’s what greeted me Friday when I woke up, cold and a bit hung over, and opened up my Facebook inbox. The team behind Fashion Freakout was well aware that even though Texas had panicked with half an inch of snow, there was still an exceptional bunch of Austinites who would laugh, grab their coat and ear muffs, and happily freeze their asses off at Mohawk. Happily of course, if they could have a Jameson while snapping shots of size 0 women.
We’ve got the people from Prototype Vintage Design, Laced with Romance and New Bohemia to thank for giving us something to laugh about in 26 degree weather. The place was impressively alive, full of fur-clad hipsters and eager photographers pressed against the edges of the runway. The fourth annual Fashion Freakout officially began when a penguin took the runway at 9:30 p.m. The penguin danced, threw leis at the crowd, then took off its mask to reveal the man underneath: Matt Bearden.
We were all thinking the same thing, but Bearden said it. “Some people didn’t come out ‘cause they said it was too cold. Those people are cold pussies.”
So us non-pussies took our spots and enjoyed the show. Laced with Romance presented the first set of looks. Women in boho chic, floor-length dresses and stick-thin men strutted down the catwalk. Obi belts reminiscent of Marc Jacobs circa 2009 hugged the women at the waist, while men walked with cigarettes dangling at the mouth.
The fun thing about vintage is, there is no particular era. You can play with clothes like costumes, and Laced with Romance showed us we can be a pretty blonde and dress like Jack Sparrow, or a young 20-something and dress like Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart. There are no rules in vintage.
New Bohemia followed with a lot of spunk. Leopard was everywhere, as well as fur coats, covering the shoulders of a lucky few. New Bohemia played with the decades as well as ages, sending out a surprisingly upbeat middle-aged cowboy (hey, we are in Texas) with a spring in his step. Then a long-haired boy with a fuck-you attitude walked out, turned and sneaked us a peek of his Chicago Bulls jacket.
Throughout the show, we had the joy of listening to all kinds of music—everything from Dylan to Lou Reed to go with the sequined jumpsuits. It was all very DVF at Studio 54 with a lil’ Southern flair. The reek of weed hung over the catwalk—a perfect Austin addition. Bearden spoke out in between sets, telling us that if we played our cards right, “the old cowboy would show us his True Grit.”
Prototype Vintage gave us a lot more ‘70s glam, with perfect combos of Jessica Simpson platforms and Bianca Jagger-style pants. The models were perfection, giving us glimpses of Rolling Stones ankle tattoos and second-skin red dresses with berets. The crowd seemed to cheer louder for the men, who walked with a shyness and the right amount of sass. And Audrie San Miguel, if you’re reading this—that look with the pink jumpsuit and the white fur coat, yeah. I need that coat.
The Gary Glitter cover band Leaders of the Gang took the stage in between the first and second looks. Unfortunately, most people ran indoors to keep warm for a few minutes. If they’d stayed outside, they would’ve witnessed the most marvelously uncomfortable 20 minutes of my life. There was singing at some point, but more than anything, there was glitter, a butt crack and a fabulous fur-lined sequined cape.
The second set of looks were a blur, what with the weather finally freezing the last bit of functioning brain cells. Laced with Romance ventured out with head gear and masks, and a girl known as The Bravest Model There Has Ever Been walked out half-covered with the flimsiest piece of fabric known to man. New Bohemia got the most cheers on their second looks, sending out a full-on wedding theme. Flapper dresses, black and gold sequins, that awesome cowboy again. Male models in bowler hats and walking sticks, with bright pink ties and lots of rich velvet. The set ended when the models/newlyweds took the stage to the warm applause, finishing their walk with their first kiss as man and wife. Prototype Vintage Design finished off the show, offering us looks of flowy romance and provocative frocks. One by one the models took their final flirty strut, their breath heavy in the air, and clapped along to the music for the last hurrah.
Fashion Freakout Four was a true success. Even with the cold, which surely cost the event a few guests, the night ruled with music and vintage. The team behind the event lured us with the promise of hot chocolate and hot babes, but even if there had been neither (but there were), anything would have been a good excuse to drag that fur coat out of the closet and stomp out to Mohawk. Let’s hope the weather behaves for next year’s Freakout, but if not, what the hell? We’d brave five more inches of snow to check out that old cowboy again, the flirt.
Laced With Romance
Photos by Mari Hernandez