“The Pin Show is a collaborative effort of like-minded creatives showing off our talents!”
On February 17th, artists alighted a runway with their fashionable designs in Dallas’ The Bomb Factory during the 10th anniversary of The Pin Show. Live music by Zhora, Sam Lao and Nite pumped up the crowds, while lighting effects highlighted the work of 24 fashion designers from the southwest region of the United States.
It was a beautiful display of diversity in all its forms from the designs, which featured elegant gowns, futuristic dresses, menswear, jewelry, hats and bags, to the lovely models that represented a variety of body types, skin tones, ages and genders. Some designs sparkled, while others popped with colors and prints and still others were simple and elegant.
The Pin Show was the brainchild of Julie McCullough, designer of the lines Folksie and McCullough. When asked why she started The Pin Show 10 years ago, she said, “Having organized events and established contacts with other makers, there was a need expressed for a platform for independent fashion designers that was not a street bazaar or club runway show.”
The need for The Pin Show is proven year after year, as it has offered Dallas residents, artists and fashion designers a great night to interact and witness fashion at its finest. Some of the most memorable designers this year included Charles Smith II who showcased his street chic “Do Not Touch” line, a provocative statement on police brutality whose profits go toward scholarships for Dallas ISD students. Austin fashion designer Laisa Macias of LALA was also in attendance with her colorful designs, which were inspired by her Mexican-American heritage and include bright dresses with stunning flares and eye-catching colors. She was featured at New York Fashion Week in 2013.
We spoke with Tavi Chavez of House of No Lady about the inspiration for the designs he presented this year. An outfit showcased by Dallas model Reese Davis displayed the words “Love Me, Love Me Not,” and we wanted to know why. This is what Chavez had to say:
“The collection, ‘Flores Marchitas’ (meaning Dead Flowers), takes inspiration from the song Tango With the Wind, and it speaks of the bittersweet affinity we as beings have with love. It dwells on the ugly parts of a broken heart yet yearns for the joys of true love.”
Molly Sydnor of Molly Margaret Designer showcased an exceptional unisex line that included amazing textiles and fiber art. She says that her line was influenced by light and architecture: “I was inspired by how the sun and sky hit buildings and how the texture and color look visibly different depending on the time of day. I dig the dualities of smooth and textured versus the different tones and depths created by time. On the start of a walk, the sky could be blue, and on the way back, it could be pink! That’s where I got my inspiration.”
While Dallas might not make you instantly think of a bustling fashion industry, Sydnor says that’s changing. She explains how The Pin Show is influential in Texas by saying, “I think it’s important for people to realize that even though Texas isn’t New York or Los Angeles, it’s still a hot spot for artists and creatives.”
Chavez echoes Sydnor: “In the digital era, fashion should be freer, instead of tied or exclusively associated with places like New York or Paris. Designers are establishing themselves in places that allow for affordable living and production costs, so don’t sleep on Texas y’all!”
As far as Dallas fashion goes, Sydnor explains: “The Dallas fashion industry exists, but I think it’s relatively specific to high fashion. I don’t think Dallas really has much experimental fashion, but places like The Pin Show recognize that and utilize us in their shows. I’m hoping to start seeing more innovation in Dallas… people who are not afraid to push the boundaries and be different!”
It seems that other designers feel the same way about The Pin Show. Radkeem Sims, a student at the University of North Texas who featured a great menswear line, had this to say: “The Pin Show has been the only fashion show I’ve participated in that really cares about the designers by giving us attention via press, media, buyers, a big venue and even an amazing production team to make the show run smoothly, making sure all our hard work and garments are walking the runway as presented.”
It’s clear that The Pin Show is bringing out a diverse community of artists and fashion designers, but while Julie McCullough has managed at the helm of The Pin Show for 10 years, she’s stepping down to let someone else take over the vision of the fashion show: “It’s been 10 years, and I believe every good thing needs a fresh set of visionaries to keep it going. This seemed like the right time for someone else to take it over and do their thing.”
While we will be sad to see McCullough move on, The Pin Show will continue to raise up Texas fashion designers, artists and the fashion industry in Dallas. As Sydnor says, “The Pin Show is a collaborative effort of like-minded creatives showing off our talents!” With a new visionary managing the show, we can’t wait to see what like-minded creatives bring to Texas in 2019.
Alex Temblador is a novelist and travel writer based in Dallas, whose work has appeared in outlets such as Oyster, Matador Network, Culture Trip, Huffington Post, among many others. She is @alextemblador.
Cover photo Sterling Steves