It’s been a grey day here in Syracuse. Maybe it’s romantic to think so, but a little grey, a little drizzle, makes our city look so beautiful. I love the way the darker skies make the neon lights of a restaurant or a bar shine so much more brightly as they reflect off of rain glistened downtown streets.
The architecture of our city painted against a canvass of darkening skies with the fading sunlight desperately fighting to break through the clouds creates a cinematic backdrop for the activity in our downtown streets.
Its always been so odd to me, I hear so many naysayers tell me how ugly Syracuse is, but nobody seems to have gotten that message to the people who are always taking pictures of it.
Funny thing about naysayers, they really never get a clue do they?
You and I know better.
Syracuse is beautiful, ask anyone.
Maybe even more beautiful when the weather is less than kind, as it often is.
Thankfully the rain stopped, the skies kinda cleared and a tent would not be necessary.
Our city streets are the perfect location for a showcase of the artistry of fashion and the spirt of a community. The kind of event that had it taken place in the larger cities would have required VIP tickets and sponsor relationships with coveted invitations.
That’s just not how we roll in Syracuse.
Everyone is invited.
The Syracuse Style fashion show on Walton Street, literally ON Walton St. is one of my favorite annual events. Yes, fashion is about beauty and clothes, and style. But it’s more than that.
It’s about what we create, how we display it and how damn good we look doing it. It’s about supporting our local vendors as the calendar careens like an out of control truck toward the winter gift giving season. For me, it’s a reminder that, holy shit, maybe I should step up my own game when it comes to the things I put on my back.
(I’m not giving up my Ramones tee shirt though, you can’t make me.)
Michael Benny is the perfect MC for the event, a man who wears a suit well and knows how to work a crowd and what a great crowd it was to witness the end product of all the hard work that goes into manifesting Lisa Butler’s vision for now in it’s 9th year.
When I got to my seat at the runway, Walton St was quiet, five minutes later the street was full of life as folks surrounded the event, clapping, attentive and appreciative of everyone’s work. The clothes definitely fit the vibe of the city we live in but all with their own unique take on that concept.
Midnight Sun with it’s funky unique take on fashion saying that we should have fun with our clothes, life is short. The Changing Room with their “downtown girl” confidence strutting to Katy Perry’s “Roar” like the song was written just for them. Newcomer Floridella Boutique showed off a stunning dress imprinted with a map of the world among their trendy styles.
Showoffs Boutique & Projex 214 featured some menswear that even a shlub like me could pull off.
Of course I am constantly amazed how models can walk down a runway, in many cases in heels, with lights in their faces, modeling sunglasses from New York Optometric and Bryan Sart’s Xavier Optical, without falling off the edge of the runway.
Ending the night was the electricity that is Michelle DaRin Jewelry, everything that came out on that runway popped with color and vibrance including Michelle herself. Take it from me, I write predominantly about music right? I know a rock star when I see one. Michelle DaRin is a rock star.
When it was over I couldn’t help but look around. I can personally attest to you that there was a time, not too long ago when a fashion show of this caliber, on these streets would have been unthinkable among the buildings that were abandoned warehouses and meat packing operations. I can remember a dramatic presentation taking place on Walton St that had a dark, noir kind of theme, they picked Walton St because it was so dreary.
But look at it now, vibrant, electric and active.
Syracuse is beautiful.
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