I had the pleasure of not only attending Austin Fashion Week 2013 but also the pleasure of photographing it this year for my friends at InFluential Magazine. In years past, Fashion Week would sneak up on me without much warning as it would seem and I somehow would miss it.
This year I was able to stay aware, submit an application for a media credential, get that credential and be involved. I was more than excited......and a little nervous as well. Paul Marcus Photos has been shooting in the Austin area for over 4 years now. We believe that growth requires challenge and fashion week would be a challenge for sure. Not knowing the fashion show protocols, where to stand, where to sit, lighting challenges, which lens would be the best choice at different times were all questions I had and was eager to learn the answers to.
Luckily for me I have shot some "fitness" fashion shows over the past couple of years and they are very similar except that the models are wearing almost nothing and have rippling muscles everywhere. But the fitness world did give me experience with testing my gear, choosing my place in a room, timing my shots etc. So with the blessing from my wife to spend a few nights away from the house....a feat of its own....I packed up my trusty Think Tank camera bag full of my Canon camera gear and set off into the world of Austin's Fashion scene.
What can I say now that the experience is over? First thing is WOW. I was greatly impressed with how each event was put together for efficiency. The planning teams should all get bonuses because I thought the venues, security, check in, and personnel were all awesome. I dig Austin's personalities and the smiles that flow here. I come from South Jersey and you all might know a little about "abrasive" easterner's and their short patience. In Austin Texas that doesn't seem to be the case. The people really make this place and are usually very nice, friendly and helpful to all. So that really helped me enter these Fashion Elite spaces as a rookie because I needed a little assistance getting acclimated.
At the shows,the fashions were top notch and interesting. On display were: Gail Chovan, Kendra Scott, Crowned Bird, Parrot by Sarah Parrot, Teddies for Betty's, Tess Designs, Ciarla, Linda Asaf, The Ross Bennet Collection, Stephen Moser, Rare Trends, Megan Summerville, Adrienne Yunger, Pearl Southern Couture, Sarah Eileen, and Lilly Lorraine. Make up was provided by Rae Cosmetics, Hair by Ron King Salon, and Styling was by Christina Facundo.
The finale of the week is the Austin Fashion Awards. The awards include a wrap up fashion show and this was a highlight event. A red carpet entry began the night and the guests poured into the wonderfully set up Austin Music Hall. Buzz was in the air and I could tell it would be a special night. After my red carpet duties I found my spot on the photography risers within the main room. A large, elevated, U shaped runway provided me with a great view. I would be directly facing the end of one side of the runway which provided me with an excellent vantage point.
Awards were given out to special achievers and trailblazers in the industry etc. My friend, neighbor and colleague Gerry Hanan of Hanan Exposures an awesome photographer and mentor during my growth in this business won the "Mash Up Team" photography competition in the Critics Choice category for the photo that he and his team submitted. See it here:
Stephen Moser. Mark that name down in your head. Yes I loved Kendra Scott, and Ross Bennett, and others. They were all FABULOUS. I mean that. Excellent. But you know when you watch pro sports there always are those that rise above the rest? A superstar? The MVP of the All Stars? Well that is what my take on Mr. Stephen Moser is. He gave us a peek inside his creative brain and wow.....what a wonderful trip. Stephen is a true showman. His show ran longer than everyone else. I didn't care. You cannot box or restrict an artist. I enjoyed and savored every pleasing second. With each entry of another model.....I could feel my soul asking.....what will be next? You could hear a pin drop in the room as this artist had us ALL in the palm of his hand. Each and every outfit had it's own time to shine while the models carefully, slowly, and deliberately took their time down the runway. They seemed to know that they were part of something special and basked in the moment.
Stephen's show was titled "Stephen MacMillan Moser Presents: Fashion as Theater: A Pagan Royal Wedding."
It was awesome. As my fellow photographer Steve DeMent said.....I had goosebumps. Steve said he was pushed to tears. I didn't get that emotional....but I could understand. The music selections that went with the models put everyone in the relaxed space that we needed to be in to receive what we were about to see.
Each model was excellent, male and female. They embraced their roles well. It was like we were watching a Las Vegas Show right in Austin, complete with sights to entice the eye: great costumes, fire, and even tasteful nudity.
The final scene turned out to be special for me as one of my favorite models Elle LaMont was the Bride in this production. She deserved the spotlight as Elle is simply stunning. I have named her "Austin's Salma Hayek." Equally beautiful and curvy with a great humble personality. Doesn't get much better. Elle worked the runways like a technician. Carefully selecting her steps, eyeing the crowd and rhythmically moving her arms and shoulders as she seemed to float across the floor. See her photos below in the Silver dress and white headpiece.
There are a couple of photos of me with Mr. Moser at the end of the post. Enjoy! Stephen: Thanks for the inspiration!