The Nitty Gritty on Local Fashion

When something is described as "local," what comes to mind? 

The "shop local" guilt trip? Local farmers. Local musicians. A local fashion show?

Is the "local" label something special, intimate? sub par, amateur? 

Let's talk about local, Rochester fashion. What really irks me about a lot of local fashion events is that, often times, Rochester fashion events depict what is in stores currently, rather than what is being predicted for the the future. This means we are viewing merchandise for purchase, not fresh designs. "Fashion Week of Rochester" is the prime example. I got so pumped when I heard that there was a group of people trying to bring a Fashion Week to Rochester. But...

"Fashion Week of Rochester" cracks me up! Not because I scoff at the effort to increase awareness of the industry. (No, I applaud that!). Rather, it seems unprofessional and, yes, amateur to choose a title that DIRECTLY imitates the world renowned Fashion Week(s) of NYC, London, Paris, and Milan and yet so clearly has the exact opposite mission. 

Fashion Week throughout the world is a show case of designs a year before they hit stores. During fashion week, trends are acknowledged, analyzed and assessed. Designers garner inspiration. Merchandisers plan their purchases. Celebrities make appearances and the financial elite make purchases to have their hands on trends before anyone else does. 

In contrast, Fashion Week of Rochester is a local fashion event that encourages local business by showcasing what is currently in stores and ready to buy. It is an event for advertising, publicity, and a local celebration of garment sales to you and I, the consumer. No prediction, no trend analysis, and no Rochester designers are showcased. It's a nice enough event to show off your latest hair style and a sexy pair of heels while enjoying a fancy cocktail. 

Rochester, let's celebrate FASHION by exposing some of the unique designers that are out there making it happen in our city. Do you know that they exist? Did you even know that we have local designers? 

I would like to applaud Tanvi Asher, of Peppermint Boutique for putting together Peppermint Origins: Sewn Seeds, a local showcase of fashion DESIGNS this Saturday, April 27th. Tanvi, designer behind the Peppermint collection, will be showing her designs for this Fall 2013 in collaboration with designers Andrea Geer and Josean Vargis. This collaboration of designers is as much about the educating the consumer as it is about viewing the designs. As described on, "The Show will be more than a display of fashion. Origins will show the entire journey of the designers, documenting their processes from inspiration to finished garment."

Brava, Tanvi and the Origins Collaborators! THANK YOU for taking the time to respect the consumer. What to expect?

I expect some glitz. I expect to wear my latest hair stye, a sexy pair of heels, and have a few great cocktail, too. But, this is more than a glamorized shopping bazaar. Beyond that, I expect to be educated and invigorated to support local designers who have professional talent and a long term vision for our city's fashion culture. Let's go get some fashion cred, Rochester.

(for more info and to purchase tickets, go to