Fashion for All

Upcycled couture, live sketching and more at the Savannah Bazaar

YOU MIGHT have to be flush with cash and the size of a pencil to wear anything from those haute couture design houses in Paris or Milan, but here in Savannah, on-fleek fashion comes in all shapes, sizes and price points.

Possibilities for your next killer outfit abound as the local style council sets up shop and stage at the Savannah Bazaar this Saturday, April 30, one of two fashion events happening on the same day. (Read about State of the Art: Savannah Style at the Jepson on page 28.)

Featuring curated looks from some of the city’s finest vintage shops and ready-to-wear boutiques, the Bazaar’s first-ever fashion show brings together stylists, vendors, artists and designers for an afternoon of creativity and community.

The shopping begins at 3pm with the Bazaar’s selection of artisan vendors offering handmade clothing, unique jewelry and exotic accessories, in keeping with the theme. DJ Basik Lee will keep everyone bouncing with his heavy rotation of excellent tunes as the Stardust Pixxies hoop and spin for your entertainment, and food trucks and a beer tent come stocked.

Loop It Up’s Molly Lieberman will host a kids’ fashion walk, where any little person with swagger is invited to dress to the nines and strike a pose. Seating for the main event begins at 5, and the runway starts rumbling at 5:30 sharp. Admission is $1.

click to enlarge Fashion for All
Modeling a dress made from upcycled fabric strips, Erica Jarman of House of Strut helps educate fashionistas about clothing’s true cost.

This is the first community-wide fashion event featuring vintage and recycled boutiques in recent memory, spotlighting the exquisite wares of the Starland District’s Gypsy World: A Vintage Boutique and House of Strut.

“We are so excited to have an opportunity to show our extraordinary vintage collection on the runway,” says Gypsy World owner Lisa Doyle.

“We’ve created many unique looks to inspire people and show them how they can incorporate vintage into their wardrobe.”

Provided by the team at Jelinek Cork, the raised runway will also showcase out-of-this-world gowns from Junk 2 Funk standout and Starland’s resident design darling, Samantha Salas. The afternoon show presents original designs from artist/yogi Cindy Male as well as the bold and sexy Fudashi Collection by Crystal Jenkins.

Don’t worry if you blink and miss a look: The models will linger after the show as a team of fashion illustrators led by artist Sasha Mirzoyan sketch the ensembles in the open-air tents.

“I’ve been amazed at how much talent is in Savannah,” marvels show coordinator Ashley Denson, a freelance stylist who recently moved here from Dallas, TX.

“It’s really given me an opportunity to meet the fashion community and see how everyone supports each other.”

Bringing an extra dash of fabulous are style consultants Nathan Saludez, the fashion director for Art Rise, and Leslie Walsh of the Gifted Creative Group, who is helping rebrand the colorful and eclectic monthly market gathering.

“The Bazaar, by definition, is an inclusive organization that brings together a varied cross section of Savannah’s creative community each month,” says Walsh.

“This event will bring individuals from all parts of the fashion community of Savannah specifically, which will make it even more interesting.”

The Bazaar Fashion Show celebrates vintage and recycled looks as the antidote for the grave environmental and humanitarian repercussions of “fast fashion.” Those chain store $4 tees and $7 sundresses come at the cost of exploited labor overseas, and the consumption of those cheap goods leads to billions of pounds of waste each year.

Erica Jarman of House of Strut hopes to reverse the trend by turning people on to the joys of upcycled clothing. The chic shop owner has been collecting and rocking vintage style for years, but after Saludez lent her a copy of the documentary The True Cost, promoting the cause has become a passion.

“I talk to people in my store every day about the human impact of fast fashion,” says Jarman.

“I try to explain that not only does buying vintage give you a unique look that no one else has, it is a solution to a huge problem.”

Saludez, a veteran of the brutal New York garment factory world, is a vocal and visual proponent of Savannah’s local sustainable couture scene, creating dresses from old newspapers and guiding others in the way of the low-carbon footprint closet.

“For most people, it’s important that fashion be accessible and affordable,” muses the stylist. “There’s a way to have that without contributing to the suffering of others and the planet.”

Together with SCAD alum Amanda Harris, Saludez will create dresses on site at the Bazaar from fabric strips recycled from secondhand duds. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own bags of fast-fashion cast-offs to contribute to the garments—and perhaps learn how to craft one of their own.

Even if you couldn’t care less about your look and you’re just there for fun, food and entertainment, this Bazaar may pique an interest in your next pair of jeans or socks.

As Saludez points out, “We’re all involved in the fashion industry. We all wear clothes, don’t we?”


Jessica Leigh Lebos

Community Editor Jessica Leigh Lebos has been writing about interesting people, vexing issues and anything involving free food for more than 20 years. She introduces herself at cocktail parties as southern by marriage.

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