A throng of finely dressed fashion lovers drifted through Delta Lumber and Millworks on Saturday evening to see the unveiling of Essential Oliver, Austin’s newest apparel line designed by Tasha Petty.
Over three hundred attendees partied in typical Austin style — enjoying complimentary cocktails served by Republic Tequila and Treaty Oak Distilling Co. while grooving to the beats of DJ Jeremy of Learning Secrets before the fashion show started.
After waiting with giddy anticipation for nearly two hours, the lights cut out and the show started without announcement. Models with messy pompadours and punk-inspired updos strutted down the catwalk wearing 20 looks from Petty’s Summer/Fall men’s and women’s collection.
With the setting of the show being in an industrial location, it made sense that the prêt-a-porter collection was casual, androgynous and inspired by vintage work-wear. Pieces ranged from hand-dyed indigo blue and maca root pink t-shirts to navy blue coveralls accented with pops of floral calico.
Standout looks included a women’s long-sleeve and shorts romper in olive green paired with chunky platform wedges, and a men’s short sleeve button down top with colorblock accents on the cuffs, collar and pocket, paired with shorts grazing the thigh, sunglasses and boots.
Petty contextualized her collection by including pieces by local brands Paleo Denim (“I knew I needed more pants,” Petty said.), B.Stellar Jewelry, Teysha shoes, Satchel & Page bags, Fortress of Inca shoes and California brand Shauns Shades.
Despite the poor lighting, the audience remained engaged during the 10 minute show, snapping photos with their camera phones and hooting when a muscular male model came down the runway wearing nothing but a pair of navy blue trousers and boots.
At the end of the show Petty, wearing an oversized pink t-shirt from her collection, joined the models on the runway and gave a giant wave.
The entrepreneurial designer left her job in advertising and began working on Essential Oliver six months ago, investing the money she had saved from her last job into the materials (sourced in Los Angeles) and labor (sourced locally) that went into this collection.
What ended up being a hugely attended soirée was the result support from several Austin business owners. Wanting to mobilize Austin’s creatives, Petty collaborated with as many local fashion brands as she could.
“I really want to see Austin’s fashion community grow,” Petty explained.
Essential Oliver will be ready to purchase online at the end of the month.