Tribeza Magazine’s 10th annual Fashion Week fashion show took place on the 7th floor of the steel and glass University Park building in an unfinished meeting hall with spectacular views of downtown Austin. Lexus of Austin, with additional commercial concerns, sponsored the event. The wine sponsors, in particular, were everywhere, and waitstaff circulated with trays of beer and wine. The runway was at least 100 feet long, and reserved seating took up the first three rows on either side of the catwalk. The stage backdrop amounted to slideshows and video projections on a light gray wall, not the elaborate composite construction of years past.
Eleven clothing retailers offered the runway fashions, each showcasing their licensed haute couture lines, jewelry, accessories, and shoes. Thus we saw well-styled combinations of locally designed jewelry and accessories on this year’s clothing offerings by Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and other world-class design houses. The audience gained the benefits of their competition; it received a magnificent wine-fueled fantasy of wealth and luxury. Everyone needs a taste of how good it can be. The Estilo boutique of Austin seemed particularly hardworking and spectacular in its presentation.
The show was not lacking in social responsibility; it benefited the Hospice Austin fund. The show also had strong aspects of alternative theatre, which are not to be ignored. The entire event was predicated on the gaze, for potential buyers and friends, family, and casual onlookers of the model/performers. The show very much followed a script, the retail houses succeeding each other in their presentations in a set, disciplined order; The models’ runway walks followed each other according to cues given by a stage manager, and a musical soundtrack played throughout the show. The presentation also had a director. Although based ultimately in commercialism, altogether the show was satisfying theatrically as well, and viewed in this manner attained artistic success. The runway presentation was the culmination of Tribeza’s Fashion Week and very much a design triumph. Austin anticipates more such celebrations in the future.