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Business of Fashion's spring show will bring lightness to hot season

Hackett House

The exterior of the Hackett House is pictured on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, on Sixth Street by Mill Avenue in Tempe.

In the middle of a relentless Phoenix heat that grows more intense by the day, Business of Fashion at ASU's upcoming spring show will keep things light and soft.

"Last year we were going for an edgy, grungy rocker type of vibe," Hannah Gur-Arie, vice president of BOF and styling coordinator for the show, said. "This will be more of a delicate spring show. We want to play up the trend of muted tones, neutrals and a delicate vibe. Even from choosing the venue, we had that in mind." 

This year's show will take place under the twinkling string lights and sturdy brick walls of the historic Hackett House on Mill Avenue and Fourth Street, a landscape well-suited to the show's attempt to find aesthetic balance amongst several unique designers and vendors.

Gur-Arie said she'll be pulling pieces from places like Shop Olive YouTed BakerFrances VintageDivaz Boutique and Grow Op

"It's a great assortment of places," she said. "They complement each other, but they're not the same type of style ... So for instance, one store might cater toward more girly clothing, so we go for an edge with another one to balance things out."

In addition to the opportunity the show will give local boutiques and designers to showcase their styles, Gur-Arie said the open model casting provided a platform for aspiring local models to gain experience and exposure in Phoenix, where breaking into the fashion world can be rather difficult. 

The fashion landscape isn't much bolder in Omaha, Nebraska, where the event's showcase designer hails from. 

Gur-Arie said Christopher DiGiorgio, a cousin of Business of Fashion men's styling director Cole Hawk, will be the primary designer featured in the event's showcase, which will start on the day of the show before the main runway event and will consist of models standing around the room donning DiGiorgio's originals. 

Christopher DiGiorgio at Omaha Fashion Week F/W 2015 from Dan Richters on Vimeo.

"His aesthetic fits our show so well," Madison Morrow, Business of Fashion president, said. 

Morrow and Gur-Arie said DiGiorgio's menswear showcase will allow the organization to continue branching out and attracting a stronger male audience to BOF and the Phoenix fashion scene as a whole. 

The showcase won't be the only thing going on off the runway. Morrow said she hopes the show will attract a greater audience this year, one that is looking to mingle with the local fashion community and gain valuable perspectives. 

"It'll be a lot different this year because we’re gonna have local professionals and be involving the community a bit more," she said. "We'll be bringing in local fashion professionals and helping students meet those people. ... It'll be more intimate."

Along with fun additions like a candy bar and henna booth, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and Phoenix Fashion Week will also have booths set up at the show. 

The Business of Fashion team has been chattering about the spring show since October, but Operations Director Bryana Blackmon said new aspects of the show continue to fall together unexpectedly. She never expected, for instance, to walk into a henna session at the mall last month and walk out with a new booth host. 

Other parts of the planning were more intentional and simple, and Blackmon said one of her biggest inspirations for helping envision the show's vibe was one of Pantone's colors of the year — rose quartz. 

A photo posted by PANTONE (@pantone) on

Although the show is inherently catered to fashion lovers, Blackmon said Business of Fashion is looking to expand its membership and fanbase, and hope students from all majors can find a way to get involved with their work and events. 

Allyson Taylor, Business of Fashion's communications director and marketing coordinator for the show, echoed this sentiment, but said the show will remain an excellent way for fashionistas to get their fix. 

"We're really trying to leverage all types of relationships," she said. "We’d love to have as many fashion-interested individuals there as possible, both students as well as the local fashion community."

Taylor also said the team's shared vision for the show is to see the group and artistry expand while maintaining an intimacy and warmth through the venue and networking opportunities.

"We want to grow it bigger and better every year, and get to know the students better," she said. "The vision for show this year is to just be larger than before but at the same time, have a smaller venue than last year."

The contrast of big and small is similar to the contrast throughout the show as a whole. 

"We want to be contrasting the lightness of spring," Taylor said. "Soft fabrics and neutral colors contrasted with bold winter metallics, details, leather, fur ... a different approach than what most would expect for spring fashion show."

Related links:

Business and Fashion: The Dynamic Duo

Fashion degree program to style a new generation of Sun Devils starting fall 2017

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