Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What the What?

Cath and I have always been slightly befuddled by the Atlanta fashion scene. Does it even exist? If so, who are some innovative Atlanta designers? Do we have a particular style (New York has the edge, Paris the feminine, Milan the amazing textiles, London the well-executed quirky)? Obviously we realize Atlanta is not in the same league as the aforementioned fashion capitols. But one reason we started this blog was to make Atlanta/Decatur less of a blank face. We don't have high fashion, but we have personality, style and creativity.

So last night we were excited to attend the 2009 Fashion and Style Honors. We had no idea who/what the Fashion and Style Honors were, but we were honored to be nominated in the Style Maven category, and excited to see the fashion show that split up the award ceremony.

So the night goes a little like this...

We start out in the "VIP" lounge (lots of media- i.e. anyone with a camera and flash, expensive bar, free tortellini and cheese cubes). Though Cath had to pay $9 for a glass of wine, the people watching was amazing (man in the fushia hat and 7-inch gold platforms, you are our hero!). See, I look excited!



People watching slows down a bit and we take outfit photos (I'm wearing a dress from Meringue - the straps are zippers!- and Cath is wearing a dress from Vacation- lovely, gorgeous vintage for $15).



Eventually we are ushered into the main event space. We stand around for about 45 minutes before we are told that nominees have to go wait back stage.

Back stage = chaos. But - again!- great people watching. There are about 50 of us crammed upstairs with no food or drink. Our host, Dwight Eubanks (fans of Real Housewives of Atlanta, anyone?) strips to his undies right next to me to get into his first outfit of the night. Michael Knight (Project Runway- woohoo) looks elegant in his white linen jacket and bow-tie, and hey! how did he get a bottle of water?! There's a presenter dressed as a queen (cape and tiara included) with two girls dressed up as maids that make up her entourage.

We wait back stage for roughly 3 hours. The show lumbers on- poorly organized and tedious. One highlight- our friend Tiffany wins for best Fashion Writer- yea, Tiffany! Woohoo!

We wait some more...

We get hungrier and thirstier (I contemplate eating someone's left-over cheese cube plate).

Hour 78, they announce the Style Maven award... and....

we lose to this guy:
photo credit

No, not Tim Gunn (swoon), the talented Michael Knight (also swoon- but hey you stole our award- harumph).

At the end of the very long night, Cath and I were grumpy, hungry, star-struck/mad at Michael Knight and felt incredibly guilty for persuading our friends to come out and watch us (Ali, Lena and Matt- you guys seriously made our night!!!).

In conclusion:
We love our adopted city, but we think Atlanta fashion is having some growing pains at the moment. Last night there was some nice urban wear and gorgeous gowns, but they looked hohum and run-of-the-mill. We know there is talent out there- and we strongly support all independent designers and boutiques trying to make it in a fickle market. We want to see artistry and innovation- not just clothes for a night out. Atlanta fashion designers, contact us! Show us your stuff! We know you are out there, and the AsianCajuns salute you.

And, dear readers, tell us what your conceptions of Atlanta fashion are- if you have any. We'd be curious to know!

LL

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

atlanta is like high school: everyone knows everyone else and we only wear what our friends wear.

Matt said...

Yeah, what a weird night. A fair amount of money being thrown around and a decent number of atlanta celebrities ... so you hope things will turn out okay. Then Dwight runs on and on, and there is zero organization, and you start to wonder whether the MC is even literate (pretty sure the answer is a no). Awesome people watching, and I'm glad I got to witness it, but it left me feeling that Atlanta really has a long long long long way to go. A blind, fecal throwing monkey on his deathbed could have organized it better, and that just made me a little sad. Maybe we really are just a little town playing at being a big city.

Tiffany Montblanc said...

Tell me about Catherine's bracelet. No, not the green one--although that looked great on both of you.

Sal said...

Wow, that sounds like 8 kinds of crazy ... also, you were clearly robbed of that award!

miss a. said...

