Typically, fashion events in San Francisco are over hyped and under delivered. Promoters like to throw around phrases such as “first ever”, “premier”, “exclusive”, and “best” when describing their events at a bar or club. They don’t think twice about appointing themselves with some made up titles awarded to them by some made up organization that is nothing more than a web page and Facebook page.
In the case of Eco-Fashion Show at the Bentley Reserve on November 18th organized by Yetunde Schuhmann, founder of SF Style, it was a little different. It was under hyped and under delivered. Prior to the event, there was only a few mentions in obscure events listing referring viewers to buy tickets at $24 and $65 a pop. There was no website referenced and the entire search-able content consisted of time, place, and price.
I had already written this off as another ho hum fashion event nobody will remember next week but since I was already in San Francisco for another event, I decided to drop by and check it out since it was held at the beautiful Bently Reserve. The VIP event was slated to start at 7:30 p.m. but when I arrived at 7:15, I found the entrance to be a barren wasteland. Four volunteers stood at a reception table with nothing to do. Upon entry, I found a vast hall setup with a long raised runway lined with chairs on both sides. As a photographer, the first thing I noticed was the complete lack of any supplemental lighting. Aside from that, the staging showed promise as it appeared to be setup for a large production serving thousands of patrons. Perhaps all of them were in another hall mingling with San Francisco’s fashion elites. A quick stroll around and I quickly realized this was a not ready for prime time event taking place at a premier venue.
The four featured designers were Oda (consisting of Angie Kim, Maggie Kim, & Mandalyn Begay), Lorian Lindsay, Ethos Paris, and a very bubbly Rachel Znerold. While I support the aspirations and hard work of new and upcoming designers, these designers were clearly out of their league in a venue of this size. I would expect to see the likes of Colleen Quen in such a venue. But realizing the space was donated by Christopher and Amber Marie Bently, these new designers are fortunate to have the opportunity. It was just a little strange to see the three designers with eight models in a venue of this size. The models were a mixed bag with a few on the short side as runway models go. Most of them were awkward and their walks lacked experience and polish.