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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Change clothes and go. The sexy catwalk is all set for the fabulousness of the runway models who are about to stomp their heels into it. It’s Gainesville Fashion Week.

“We have an extended list of designers showcasing their pieces—the event has grown tremendously since last year,” said Melanie Ling, media relations coordinator of GFW.

The first two seasons of GFW held their runway shows at the downtown lounge. The event’s overwhelming popularity caused the show to move to the shows will be moving to The Vault at 238 W University Ave. The new, upscale lounge can hold about 800 people, said Tiffany Williams, producer of GFW.

GFW will focus on designers and boutiques such as Bobby K, Wolfgang, Kenneth McCraney, Mesh and Dahlia among others. All fashionistas will have their fashion taste buds satisfied with the wide range of designer styles spanning from a Colombian-based swimwear line to athletic Game-Day apparel.

Wolfgang will kick off the week with the first show tonight.

“It’s cool that my show is the first one people will see,” said Matthew Turner, owner of the boutique. “I hope to start everything off with a bang.”

Turner will be showing more than 60 looks in a collection of late spring and early summer looks. He will also show a preview of fall. Turner is excited to introduce a few new brands that his boutique has recently acquired. The show will include sexy dresses from brands such as Motel and Pleasure Doing Business.

In GFW tradition, the closing show will headline local designer Bobby K. His show will be ferocious and scandalous, he said.

“My whole theme for this show is glam,” he said.

Although he usually sticks with a more casual look, K said his show was inspired by Hollywood starlets from the ‘50s. He will be showing everything from floor-length maxi dresses to men’s swimwear. The dedicated team of GFW has been waiting to see its masterpiece come to life as the event has been in the works since September of last year.

In February, everything started to take shape with the open casting call for potential models. More than 200 hopefuls came out from all over Florida wishing to be one of the chosen 53.  But more than just the models and designers will be shining in the spotlight during GFW.

“This is an event focusing on design on all levels,” said Ling. “Whether it’s hairstylists or boutique owners, we are giving them a chance to get themselves out there.”

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The plethora of featured hair stylists includes those out of Salon 119, Tecnicolors Salon and Avant Garde Salon. Each runway event will also have a featured DJ who will be providing a musical spin to the night’s fashion.

GFW is aiming to bring what wouldn’t usually be found in a city where Tim Tebow is the closest treasure to the glitz and glamor of fame.

“Gainesville is an area that’s younger and upbeat with a lot of edge. This is the type of experience we want to provide to those who won’t go to Miami, L.A. or New York,” Ling said. “We are giving a level of experience that would usually be found at the larger metropolitan cities.”

Each night will begin with an opening performance, Williams said. Opening acts will vary from musical performances to choreographed dance pieces.

The events will be taking place for the remainder of the week and the finale runway show will take place Saturday evening. Tickets may be purchased on the event’s Web site at, where there is also a list of the designers featured for each day.

Prices for Thursday/Friday are $10 for the door and $15 for seating. On Saturday, prices are $12 door and $18 for seating.

Correction 4/8/10: The Alligator initially reported that tickets for Gainesville Fashion Week were about $20.

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