reFASHIONED heads back to the stage

The runway awaits

The Clarion Content is thrilled to report that reFASHIONED is coming back to the stage at MotorCo this Friday night. (*Full disclosure the Clarion Content is a reFASHIONED sponsor.) reFASHIONED was a huge hit in July 2012, packing the house and drawing rave reviews in local media.

reFashioned II poster

The Clarion Content delights in the success of reFASHIONED for reasons that speak highly of our fair city. reFASHIONED is led, organized, and driven by an amazing Durhamanian, Kala Wolfe. Last year, yours truly, the editor, had an opportunity to work along side Wolfe as she coordinated designers, models, hairdressers, photographers, stagehands, lighting technicians, dj’s, mc’s, carpenters and more. It was a pleasure to help it come off in the manner it did. Better yet that so many of the heads and hands pulling it together were part of our intimate Durham network.1

The runway awaits

The runway awaits, photo by Jessica Arden Photography 

However, it is deeper than how reFASHIONED is run and brought off by a great group of local citizens. It is what those folks and reFASHIONED stand for. In conversations after last year’s show with Wolfe, River Takada-Capel, owner and designer of the River Basin Outfitters, and Gabe Eng-Goetz, owner and designer of Runaway Clothes, it became clear this was about way more than a simple display of fashion.

It was already evident on some levels. Durham does not demand that its models be skinny seventeen year-old waifs. Bodies of all shapes, sizes, genders and races were on display. Tattoos were not air-brushed out of the show, they were proudly propped.2

The ethic reFASHIONED is built around according to Wolfe, Takada-Capel, and Eng-Goetz is rooted in the economics of fashion. The message is fashion does not have to exclusive or expensive to be awesome or the height of style. Fashion is not a privilege retained by the elites who can afford haute couture alone. Durham stands as an example, much like we do for the self-evident benefits of diversity. Fashion can be upcycled, recycled, reworked, and changed.

The Clarion Content’s own Cady Childs spent hours sewing and re-crafting fashion into her First Edition line, which was one of the hits of last year’s the show. She is returning with a new First Edition line this year.

First Edition, photo by Jessica Arden Photography

First Edition, photo by Jessica Arden Photography

Similarly, Takada-Capel who’s reworked fashions were one of last year’s crowd pleasers, leads workshops through her artist collective, the Gypsy Witch, to teach other folks, how to do-it-yourself. They are especially popular with the trendiest of the Millennials, fitting right in with the maker movement so present in this generation. The Clarion Content has met more than one young woman who raved about what they learned to do their old denim shorts through the Gypsy Witch.

Similarly Eng-Goetz, a classically trained painter and Syracuse Fine Arts graduate, turned to fashion in an effort to make his art more affordable for his audience. (Read a Clarion Content profile of Eng-Goetz here.)

Runaway Clothes photo by Jessica Arden Photography

Runaway Clothes photo by Jessica Arden Photography

This kind of upcycled fashion captures so many meta-themes about use, re-use, and waste. One of the Clarion Content’s new faves in the mass culture, Mackelmore, talks about much the same thing in his hit song, “Thrift Shop.” $50 for a Gucci t-shirt or ninety-nine cents from the thrift shop?

Now you won’t be able to get bargains at quite those prices Friday night at the market after the reFASHIONED show, remember these are handmade garments from professional designers. Last year some folks swept up by the start of the dance party breaking out where the runways had been moments before missed out on the market in the Garage bar of MotorCo. Don’t let that happen to you this year.

Enjoy the show. Purchase some fashion. Come back and chill at the dance party.

Clarion Content fave, The Real Laww, will be MC’ing the show.

Doors will open at 6:30 PM. Show will begin at 7:30 PM.

Organizer Kala Wolfe, photo by Jessica Arden Photography

Organizer Kala Wolfe, photo by Jessica Arden Photography


1At the end of the show runways have to be moved to the clear the floor for the dance party. You will never guess who grabbed the other end of the runway with your editor last year. Hint here.

2Includes Wolfe’s own tattoos.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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