A Crowd-Pleasing Creativity Showcase
If you’re considering attending a fashion show, you should know what to expect! Fashion shows are often glamorous events where the latest designs from top fashion houses are unveiled. Generally, there will be a stage with a runway, as well as seating for guests. Depending on the fashion show, you may also witness some demonstrations or other interactive elements.
Before the show starts, you might notice photographers and models lining up to walk in their outfits. There is usually a DJ and other performers to provide some entertainment. As the show begins, you’ll see the models strutting down the runway, with the designer’s collections in full view.
The fashion show usually lasts about an hour, and it’s a great way to get a feel for the designer’s aesthetic. After the show is finished, guests may sometimes be invited onto the runway to view the collections up close. You may be lucky enough to mingle with celebrities and industry professionals, so don’t forget to dress to impress!
I experienced my first professional fashion show with the Festival Costarricense de la Moda (Costa Rican Fashion Festival), April 21-22, 2023 at the prestigious Hotel Barceló in San José. The conference room was darkened except for the spotlights on the center runway. Names of the event sponsors were projected in rotation onto the wall. Then a violinist came out for the prelude as the crowds trickled into the venue.
After several minutes of great music, the welcome announcement was made as fast upbeat music filled the center. Photographers hoisted their cameras, and even the spectators had their cell phones ready. The models were top of the line as they posed their way down the runway. Reactions could be “seen” over the crowd, ranging from “Wow!” to “No way … doesn’t work for me.”
I chatted with several people in the crowd to find out what brought them to the event. Accompanied by her mother, Alejandra, 16-year-old Sara wants to study design. She has been designing and making clothes for three years.
“I wanted to be exposed to the wide variety of styles to improve my skills,” Sara stated. I caught up with her after the show and asked if she was “inspired or tired?” She replied, “Both”.
Another inspiring 21-year-old came for the same reason. She has her own designs and her attempts to intersect with established brands is a challenge. You can imagine with all the young “wanna be” designers and legitimate designers in the funnel of fashion designers, there would be few slots to join in with existing companies.
Another man in his 40s told me he has already completed design schooling in Madrid, and has his own designs to promote. When I asked him if they were good, he avoided answering while his friend spoke up, “He’s too modest — he’s great!”
Other fashion show spectators were students from a design school in San José, required to take notes as part of the course exercise. Of course, it was an excellent opportunity for them to see first-hand the display of the varied styles and elegance offered by top-of-the-line professional designers. One person told me, “I just love fashion.”
So the event drew a variety of people of all ages and levels of engagement in the fashion industry.
They included vendors lining the hallway, showcasing their creations. Each had a story answering the “why” behind what they do. This can seem like the same for jewelry, accessories and clothes … but learning the backstory of the creator’s purpose and mission can produce a buying decision.
One company was promoting its non-profit endeavor that provides temporary housing for rural Costa Ricans to stay while they receive needed medical equipment. They had fashion accessories to sell that were donated by various fashion businesses.
A lady from “Imperfect” creates her jewelry with various life stages in mind. From new
chapters in your life, to the pain of losing a loved one, each piece has a story.
One vendor creates designs based on Bible stories — beautiful scarfs that depict meaning from the selected scriptures. Another vendor showcased her jewelry designs made from the silver of her hometown in Mexico. Each piece is a brilliant creation that echoes Mexican culture.
During workshops held on Saturday, speakers presented concepts for attendees to consider in the fashion business. Topics ranged from the impact of AI (artificial intelligence) to “What makes your brand different?”
The entertainment, variety of fashions and the whole setting provided for an enjoyable experience. Being one of the oldest, and only expat, in the crowd set me apart. But I was welcomed and enjoyed visiting with the people.
With the Costa Rican and Latin American fashion scene being so vibrant, it’s a great Howler content category for interacting with our worldwide audience.
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The parade of Latin American designers in the Costa Rican Fashion Festival was a success.