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Thursday, March 30, 2023

For the second time, Gainesville Fashion Week has brought together art, fashion, music, cocktails and food for an unforgettable week.

GFW kicked off on Sept. 8 and wrapped with a party Saturday at Spannk. Four local boutiques, Calzatura, Wolfgang, Etc. and Dahlia sent looks from their stores down the runway, and designers Natalie Kim and Bobby K showcased their latest collections.

Boutique owners, designers and the organizers were pleased with the event and its 440 attendees.

"Turnout for the whole week was great," said Kyle Cummings of (PRNTHS), who works with Sharab Lounge. "We packed Sharab out that first Tuesday night, and it was the motivation for the rest of the week."

The Calzatura Boutique's show was full of mini dresses, chic casuals and flowing hair. The show was topped off with an '80s-inspired peacock jumpsuit.

The Wolfgang Boutique's show mixed classic styles with the latest trends like floral dresses, lace tights and ruffled tops. They also had chic menswear for the fall, including skinny jeans and bomber jackets.

Etc. Boutique's models came out wearing casual dresses with ruffles and designer denim paired with fashion tops and scarves. The show consisted of many cute daytime looks but ended with the perfect little black dress that should be in everyone's closet.

Natalie Kim's show was sponsored by Allure and showed off her '50s-inspired Game-Day dresses. Models strutted down the runway with Britney Spears playing in the background. Each dress was made to be unique, whether it was by adding a tutu of tulle, giant polka dots, ruffles or a sassy bow in the back. The models also posed on the runway with custom Gators cocktail glasses in hand.

The looks were sassy and combined knee-high boots and messy updos with girly frocks to add a little edge. The finale piece was a green dress with a train, resembling an alligator.

Dahlia's show had something for everyone: ripped jeans with plaid shirts, sexy black dresses and even a bright blue Loeffler Randall swimsuit.

Bobby K wowed the crowd with his "I'm In Love With a Robot" collection. The show began with a model seductively dancing in a cage above the crowd. Models sported everything from hot pink and purple mini dresses to black leotards with embellishments around the shoulder, and a few men's pieces were added in.

"I think the bulk of the hype went towards Bobby's show," Wolfgang owner Matthew Turner said.

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While clothes were the main attraction in the shows, it was hard to miss the bold makeup and hairstyles. Makeup came in all styles from '50s cat eyes and red lipstick to electrifying blue eyeliner, depending on the show's inspiration. Some featured hairstyles were sleek straight with bows constructed of hair, tousled curls and poufs. Sephora painted the faces, and a different salon styled hair for each show.

Besides the fashion shows, there were art auctions, cocktail hours and Gainesville participated in the global event called Fashion's Night Out.

The art show/auction was organized by Society Promotions and all benefits went toward the Eden Project, an organization to help burdened prostitutes in China.

Many of the boutiques saw new customers come in after the shows.

Overall, the week was a success, and according to Cummings, Gainesville can expect more weeks like this one in the future.

"Fashion Week brought a big city atmosphere to a small town like Gainesville," he said.

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