When walking into the San Diego Aerospace Museum on Sept. 9 to attend the latest incarnation of Thread, the quarter annual fashion and style expo, it was impossible to ignore the planes.
Life sized replicas of famous military aircraft loomed just over the dozens of vendor booths and clothing racks winding through the main floor of the museum’s atrium. An Apache helicopter, stuck in a permanent nose-dive aimed directly at the DJ booth. Misplaced to the point of absurdity, gigantic metal feats of engineering circled overhead. The 30-foot high glass ceiling cast a comfortable natural light across thousands of handmade pieces and independently designed clothing, jewelry, accessories and wallets.
Local salons set up impromptu hairdressing booths to further solidify trends for the coming season. Deliberately scruffy guys in tight jeans and teased hair mingled with young ladies wearing model-level couture, tossing around phrases like “fashion forward” and “cutting edge”.
The prominent design motif this season seems to be lifted graphics that have been shopped to alter the color scheme. Blonde Frida Khalos and purple skeletons splash across bright yellow T-shirts and thin cotton dresses. Heavy on the irony, most graphics are used in either quasi-revolutionary or faux-ghetto designs with vivid colors. Style itself this season seems to still be clinging to the heat wave that broke the previous week. Thin fabrics, sleeve-less tee-shirts, and short shorts were everywhere. Shoes mimicked the defiance of the heat wave, with simplicity the main focus. Slippers, ballet shoes, and thin sandals with little arch support were the most common gravitation.
Laura Mullen, a handbag and accessory creator that has attended all but one Thread event, claims that the styles and fashion lines that are featured at Thread events are trends that are just getting started. The event’s main coordinator, Laura Mathews, bustled about and was unavailable for comment, but showed her support of the trends by wearing local designers and summer styles.
Beginning at 12:30 p.m., an hourly fashion show snaked across the center of the atrium and along a miniature catwalk that jutted out over a fountain. Showcasing amped up versions of the trends being sold around the room, the fashion show utilized the bold colors and flowing, hipless skirts, which are already a hit. Each model’s hair was teased into a cartoonish version of kitschy dos like the mo (and faux) hawk, semi-mullet and just plain fried. As far as hair goes, the main idea was to keep it high off the ears and straight out of the top.
Although much of what was featured at the event could feasibly be worn out in everyday life, much of the fashion-forward trends and cutting edge couture can only exist in the world it was created. Sadly, the trends will most likely change next season as a reaction to the gawdiness of this season, with something far more subdued, perhaps school-marmish? Only time will tell how fast this fashion becomes obsolete, and how much. But even so, Thread will be there to show us all how we should be dressing in the coming months.