Anonymous definitely said it best. Now that we're older, I feel like the Atlanta fashion scene has only graduated to Milly (THROW UP!) or the AA/hipster route (again, THROW UP!). I'm ready to see some innovation. And I'm not talking about beaded DIY jewelry. Atlanta has some fashion class, and it's time people took a hold of that. There are a few people I can think of who are trying to do something, but they mostly fall into the graphic tee department (mostly available at The Standard), but I refuse to believe that Atlantan designers aren't capable of something more.

I think the most stylish ladies in the city have to be the black church ladies. They're a bit matchy, often decking out in a single color, but you've gotta give some credit to a woman who paints her nails the same color as her two piece skirt suit and large floral hat. You should hang out in front of Ebenezer Baptist Church during the Easter weekend. It's great to see these divas in action.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi gals-what were the judges thinking, Michael stole your thunder, boo-hoo!! Both looking lovely, theres always next time!

Hanako66 said...

So cool that you were nominated!

I always associate Andre 3000 with Atlanta...he has amazing style:) Other than that, I do not have any specific ideas about Atlanta fashion...other than you two stylish girlies!

lisa said...

I agree with Sal and Sharon Rose--you two looked great and clearly deserved the Style Maven award over this guy!

Hmm what I know of the Atlanta fashion scene comes from reading this blog, and from the sounds of it, Atlanta has the same sort of fashion identity crises that Vancouver has. We self-style ourselves as up-and-coming fashion cities, but we have a long way to go and feel like we're constantly playing catch-up to cities like NY, London, and Paris. However, in the past year I've grown to appreciate what independent designers have accomplished in Vancouver and I have nothing but respect for Vancity's tight-knit fashion industry.

indigotangerine said...

Seattle has a bit a of a fashion problem too. I know we have some potential but every body on the street has that oomph factor, and seem to wear the same thing...
-indigo

Miss Emma Kitty said...

I love your shoes Lauren ! What brand and where did you get them ?

Shin said...

I'm so sorry to hear that it was a long night but you two ladies were gorgeous!!!!! I'm sure Atlanta is full of stylish people and they are becoming more aware of fashion. xxoxoxoxoxoxo

oh lady e said...

You were definitely robbed!

Winnie said...

Of course you are our real winners!
You two look fantastic!

Allie said...

I come from a designated "fashion no-place" too. To many, Hawaii is the land of tacky aloha shirts and what you mainlanders call flip-flops. While that's fine and dandy (I love my rubber slippahs!), we (like the ATL) have quirks and an identifiable mark as well.

I think it's amazing that you two were nominated! Screw Michael Knight, you win my award :) And on another note; I watched Real Housewives of ATL. And She by Sheree? Uh...HELL NO! Growing pains indeed.

TheSundayBest said...

Not that Atlanta isn't killing it in other ways...actually that sentence has no ending.

What I wanted to say is you two would absolutely kill it in Vancouver. As in - blow the f%*# up.

ZombieLace said...

You two look fabulous, what a fun evening out! And you couldn't have lost to a cuter competitor (though clearly the favoritism was being shown before the winner was even announced-- bottled water indeed!). I think you're right about the Atlanta fashion scene being somewhat non-existent. I don't really worry about it, I've always just worn whatever makes me feel wonderful whether or not the drones will get it ;~)

janice said...

Isn't people watching the best?

Yup, I definitely second Anonymous' comment. Atlanta's problem stems from everyone wanting to wear what just came in at Forever 21/H&M/AA. I was in London a couple of weeks ago, and I kept pointing out outfits I would never ever see in the most alternative of Atlanta suburbs.

Terri said...

My thoughts on Atlanta Fashion... There are a few crowds I see: the people who try too hard, the preppy, the people who don't care and look it, and the people who don't care and look awesome.

It's kind of a free-for-all here, I guess. We don't really have a leader or influences, which can be a good thing b/c it sparks more originality. It sucks though b/c we aren't leaders/trendsetters.

Fashion Therapist said...

So cool! You both look great and definitely deserve to be there.

greenjeans said...

Whoa style maven award. Fancy pants.

