Frederick Fashion Week Schedule Announced

August 30, 2011

Downtown Frederick will once again turn into a fashion mecca when the Cultural Arts Center plays host to the fifth annual Frederick Fashion Week, scheduled for September 13-17.   Created and organized by the Frederick Arts Council, Frederick Fashion Week provides a party-like atmosphere that highlights fashion as a creative industry and art form.  A primary objective of the annual celebration is to honor the life of a local well-known fashion designer, Claire McCardell.  McCardell revolutionized women’s fashion and this event is still a celebration of her artistic influence on the fashion world. 


Leading up to the main week of activities, however, will be two preview events.  On Saturday, September 3rd, there will be a Fashion Week Kickoff Night from 5:00-9:00 p.m.  Local residents can bring their previously loved clothes and get ready to find a new favorite outfit at the community clothing swap.  In addition, individuals can also bring old T-shirts and participate in a transform your t-shirt activity.  Throughout downtown that evening, a fashion scavenger hunt will take place with participating stores and salons.  And at 8:30 p.m., the kickoff for the Rags to Runway Design Challenge will start, where designers will receive a mystery item they must incorporate into their runway-ready fashions.  The participating trashionistas’ will showcase their finished product, made completely from recycled materials, during a runway show on Friday, September 16th, when a winner will be announced.  The judges for the Rags to Runway Challenge include  Tereva King Adams from Adams Fashion Design Studio, Michelle Rappelt from Art Institue of Northern Virginia, and Donna Reamy from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Individuals interesting in participating will have two weeks to create runway ready fashions out of completely recycled materials – old clothes, paper, bottlecaps, get creative!  Designers may compete as a solo competitor or may form a design team to create an outfit.  The submissions will be judged equally, where they are designed by an individual or team.  No prior experience in fashion design is required to participate.  However, registration is required and there is a participation fee of $25.00 per submission to compete in the challenge. 


The final activity taking place on September 3rd is the official opening of the Fashion as Art exhibit in the Cultural Arts Center gallery and event hall, which features fashion-themed artwork by eleven photographers and artists.  In addition, approximately twenty sketches from the Claire McCardell fashion sketch collection will be on display at the Cultural Arts Center, courtesy of Kellen Design Archives at Parsons The New School for Design in New York, NY.  Frederick resident Nancy Whitmore has also loaned pieces of Claire McCardell merchandise for the duration of the exhibit.  And finally, photographs of McCardell and her clothing as well as replica cover of Look Magazine featuring the former Fredericktonian will be on display thanks to the Historical Society of Frederick County.  The gallery exhibit runs through September 25th.


On Thursday, September 8th, local residents can enjoy a night of shopping and pampering as another preview activity.  As part of “A Fashionable Night Out,” fashion vendors display and sell their work at the Cultural Arts Center, while beauty vendors offer mini manicures, massages, and more. Complete with liba­tions and live music, this glamorous evening is sure to put the fun back into shopping.  Featured vendors: Clinique, Frederick School of Cosmetology, Stella and Dot, Orange Cat Jewelry, Studio C Photography, Sylvana Institute, Showstoppers Jewels, Om Chakra, Alicia L, Shoestoppers, Michabel Salon and Spa, and Chic to Chic.


Frederick Fashion Week then gets under way on Tuesday, September 13th.  The first activity is a screening of the movie Zoolander, as the first of two Fashion in Film events.  From intense walk-offs as well to saving the Prime Minister of Malaysia from an evil fashion guru, Zoolander is wacky, absurd, and above all, fashionable.  Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume and participate in a model walk-off contest. Tickets are $5 or $8 for both Fashion in Film screenings.  A cocktail hour starts at 7:00 pm and the film showing is at 8:00 pm.


Wednesday, September 14th will officially be declared “Claire McCardell Day.”  In addition to a City of Frederick proclamation honoring legendary fashion designer and Fredericktonian Claire McCardell, local residents can attend a free forum and booksigning that starts at 6:00 p.m.  Katherine Kenny and Eleanor Randrup, co-authors of Courageous Women of MD, will be on hand to sign copies of the book, which features a chapter on McCardell.  Historian Caitlin Mullins will then give a lecture and discussion at 7:00 pm.  Afterwards, a toast to Claire will be held at Bushwaller’s Pub at 9:00pm, sponsored by Flying Dog.  The brewery is offering a limited edition tank top in honor of McCardell available for purchase.


Kenny is a retired faculty member of the Roland Park Country School where she served as the Lower School Librarian for 30 years. She is a graduate of Goucher College.  Randrup was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut and earned an AB degree from Connecticut College (then For Women). She and co-author Kenny have published two books, “Juanita Jackson Mitchell: Freedom Fighter” and “Courageous Women of Maryland.”  Mullins is a former adjunct faculty with Community College of Baltimore County and holds a master’s degree from Corcoran College of Art and Design in the history of decorative arts and specializes in 20th Century American costume and textiles.


The second Fashion in Film screening will take place on Thursday, September 15th with the showing of “Funny Face.”  In addition to the movie, attendees can attend a lecture by Holly Alfred entitled “Fashion in film.”  Alfred is an assistant professor in the Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Virginia Commonwealth University and is the co author of the book ‘Who’s Who of Fashion’.  The lecture begins at 6:00 pm.  Funny Face  is the classic 1957 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. This delightful film is about a fashion photographer who discovers a bookshop salesgirl to be the next top model. Take this wonderful opportunity to see one of the greatest fashion icons in history, Audrey Hepburn, wear marvelous clothes designed by legendary designers Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy.  Cocktail hour at 7pm; screening begins at 8pm.  Tickets for the movie are $5,or $8 for both Fashion in Film screenings.  However, the lecture is free and open to the public.


The signature activity of Frederick Fashion Week each year, of course, is the runway shows.  In 2011, there will be two nights of runway shows September 16-17.  Both nights will feature a mixture of New-York style runway shows, fusing independent designers along with our local clothing boutiques.  The Cultural Arts Center is the place to see and be seen when local clothing boutiques, salons, independent and student fashion designers show off their latest collections.  The runway shows are rounded out by a cash bar, silent auction, live music by DJ Synapsis, and entertainment.  Friday’s participants include The Nyvi Life, Stella and Dot, Reinvent My Wardrobe, Zebop, Joanie Jenkins, Blaqulux, The Temple, Frederick School of Cosmetology, Key City Roller Derby, Maia Modeling, Miss Senior Maryland, and the Rags to Runway Design Challenge.  Saturday night show participants are Simply Chic, Colonial Jewelers, Frederick School of Cosmetology, Aspire, Alicia L, New York New York, JcPenney Salon, The Temple, Soft Images, Rosebrook Studio, North of Nowhere, Chic to Chic, Plato’s Closet, Sky’s the Limit, and featuring On the Spot Makeovers.  In addition, performances will take place by Ryan Alexander, coach and members of the All Star Fusion Small Senior 5 Team First Class.


Each night, a VIP reception begins at 7:00 p.m. and the runway show will start at 8:00 p.m.  VIP tickets are $20 per person, which includes a reserved seat for the evening, one complimentary beverage during the VIP cocktail hour, and a swag bag.  General admission is $10 per person.

The past two years have seen sold-out crowds so advance purchase is strongly suggested.


All events take place at the Cultural Arts Center, a community arts space located in historic downtown Frederick.  Frederick Fashion Week is made possible by support from Macy’s, The Gazette, Sylvana Institute, 72 Fest, Text Design, Imagination Center, Gorilla, Flying Dog Brewery, and Plamondon Hospitality Partners.  For tickets, or more information, call 301-662-4190 or visit