The fashion scene was laced for detonation on Saturday, April 4 as the newly reopened Bomb Factory swelled with well over 1400 guests — all prepped to witness one of Dallas’ most buzzed about fashion events: The Pin Show. Returning for a seventh season, the show shed light to 22 of Dallas’ most promising designers, along with live performances by local talent and impromptu appearances by electrifying go-go dancers. Completely igniting the 50,000 square foot space was a frenzy of fashion bloggers, editors, and fans; The Pin Show was set to explode with an evening bursting with independent fashion.
Since its inception in 2007, The Pin Show has provided area designers with unprecedented access to stylists, buyers, and other reputable fashion industry professionals. Coupled with the overarching mission to supply a quality platform to independent designers, The Pin Show has increasingly become one of the top events in Dallas in which to “see and be seen.” Co-Founder and Executive Director Julie McCullough along with Runway Talent Director Willie Johnson and others, has tapped a flourishing gold mine for those on the hunt for emerging fashion talent.
As always, many designers are previously ear-marked on our watch list and we excitedly anticipate new faces hitting our radar for the first time. While our expectations of nuclear fashion preceded the event, it seemed as though many participants opted to play it safe. While standouts still rang true, here are our ultimate picks from the show.
Leading the pack once again was Jesse Thaxton of Melancholic Designs. Expecting the unexpected and rising eloquently to prior heights, the talented designer combined her creative flair of blending textiles with quality pieces primed for ready-to-wear.
Pin Show returnees, Kae and Jae stunned the audience with a first-half opener of red carpet designs crafted for the Hollywood elite. Delicate draping and graceful flows were the themes for this favored brand to which we admittedly hint towards keeping a watchful eye.
When Rusty Bell’s ThrIII flashed on the backdrop, we bashfully admit to hearts a-flutter for a repeat hunky barely-there-underwear presentation indicative of last year’s. To our surprise, Bell strategically saved the hunks for last as he debuted for the first time his deep deviation into women’s urban fashion. Vibrant, creative, and electrifying were the themes, serving as the ultimate complement to his menswear designs. Less may prove to be more in Bell’s world, but we’re definitely digging it.
Two accessory lines battled head to head as subtle differences in execution ultimately separated the two. Emme Hathcock of This One Woman immediately commanded the room with her jewel laden accessories distinctively created for a queen. Precision and thorough execution proved key for this brand, as statement pieces laid delicately smooth and glimmered flawlessly under the lights. A watchful eye on Hathcock is warranted as her momentum continues to accelerate in the Dallas market.
Swimwear looks presented by Elle Luxx proved ultra-ordinary and barely skimmed the surface as conventional prints and patterns floated down the runway. Completely off-setting prior disappointments in the swimwear category, Whitney Bracey of Mahogany Blues later showcased colorful pattern play, flawless print mixes, and flashy yet wearable metallics to highlight a completely desirable spring/summer collection.
Designers deserving of mention include one previously highlighted by DFW Style Daily and several others who have now made our list. Julie McCullough’s Folksie was masterfully executed yet again to feature tailored menswear and high-quality designs. Venturing into more tapered cuts and gutsy patterns proved successful for McCullough as a deviation from the norm kept the crowd engaged. Playful in plaid was the name of the game as both McCullough and Indigo 1745 introduced favored looks indicative of the trend.
All of Spring 2015’s top trends took to the runway as EcoArmoire wowed with a unique flavoring of boho womenswear. Elizabeth Adebanjo of The Style Conscious shifted dynamics as the only designer dedicated to athleisure designs – creating a positive shift for the show by ultimately making sweats and heels deviously sexy and oh so fashionable.
In years past, our disappointment category piled high with prior full-figured collections lacking vision, but this year Carmen Campos of Carmen Iris proved us wrong. Showcasing crop tops, graffiti prints, and curve hugging resort-wear, Campos broke the mold by finally revealing that curvier bodies can be fashion-forward risk-takers and undoubtedly versatile. Alternatively, many designer participants erred to play it safe – failing to leap into their creativity and recreating looks already capitalized by more notable brands. By way of unsolicited advice, when it’s time to shine, unapologetically grab ahold of the spotlight and soar — as more conventional norms tend to bore and often overshadow incredible talent.
Once again however, The Pin Show lived up to the hype – ushering in a new season in an even larger space and highlighting incredible talent right within our own backyard. As preparations for 2016 get underway, expectations are raised even higher for participants who fearlessly push the bounds, honor execution, and display all of the characteristics that this annual production embodies. As more designers emerge and flourish, we will look forward once again, to what new discoveries may unfold for 2016.
All images, credit C. Rene Photography.