It always made sense to me, that we as individuals are the only people who can decide for ourselves who we are and what we will become. No one outside of ourselves can make that determination for us. On a larger scale, I feel the same rule applies even for cities, including Richmond. This city, suffused with the history and passions of our forefathers, is now rife with creative expressions that manifest via fashion and design. Models and designers, though homegrown, have now found national and international platforms. Media from around the country points a lens towards Richmond to see what is new and trending. Twice a year, during RVA Fashion Week, models, designers, photographers and
designers, photographers and fashion enthusiasts gather together to gawk in awe at the latest designs. Despite what others may believe or feel, Richmond has decided that it is now a fashion capital.
I enjoyed RVA Fashion Week last year, both as a spectator and as a participant. I have been to several Fashion Weeks around this country (most notably New York and Miami), but I must admit that Richmond’s is my favorite. Not at all because I am bias towards everything Richmond, but because the overall production is well on par with that of New York. I have said several times before that if the agencies in NY had the same budget as the crew in RVA, they couldn’t have put on a better show.
But there’s something else in the atmosphere here in Richmond that is missing in the other, larger cities. And while I can’t find the exact word to define it, I can use many words to describe it. In Richmond, there is an enthusiasm for fashion and design that is packaged in the effervescence of Southern Charm. Designers dress their models in well-tailored garments rather than self-righteous fanfare. Models walk the runway with grace rather than with angst. Attendees are enthusiasts who gather to exchange their love of the art and not zealots who gather for the opportunity to outdo each others. And while the larger cities most definitely have their benefits, being allowed front row access to the natural, beautiful birth and development of the Richmond fashion industry is an experience that I have fallen in love with over and over again, and one that I will cherish forever.
And though this may be short lived, I will relish in it until it’s over.
This issue is an ode to RVA Fashion Week.