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The Pin Show: 22 Dallas Fashion Designers And One Heck Of A Party
by Anne Bothwell 3 Apr 2015
Finale at 2014's Pin Show.

Finale at 2014’s Pin Show.

You don’t have to be a fashionista to appreciate the Pin Show. Thousands attend the annual fashion show, and they are there for the party, as much as the runway looks.  The event features the work of 22 Dallas designers.  Organizer and co-founder Julie McCullough stopped by KERA to talk about slow fashion and the far-out influences of some of this year’s designers.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Learning to sew

julie mccullough

Julie McCullough

JMI first learned to sew when I became interested in opening Make, which is a sewing studio in Dallas. I’ve always been creative and quote-unquote artist, but didn’t know what my medium was. I became kind of obsessed with the ability to make things with fabrics, whether it be clothes, handbags or things from my home, and found that to be my outlet of creativity.

What’s PIN Show like?

JMThe experience is definitely different than a lot of other fashion shows that are out there. First of all, we have 22 designers from all different genres. So, anything from eveningwear to streetwear, womenswear, menswear, swimwear. We also have musical guests so even if you’re not the biggest fashion fan, or have never been to a fashion show this is really more of a party, and fashion just happens to be the backdrop to this party. It’s very high energy, it’s not a sit down, stuffy, kind of event.

Up-and-coming alums

JMThere’s so many success stories. Most notably, Nha Kahn is a huge local success. She did Pin Show in 2010. Lucy Dang is another one who’s acclaimed and in numerous stores as well, and did 2012. Venny has won a national award just this past week, and is going to LA fashion week and he did our show last year.

“Slow Fashion”

JMYou can look at it just like slow food. It’s an artistinal-driven marketplace. It’s things that are going to be heirloom pieces or at least multi-season pieces in your wardrobe, made with quality, made locally. You’re supporting an artist and that artist is creating their craft, and putting all that time into it. It’s not just a disposable piece that you buy for $14.99. Part of being chosen for Pin Show, you have to be producing in your local economy, either yourself or an above average wage with a local team.

A video from last year’s show

What the 22 designers have in common:

JMThis year, actually, we are all 100 percent Dallas local. That’s a pretty strong statement; To have 22 designers local to Dallas on one runway, I think is a big deal. They’re adding to the fashion comeback here in Dallas, which used to be the third biggest manufacturing hub in the country at one time, with 157 sewing shops. The more we’re seeing these folks in Dallas not leaving us for LA or New York definitely speaks volumes  to Dallas growing and creating this art form here.

Buddhist monks, Sue Ellen Ewing, space aliens….these are some of the designers’ inspirations

JMYeah, as with any artist, they’re going to get their inspiration from anywhere. From travel… mine personally comes from fabric. It’s anything that makes them feel. Then they create that onto their canvas, which in this case is fashion.

So you wanna be a designer?

JMIt’s a lot of work. People come to us all the time and say, “We just want you to make this garment.” Well, there’s a design, then there’s a pattern, then a sample, a fitting and then there’s more. So, it’s not just something where we just sew one garment and there you go, you have a fashion line.
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