Although Bakersfield has a developing sense of style, it's nowhere near other cities, who can commit to an entire fashion week. So for now, we have Bakersfield Fashion Weekend, a new event that debuts Friday.
The idea of days of creative activities and local shopping opportunities had been percolating in the back of Claire Dawson's mind for a few years. The Bakersfield native had been involved planning events in the past but has spent the last two years focused on her home-organizing business, Clarify Your Space.
But fashion cannot be denied and when Dawson had to postpone her wedding due to her fiance's health issues, she wanted to focus on something positive and to worry less.
"People spend a lot of time complaining about Bakersfield rather than helping to change it," she wrote in an email. "But the past few years, there has been a large creative movement growing here. I have been inspired by so many fellow entrepreneurs and small businesses and I want to be a part of this movement to invest back into our city."
Along with graphic designer Rachel Ball and stylists Kelsey Woggn, Stacey Branson and Julie Villasenor, Dawson has spent the last five months bringing everything together.
"I don’t think I’ve gone to bed before 2 a.m. in the past several months because I’ve had to work late every night," she wrote.
As they brought on the 40-plus businesses — like In Your Wildest Dreams Consignment & Antiques, Kinley M. Designs and Cottage Arts — those involved started suggesting activities for the weekend. In addition to shopping discounts and pop-ups timed with Second Saturday gathering downtown, the event includes four creative outings.
Clothing Swap: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at The Idea Hive (1910 19th St.), attendees can peruse the gently used clothing, shoes and accessories for new-to-them finds. Admission is $5 for up to 15 items. (Those who want to contribute to the offerings, can drop off gently used items to In Your Wildest Dreams, 716 19th St., by Thursday or the Idea Hive through Friday.
Paint Night: Recreate "Dream Dress," an original Karrie Rhodes painting, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Corks and Strokes, 2623 F St. Suite M. Bring your friends and a bottle of wine or snacks to share. Tickets are $25 and include materials. Only 40 spots available; reserve your tickets at www.CorksandStrokes.com.
Sip and Sew: Make your own 13.5-inch-by-10.5-inch tote bag to take home in this class from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at The Studio, 2005 Eye St. Suite 4. Brunch and mimosas are included with the $80 ticket. Only six spots are available; tickets at eventbrite.com or by calling Jocelyn Dimaya at 889-1823 or Amanda Shaffer at 889-6655.
Fashion Show: Check out the latest from local designers and businesses at this show from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at The Noble House, 206 China Grade Loop. Those to be featured include Jocelyn Dimaya, Amanda Shay, Emily Lopez, Diana Perez, Lana Elfstrom, Kamnation Clothing, Tiny Particles of Light, Encore Boutique, Cottage Arts, Sonia's Boutique, Blue Stag, In Your Wildest Dreams, Vyllaso Collection, Throw Back Junction and Beautiful Sequence. Tickets are $30 and include admission, appetizers, desserts and one specialty drink. Visit BakersfieldFashionWeekend.com for tickets.
Dawson said she is excited to see how everything turns out.
" ... I’ve always enjoyed a good challenge and I’ve gotten to meet so many incredible people along the way. I’ve already received so much positive feedback about the BFW and I definitely would like to make it an annual event."
For more information, visit BakersfieldFashionWeekend.com.