"I'm not going to fight with the room," says Pin Show Executive Producer Julie McCullough. She's explaining her newly targeted plan for this year's massive fashion fête, happening on Saturday, February 23, and its exciting departure from the ordinary. "I don't want to pageant it up."
In 2012, we found ourselves absorbing Pin at the Fairmont Hotel, immersed in easy luxury -- chandeliers dripped lavishly from above as a formal runway jettisoned out. It was a highly-structured display. This year, models will hoof down the concrete floor of a West Dallas warehouse, heels clacking over the hum of generators.
The change is a response to something McCullough noticed while tabulating last year's numbers. Response through media (we gave it Best Fashion Show of 2012) and ticket sales were successful. But she found one area that didn't feel victorious. "We realized that we had very few walk-ups," says McCullough. "I thought: 'We better not be losing our street cred.'"
She sat with the idea, contemplating the class divide. She and her team (Bryan Embry and Mike Thompson) decided to veer off the predictable and build this year's production in a way that, while elaborate, would carry a minimalist vibe and be more inclusive. They worked with Trinity Groves to use one of its vacant West Dallas spaces; now they're preparing for an unconventionally glamorous affair.
All they'll need to accomplish that is: a 20,000 square foot warehouse, two firetrucks, a live soul band, 22 designers, a few hundred attendees, lots of booze and two massive live feed screens.
No big deal. They got this.
It turns out that when you aren't forced to accept the pre-fab surroundings of a rented ballroom, you can do whatever the hell you want. And that's exactly what's happening for Pin Show 2013. They found traveling bars that serve cocktails out of actual firetrucks, and due to the massive scale of the venue, one will be parked inside the warehouse and another will be on alert outside. There will be food trucks, exposed lighting and your choice of valet or regular parking.
She's scaled back the designers by a third, which leaves 22 artists total -- with all but one from Texas -- to send their looks down the deconstructed New York style floor.
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They'll parade along a teardrop path to maximize area occupied and grant everyone an upclose view. Meanwhile, each look will be projected onto giant live feed screens. They've built an elevated VIP area also, to add tiny encampments of swank throughout. And pivoting even further away from the old Dallas assumptions, the models will be sent out to the seductive soul tunes of the Danny Church Band, who will be performing live, rather than to a conventional DJ. (You might have seen the Danny Church Band previously, they occasionally play plush gigs in the Stoneleigh Penthouse.)
If McCullough's plan has one flaw, it might be the sexiness of the band she chose. They make everyone want to derobe -- those models will have to exercise extreme restraint.
That overlook aside, the fact that Pin Show 2013 is being cut from a completely new pattern is refreshing. Dallas, when allowed to lean on entropy, becomes formulaic -- in its clothing, personality and even desires. We need people who are willing to try new things; people who aren't afraid to work with the existing space to push fresh visions forward. I can't wait to see what loveliness is generated from this gritty experiment.
Click here to see the designers selected for 2013, there are only 5 repeats from last year. That's a lot of new blood on the runway. You can buy tickets in advance now, and even while you're standing in the check-in line. They cost $15 to $400. Scope the whole thing out on their website, doors are at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.