An outdoor runway, live mannequins and even the latest canine apparel are just some of the attractions at the Fall 2016 Syracuse Fashion Week.
Local clothing designer Lisa Butler is the executive director of the semiannual style-conscious events. Two years ago Butler realized Syracuse needed a more consistent series of fashion events, especially when she noticed increases in audience attendance for previous local fashion shows, with more designers and boutiques popping up as well.
Butler felt the timing was right to mount a fashion week in the Salt City. So in April 2014, Butler’s team put on five shows in five days, consisting of a gala, an underground fashion show and even a runway that featured cancer patients and survivors.
This fall, Butler is doing more shows than ever before and stretching them out over a longer time frame, with events slated for October and November.
“I think we’ve got the manpower, the interest and the people,” Butler said. “Fashion is a growing business in Syracuse. As I included more people, I got more and more ideas.”
Many upcoming shows are free to attend, with ticketed events benefiting the Food Bank of Central New York. Since 2014, they have raised more than $4,500 for the Food Bank. Every dollar raised provides three meals, which translates to 13,500 meals for those in need.
Several events will be animal-friendly, especially an entire show dedicated to attired puppies. The Dressed to the K-9s Fashion Show will kick off the fall festivities on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., at downtown’s Perseverance Park, at West Fayette and South Salina streets. Butler says handlers are encouraged to coordinate with their pooches as they accompany them down the “CATwalk.”
Next comes a staple event of Syracuse Fashion Week that began in 2009: Syracuse Style. The outdoor show will take place on the 100 block of Walton Street on Thursday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.
“Syracuse Style is by far the most successful (event). We had almost 900 people at the last show,” Butler said. “I love the fact that it’s outside and it’s actually an award-winning show. It’s a great way to get people downtown and it’s really a beautiful event.”
While being exposed to the glamour of the local boutiques and designers, attendees can also take in live music or get dinner and drinks after the show. The Empire Brewing Company has even served its signature drink during the festivities, the Runway Rose.
Syracuse Style is free to attend, with $50 VIP tickets available that include front-row seats, a gift bag and an invitation to the pre-show party at Empire Brewing Company, 120 Walton St. “Street seats,” available for $175 per tables of four, include reserved seating at either end of the runway, plus two bottles of wine.
The Downtown Committee of Syracuse partners with Butler to coordinate the retailers and boutiques for Syracuse Style, while also providing promotional assistance and volunteers. Alice Maggiore, communication coordinator for the committee, says the various runways of men’s, women’s and children’s fashion attire keep the audience updated on the latest trends.
“It helps show off downtown,” Maggiore said. “We really feel that downtown Syracuse is the retail destination for Central New York. It’s always such a fun night. It’s so cool to see Walton Street become a runway and it makes for good photo opportunities.”
The next event features an unusual location for trend-setting togs. On Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m., the 44 windows of the Landmark Theatre, 362 S. Salina St., will present clothes and accessories displayed on live mannequin models. It will be the fourth annual presentation of the window project.
Also that weekend, the style spotting will move indoors to the Marriott Syracuse Downtown Hotel for Fashions at the Persian Terrace on Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m. Brunch will be offered during this show, with clothes by original designers. Tickets for this chic experience are $50.
Bringing the fashion-forward entertainment into the following month, the Halloween-themed Syracuse Snarl will take place at the Landmark Theater on Thursday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m. “It’s my favorite building in Syracuse,” Butler said. “It’s stunning and we have to give it all of the support we can get.”
With a “fractured fairytale” theme, the Landmark show aims to bridge the gap between fashion and theater with a strong focus on hair and makeup. The event should also provide a starting point for designers to create their own Halloween outfits.
Syracuse Snarl will feature many local designers and businesses, including Boom Babies and Modern Pop Culture. Brittany Oliveira at Boom Babies says shoppers can expect a lot of prints coming this fall.
“We love doing fashion shows because it gives us an opportunity to showcase a little bit of our clothing, accessories and jewelry in different ways,” Oliveira said. “There are so many awesome local businesses that people don’t really know about because we have the mall (Destiny USA) and all these big stores around. So it’s fun for us as a small store to show that we can compete and show that we have good stuff, too.”
The final fashion event, titled “Nightmare B4 Xmas,” takes place Saturday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m., at the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion, 930 James St. The extravaganza includes dinner and a runway show.
“The mission of Syracuse Fashion Week is to not only make funds for charitable organizations, but to create a creative culture for people who live in Syracuse,” Butler said. “Our motto is ‘Always inclusive, never exclusive.’ We want to bring people together through fashion and the arts.”
More information can be found at syracusefashionweek.com.
Kayla Boyd is a graduate student in the Goldring Arts Journalism program at Syracuse University.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.
- Dressed To The K-9s Fashion Show
- Perseverance Park
- West Fayette and South Salina streets
Thursday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.
- Syracuse Style
- 100 block of Walton Street
- VIP tickets: $50
Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.
- Landmark Theatre Window Project
- Landmark Theatre
- 362 S. Salina St.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 1 p.m.
- Fashions at the Persian Terrace
- Marriott Syracuse Downtown Hotel
- 100 E. Onondaga St.
- Tickets: $50
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.
- Syracuse Snarl: Fractured Fairytales
- Landmark Theatre
- 362 S. Salina St.
- Tickets: $20 seats, $10 standing room
Saturday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m.
- Nightmare B4 Xmas
- Barnes-Hiscock Mansion
- 930 James St.