Tonight’s ARENA BIKINI fashion show is shaping up to be the event of the season, and not just because beachwear provides a respite from freezing temperatures. The annual show (this year marks number seven) focuses on one of ARENA’s dance projects—this year’s is the Mainstreet Project, a glance back to a simpler time when Mainstreet was the place to be. The show features three local design houses (Amyanne Fashions, TIM+THOM, and Jay Nelson and Anita Jensen of PERFECT FIT GEAR), each telling a different style story that gives a nod to a specific aspect of ‘50s fashion. Stylist Tim Creagan of Style-Architects sat down with us to talk bikinis, bouffants, and give some hints about what to expect on the catwalk.
So how’s it going to be different from a typical runway show?
Well, start by making that “runways.”
“We have two parallel runways, 28 feet long each with 28 feet of stage connecting them,” says Creagan. With seating in between the catwalks, audience members will be able to see the looks from a handful of different angles.
Creagan is quick to note that there will be plenty of other surprises in the show, too. “I like putting a little extra artistry and surprise in shows without taking away from the beauty of the fashion,” he explains. Watch for runway walks like you’ve never seen before, fun audience interaction, and some unexpected guests.
What will you see on the catwalks?
Each design team drew inspiration from a different subsect of ‘50s style to create their retro-inspired looks, so don’t expect it to feel like a midcentury beach movie.
“It’s all very modernized,” promises Creagan. He notes the wearability of Amyanne’s wide-sided bikinis and edgy details to watch for in the TIM+THOM collection, as well as the glamorous metallic and sparkle that can be expected from Jay and Anita. The looks will be styled to 1950s perfection, with not a hair out of place, heavy liquid eyeliner, and plenty of red lipstick.
And Creagan doesn’t suggest an exact replication of the runway looks, either. “Look at the outfits as a whole on the runway and see what pieces can work into your own wardrobe,” he suggests. Not only will you have a customized look, you’ll manage to avoid looking as if you stepped straight off the set of Gidget.
Tickets to the show are still available, so snap yours up and get ready to channel your inner Bettie Page or James Dean.