I guess like a lot of people I always think of OutKast when I think of Atlanta. That and sneakers. And the AsianCajuns.

Lesley said...

a) Congrats on being nominated! That's awesome!
b) You guys look great!
c) You got to see Michael!!! I loveee him!

:-)

Emz said...

I love your dress!

June Shin said...

Boo, can't believe you lost out to him. I think the problem is that Atlanta is still pretty conservative, so the majority of people seem to be mall shoppers. There are great designers and boutiques coming here, but we also need more innovative and stylish shoppers, like you, to keep them in business.

You girls both looked fabulous!

Ike said...

that really sucks! I hate when I invite my friends to something and it turns out to be no big deal :(
maybe you were meant to win a better award in the future?

tanya said...

Well, you ladies looked fabulous and it is still without a doubt, a well-deserved nomination whatever the outcome :-)

LENORENEVERMORE said...

You both look so gorgeousss...
haha...contemplate eating someone's left-over didnot really go with your gorgeousness girls!

PS: I've Bloglinked you both! ;)

phamzy said...

you both look amazing! those dresses are amazing! i can't believe one of the dresses costs $15.00?!? wow, that was a good deal!


http://ckuf-info.blogspot.com/

Dream Sequins said...

Did you get a chance to tell someone "But it's an honor just to be nominated?" I've always wanted to say that :) Atlanta: I can't say that I know what that style quotient is. The only pop cultural reference my mind is drawing on is embarrassingly low brow: Real Housewives of Atlanta. You girls are bringing it though. Bravo!

Liz Blair said...

I think that Atlanta is lucky to have you guys. I think that maybe you can play an important part in defining Atlanta's style. At least someone tried to organize an event, but it sounds poorly organized and executed. Is it worth working on for next year?

Key said...

you look great!
i love both dresses...
i would like to see a full shot of the vintage one!

kisses :D

sweet tease said...

Wonderful post, y'all! And I totally have to agree on the fact that Atlanta is slacking in the fashion department (but ONLY as compared to other major cities in the US!), because obvi you girls are doing what you can and a good job at that! Anywho- I (being from Mississippi) have been saying for a long time that "the South is just one big small-town", and that literally EVERYONE knows EVERYONE. It's all about networking down here! I, like you two, have been struggling for a while to discover some sort of style-worthy city (Atlanta? Memphis?)or icon to define our region. But since we are one big (or small?) networking region, we should put those skills to fashionable use and define our own, unique, Southern style. Cheers!

WendyB said...

I think all that matters is that you gals look so cute :-D

xs said...

what a great experience. even if you didn't take home the award, it must feel awesome to be in the same ranks as michael knight. ps. did you get to chat with tim gunn?

Anonymous said...

Ugh - I completely echo your sentiments on weak Atlanta fashion. Anon did say it perfectly - ATLans want brands they already know. No risk. It's SO wonderful that you support local designs and independent boutique style! You girls always look amazing ... I say you have won Style Mavens!

Savvy Mode SG said...

both of you look lovely!

Trains and Sewing Machines said...

You ladies always look fabulous!

stylewithbenefits said...

Wow, to even be nominated is a great achievement in itself, so congrats! I love Dwight and Michael Knight. Did you see any of the other 'Atlanta Housewives'? You both looked great at the event!

Becs

Cammila said...

How awesome...and crazy. Sounds pretty nuts. But seriously, I'm sure if there were a Detroit fashion night, it would be even weirder. A mixture of boutique designers and lost car-show models with Vaseline rubbed teeth and nowhere else to go.

Melanie said...

Congratulations on the nomination! That's quite rad!!
http://www.wreckedstellar.wordpress.com

issa said...

lucky lucky!!!! you both look gorgeous!!

bonjouritsjinah said...

i feel like how you described the night kind of sums up atlanta and its fashion scene in general. hip but confusing without a coherent definition. i met michael knight on a few different occasions. he seemed refreshingly normal in person. it's a shame you guys lost though. both of you ladies looked fab!

Hippie Frou Frou said...

You ladies are totally stylish award or no award! Looking good!

jess s//