News & Runway

The Fashionable Side of SXSW

SXSW (South by Southwest for those who don't speak hipster) may officially be all about music and film, but everyone knows when you get a bunch of creative movers and shakers like that together, there's plenty of fashion and plenty of peacocking for the street style photographers. Unlike festivals like Bonnaroo or Coachella, SXSW is held in a more urban environment which allows for fewer concerns about weather, mud, and second-, third- or fourth-day hair. Sixth Street serves as an indie microcosm for the scenesters that frequent the nine day event and is the unofficial runway of Austin, Texas.

Fashion has even started to make its way onto the official schedule. Last year, there was a runway show and a fashion expo, and of course the plethora of brands making their mark: GAP with event merch, Nike hosting a skate park and Converse and Vans both always having a big presence.

This year, there's a session on Technology and Fashion on the official schedule. This is less about the social media and gadgetry side of things, and more about innovation in production and manufacturing. The session highlights face masks that get the perfect fit using 3-D scanning, 3-D printed shoes, clothing that displays carefully designed lighting as art and interactive fabric that displays "print" words from Twitter and other sources. 

Courtney Kerr of What Courtney Wore will be hosting a Fashion and Style Blogger Meetup. She planned it to give attendees a chance to "mix and mingle with other fashion bloggers, discuss current trends in the industry, including best practices for keeping your content unique and engaging your audience."

Kerr wants to ask questions like: What are the best practices for starting a style blog? How do you stay unique and offer differend content? How do you decide how to work with other brands? How can you turn your blog into a business, and what's the best method for engaging and retaining your audience's attention outside of your style blog?

One of the biggest mainstream stories of the festival is the premiere of Green Day's documentary Quatro, the final installment of the trio of albums they released in the past six months — Uno! Dos! and Tre! This is most notable because it is the band's first appearance and performance since the I Heart Radio Festival where lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong had a very public meltdown which lead to his going into rehab for drug and alcohol abuse. On the heels of his revelatory first interview on the topic with Rolling Stone and just ahead of the band's rescheduled tour, it's a very important event for the group and fans across the world will surely be watching.

On the whole, SXSW is more about indie music and film, with over 100 stages for performances throughout the week and 133 feature films and 109 short films. 

image: Antwan Duncan/