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SignOnSanDiego (Nina Garin)

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<-- Back to Fashion Week 2008 Press


Escondido takes pride in Fashion Week




May 12, 2008


Escondido is really proud of itself.

EARNIE GRAFTON / Union-Tribune
Young ballerinas opened Downtown Escondido Fashion Week's finale runway show. Kids and teens were just as much a part of the show as the fashion.
The quaint little city best known for its mall and car dealerships just pulled off San Diego County's first-ever Fashion Week complete with runway shows and tall, skinny models.

And to celebrate, every Escondido bigwig went to Saturday night's red-carpet gala, including the city's most famous son, Ricky Lizalde from TV's “Project Runway.”

“I think this gives a different perspective to Escondido,” said Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler. “And it's special to the people who live here. We get to spiff ourselves up, get out and have a good time.”

But to any true fashionista looking for the Next Big Thing, the term Fashion Week was a little misleading.

Aside from a peek at Lizalde's upcoming spring 2009 lingerie collection, the weeklong event was more about showing off Downtown Escondido's businesses.

/ Union-Tribune
Escondido native and "Project Runway" star Ricky Lizalde brought his lingerie line to Fashion Week and give the weeklong event its most legitimate element of style.
Rather than hosting a bunch of runway shows throughout the week as they do in New York or even Los Angeles, Escondido's event had a spa day, a home trends show and a charity luncheon.

Still, each event had between 400 and 500 attendees, including the sold-out closing-night gala.

“This is a fun, community event,” Lizalde said during a pre-party that featured cocktails and food samples from local restaurants. “When I was growing up here, there was nothing like this. And I think this shows kids that they can dream big and be creative.”

So at the grand finale runway show, ballerinas and an energetic dance crew were given just as much of a spotlight as the local labels, Miriam J. Collection and Bridals by Susanti.

Along with models walking the squarish catwalk in short shorts and flowy tops, the show also featured silent skits, like a faux wedding to showcase the surprisingly beautiful bridal collection and angsty teens in Old Navyesque T-shirts dancing to Green Day.

San Marcos teen Miranda Haymore, 16, had front-row seats to the hour-long show. She was there with her sister, Marissa Haymore, 14, and her friend Britta Bjork, 13.


The three girls wearing jewel-toned dresses were among the more fashionable in the large crowd that included councilmen and business owners.

“I've never been to a fashion show,” said Miranda Haymore.

“It's my number one passion,” said Britta Bjork.

But the girls got more of a lesson in community pride as seemingly everyone who had anything to do with the Downtown Escondido Fashion Week had a chance to walk the runway.

Like the sponsors! And the council! And the fire marshal! And, um, are those the security guards? Yes. Yes they are.

So it wasn't quite the chic event that it was billed as, but it certainly boosted the pride of a once-quiet city in the North.

EARNIE GRAFTON / Union-Tribune
Fashionable San Marcos teens (from left) Marissa Haymore, Miranda Haymore and Britta Bjork like designer Steve Madden and model Twiggy. This was their first fashion show.

EARNIE GRAFTON / Union-Tribune
Bridals by Susanti showcased its romantic collection of wedding gowns and formal wear to a standing-room audience at Downtown Escondido Fashion Week.

EARNIE GRAFTON / Union-Tribune
Miriam J. Collection was one of the local labels represented during the fashion show. The program also featured clothes from area boutiques.

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