Savannah’s Fashion Night returns to Broughton Street tomorrow evening (6:30pm – 11pm) with four fresh runway shows, live art, music, food and – of course – plenty of shopping. Amidst the interactive art activities and dozens of open boutiques will be two runways where Savannah retailers will debut their fall collections in shows styled by veteran designer/stylist Ashley Borders. To get a sneak peek into tomorrow’s runway shows check out our Q&A with Ashley below!
SAI: As lead stylist, what kind of vibe are you going for with this year’s shows?
Ashley Borders: The first two shows are mainly styled by the local retailers and their merchandising departments. The two finale shows that go on during the live bands are the ones I’m in charge of styling. Both finale shows have completely different outfits, but the same three themes. All three themes are very timeless – looks that can be worn season after season. I think that’s true style.. Looks that are not attached to a season or trend.
The first “vibe” is Californian, chic-yet-still slightly grungy. This look incorporates lots of layers and textures. The inspiration is a fashionable surfer girl/boy who just throws on cool pieces effortlessly making an interesting mix of patterns and colors without looking contrived; it’s totally effortless cool.
The second “vibe” or look is a more sophisticated English Equestrian/Christopher Bailey for Burberry inspired look. I wanted to showcase a more tailored look with tweeds/laces/leather. This is one of my favorite fall looks. It is a very cozy but sexy look.. Think fashion mixed with an old English estate.
The third “vibe” or look is simply a few all white ensembles and a few all-black looks.. I love seeing different textures in the same color fabric making a very simple, yet very dynamic outfit.
All three different vibes will also have an identical item that I have made that provides a concept that ties each together.
SAI: What inspires you?
AB: I feel like I am inspired by almost anything and everything. Inspiration can be something that pushes you towards or away from an idea.. I’m often distracted by things around me, from the texture of brick walls to the stain on a wood floor, to the pattern on a leaf. I also think that traveling is a main inspiration for me. That’s what is so cool about the world, everything is a form of art. To me, the biggest inspirations come from the most simple things, that way you can take that idea or feeling and make it whatever you want. There are no layers to something simple — your job as a creative is to build those layers and make them into something dynamic and more complex. Simple inspirations allow you to be the full architect of your own vision.
SAI: You’ve been a stylist and designer for about a decade now – can you tell us a bit about your process for putting together a show?
AB: I always start with an idea or vision.. usually stemming from something that I am personally interested in at the time. I always do styles of things that I like aesthetically. I never style from trends, unless I love that trend and think it will last a while!
SAI: Can you tell us which designers will be showcased this year?
AB: The great part about the finale show, is that all of the pieces and looks are from local boutiques and retailers. Everything you see on the runway was sourced locally! I am hoping to show that you can dress like you walked out of a magazine even without shopping in the larger cities! Some of the stores participating are Fabrik, Copper Penny, Half Moon Outfitters, Rivers and Glen, Bleu Belle, Palm Ave, Trunk 13, J.Parker, among others.
SAI: What has been your favorite aspect of working on Fashion Night this year?
AB: I am honored to be chosen as Head of Styling for the event; not only are the organizers putting their faith in me, the stores are as well. I take that responsibility very seriously and feel honored. I am excited about promoting shopping locally and showcasing looks that everyone can wear, afford and look great in — boys and girls! Hopefully I will inspire some looks that strike and excite the viewers and shoppers. I love making people look and feel good about themselves! That’s what fashion is about. I find it a blessing and gift that I can help people that way. When you feel good in what you are wearing and wear things that showcase your personality, it is a massive confidence booster and lots of fun!
SAI: What do you want to make sure people know about 2014’s Fashion Night?
AB: The event is Thursday, September 4. The first show is at 7:30 and the first show under my direct styling is at 9:30. Everyone should come out and support the local boutiques! If you spend $75.00 or more, you will get a free ticket to the VIP after party as well! There will be lots of vendors, music and fun.