Style mavens who have seen films like "The Devil Wears Prada" or have been to New York's Fashion Week are well aware of the stress, attire expectations, expense and name dropping required for admission to most Lincoln Center runway shows.
Fortunately, Style Week OC — Orange County's version of the fashion fête — offers all the couture and none of the hauteur. Held at both Fashion Island and the Irvine Spectrum Center, Style Week OC promises a variety of free runway shows and other special events that anyone can attend.
Fashion Island's revels begin with their celebration of the national Fashion's Night Out event, from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6. Many retailers in the center will offer in-store parties, and the evening begins with a runway show hosted by Jillian Barberie Reynolds of "Good Day LA" and designer David Meister, who also will help women select their perfect dress from his collection later in the evening. (South Coast Plaza is hosting its own Fashion's Night Out event as well, in an unrelated event.)
At 7 p.m. the following evening, Fashion Island will host a retrospective fashion show featuring the past 45 years of style in Orange County, followed by Riviera magazine's 11th anniversary bash; those ages 21 and older can visit styleweekoc.com to make reservations.
The week concludes with a $50-per-person fashion show finale for those 21 and older at 7 p.m. Sept. 8, benefiting the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) on-site museum; it will feature the latest eveningwear and cocktail designs and Cadillac-inspired couture designs by FIDM students. For tickets, visit FIDMmuseumshop.org.
At the Spectrum, the festivities begin with its Restaurant Rave at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The second annual food festival is hosted by celebrity chef Jamie Gwen, and includes live cooking demonstrations and entertainment, as well as free tastes from the Spectrum's restaurants.
A Surf/Action Sport Fashion Show begins at 7 p.m. Sept. 7, including modeling of styles from Active Ride, Oakley and Vans, followed by in-store events. The week concludes there with a Spectrum Collection Fashion Show as well as the Cadillac: Contemporary Design Competition at 7 p.m. Sept. 8. "Project Runway" star Nick Verreos will host the full "spectrum" of trends, from jeans to ballgowns, along with a fashion design competition that combines Cadillac car parts and denim; the designs will be by FIDM students.
If You Go
What: Style Week OC
When: Wednesday to Sept. 8
Where: Fashion Island, 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, and Irvine Spectrum Center, 71 Fortune Drive, Irvine
Cost: Most events free