ArtRepublic Fashion Design Gala

Hi  Dolls, 

Is fashion simply an applied art?  

I would agree it is.  Art is expression and every day we get dressed is another day to express ourselves through the clothing we wear.   I recently had the distinct honor of attending the ArtRepublic Fashion Design Gala at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.  There, was an exhibit by Jacksonville photographer Toni Smalajic and the black-tie occasion contributed to the notion that fashion is an applied art.  The event was sponsored by Estee Lauder and the honorary fashion designer for the evening was New York City’s own, Alex Vinash.   It was definitely a riveting evening of fashion design and flashing lights.  

My only complaint would be the hideous wrist band we had to wear that took away from our lovely evening gowns.  At least it was blue so it sort of matched but if you’re reading this Art Republic, no wrist bands next time. 🙂

But any who, I grabbed my bestie and we painted the town, or shall I say, the Prime Osborn, red together! 


Before the fashion show, guests, dressed in their best, mixed and mingled over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails sponsored by Glenfiddich.  I ran into Tracie Franklin, ambassador for Glenfiddich, who I had the pleasure of meeting last spring at a Glenfiddich Whiskey tasting and she was just as pleasant as I remember. 

 My two favorite Glenfiddich cocktails for the evening were the Madame X and that really pretty pink drink, The Kiss.   The drinks were pretty strong but they were good and perfect for sipping whilst mingling. 

The specialty hors d’ouevres for the evening were these delicious chicken and waffle bites.  They were some what deconstructed because they didn’t look like chicken and waffles but they definitely had all the flavors of the iconic dish.

Of course there was an Estee Lauder step and repeat.  It was great seeing such a reputable brand as the title sponsor for the gala.

 In a press release, Estee Lauder Sales and Education Executive, Valerie Fazzingo mentioned “I couldn’t be more pleased with the partnership between ArtRepublic and Estee Lauder.”  “Through our fashion event and social media campaign, we will work to showcase the strength and beauty behind modern trends, and shed light on the fashion and beauty community in Jacksonville.”

Her statement resonates with me as a fashion blogger because there are lots of great things happening in the fashion and beauty community here in Jacksonville, that people need to know about.

Now you already know, I had to get in my photo op on the red carpet honey!!!


The backstage experience was intended to give sponsors, partners, and VIP attendees a closer and more intimate engagement with the designer.   I spent a great majority of the evening mingling during the cocktail party but I made my way into the backstage area right before the fashion show began.  Make-up artist Gregory Lawrence was already done making up all the beautiful models and guests of honor, but I was able to catch a glimpse of this make-up chart he “beat”!

Luckily Alex Vinash was still backstage getting in pictures with some of the models and of course I slid on in there for a picture as we all were being directed to the main room for the show.

We took a picture together and I even got a few giggles out of him while I was at it.  

I also met this lovely young lady who was rocking the heck out of this pant suit.  This was one of Alex Vinash’s designs and I believe it was made just for her.  It takes a certain someone to pull off this look elegantly and I think she did it perfectly.


I was pretty excited to have a front and center view of the fashion show.  I felt like I was at New York Fashion Week in my own back yard.  Reminds me that I need to get my plane ticket to New York for February.  I’m not sure if it was my excitement but I loved everything that came down the runway!  All of the pieces from the collection aren’t pictured but these were some of my favorites.  You can see a little more of his collection from the show in a short clip on my Instagram page (here).

For this show, Alex Vinash revealed his 2018 spring collection.  As I mentioned earlier, I loved everything.   For every look I uttered “I’d totally rock that!”.  His new collection features handmade textures and feather accents.   
I adored this gold and green dress.  It was so pretty!

  I loved the feather detailing down the left side of the dress.  Beautiful!

Oh…one thing I did notice is that a lot of the pieces in Vinash’s collection are cheeky!  Like I mentioned earlier, the right person can pull it off flawlessly.

Of everything that evening, I truly enjoyed the fashion show the best! Alex Vinash is extremely talented.  He is definitely on the rise.  In a press release he mentioned “I am thrilled to be participating as the lead designer in ArtRepublic’s Fashion Design Gala.”  “I am honored to get the opportunity to work with Art Republic and I am impressed with how their incubator program helps designers obtain exposure and to gain access to the fashion marketplace.  ArtRepublic is an important resource that helps emerging designers to reach the next level.” 
I definitely wish him the best of luck.  I won’t be surprised to see him in an even bigger light soon.  His clothing are phenomenal.  
I”m really excited about what ArtRepublic is doing.  First the Techism exhibit, then the Fashion Design Gala, and I can’t forget to mention all of the incredible murals that have been going up all over town.  I am definitely impressed by what they’re doing in the art community and I’m certainly a fan! 
As always, thanks so much for stopping by!


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