The annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration  and fashion fever may not be automatically associated in the brains of Bay Areans. But then, most Bay Areans probably are unacquainted with the work of Runway Couturier  -- the group behind this year's festival finale, featuring local designers from all across the SF fashion world, on Sat/18.
The show is what Runway's executive producer Fritz Lambandrake dubs a “little fashion show that could." But in actually, this is one catwalk that'll help small-scale fashionistas to realize large-scale dreams. Presenting various Bay Area designers, Runway Couturier promotes young hopefuls free of charge -- and even supplies them with fabric, courtesy of sponsor Linda Blake of Discount Fabrics. It is Lambandrake's goal to “to use fashion as a bridge between cultures and communities”, as he told the Guardian, which explains the show's presence at this weekend's Asian Heritage Street Celebration. The fair will also feature cooking demos, live musical performances, a car show, craft market, a blessing by Thai monks, and food galore.
Although Lambandrake's heritage lies elsewhere than the Asian continent, he says he feels honored to be a part of the event. San Francisco supervisor Jane Kim was the one responsible for hooking up Lambandrake and Asian Week Foundation, who produces the yearly street fair. "You should see her stiletto heels!” says Lambandrake of his well-shod politician connection.
Making their debut at the show three new designers: Sam Shan, Tina Maier, and Huab Vue. Shan, a 21-year-old Burmese political refugee, shows a collection inspired by the folktales of his homeland. Maier, a self-educated fiber artist, is a master manipulator of materials, and her collection is sure to be high-minded yet grounded, with a mishmash of thrift store finds, unique textiles., and re-purposed upholstery. Check out the AHSC site for a full list  of designers.
A preview of Tomboy Tailors ' highly anticipated genderqueer debut collection will stalk the catwalk, and there will be a competition for the best designs of the day, judged by a discerning panel including drag mistress Donna Sachet and Supervisor Kim.
Runway Couturier at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration
Larkin and Eddy, SF