Music poured out of the speakers at the Vineyard Arts Project as the models walked between the rows of chairs to present the latest style in upscale late-summer and fall fashions at the Fearless Fashion Show last Saturday. Guests arrived at 6 pm, with the show kicking off at 7:20 and lasting until after 9. In the past, M.V. Fashion Week took place in the beginning of September, or mid-September. This year’s M.V. Fashion Week arrived a little later.
“I named it ‘fearless’ because it takes guts to walk out there on the runway,” said Trena Morrison, creator and director of Fearless Fashion and Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week.
Around 30 local models at the event presented fashions with the latest designs in late-summer and fall fashion from local businesses. Island fashion on the runway came from Katydid, American Rhino, June, the Green Room, Citrine, 20Main and Nell, and the Glasshouse, with Conrado closing the show. A percentage of the $100 ticket cost will go to the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. There was a suggested donation box, for samples of soap, body lotion, scrunchies, and zipper pouches.
“It’s fun to come here, back to my hometown, and do something fun and more relaxing,” said Maggie Lindland, a local model who’s been working with Morrison since high school. She had just returned from StyleWeek in Rhode Island.
Stylish fall outfits in the show included a combination of jackets, plaid shirts, and sweaters with jeans and leather pants, while the stylish late-summer fashion featured dresses and jumpers for women, and dress shirts and pants for men. Hair and makeup were by Talita and her stylists from CiaBella Salon in Vineyard Haven. According to Morrison, the Vineyard Art Project venue was chosen through a process of elimination, with some of the places she picked out already booked for weddings.
Islanders “don’t conform to any style or trend, it’s very carefree — they like to mix styles and trends,” Morrison said during a phone interview with The Times. “It’s very approachable.”
Morrison started doing two to three fashion shows under different names for M.V. Fashion Week in 2011, but stopped in 2015 to focus more on working on her magazine, Dressed MV, a local print and online fashion publication debuting in 2013.
“I wanted [the fashion show] to be for men and women who share a love and a passion for fashion and style,” Morrison said, “but also to bring awareness to the fashion industry and its practices.”
Morrison sent out invites to her contacts for the Dressed MV magazine via email. The turnout for Fearless Fashion delighted Morrison, with some guests feeling nostalgic for her previous fashion shows. The last fashion show Morrison presented was at the Loft in Oak Bluffs, and boasted a turnout of 350 people.
Conrado’s designer Angela Sison, an Islander, closed the show and presented an eco-friendly clothing line. Conrado is a family-run clothing design business based out of Martha’s Vineyard, California, and the Philippines, using only “deadstock material,” unused materials or textiles that sit in a warehouse before being thrown out. Conrado produces its line with deadstock material as a way of lessening their carbon footprint.
“Personally, I love Angela’s aesthetic, and she’s moving toward an industry that’s ethical,” Morrison said.
Morrison wants to slowly move toward eco-friendly fashion lines, and wants to make people more aware of what’s happening in the industry — while bringing a touch of New York style and mixing it with Vineyard style.
Morrison’s family moved to the Vineyard at the same time she was moving to New York City. Morrison took two weeks off to visit her family’s new place on the Island, and later moved here.
“I want [locals] to see a fashion show that’s done well, and I want them to see the Island’s fashion in a different light, rather than hanging on a clothing rack.” Morrison said.
Morrison created and writes for Dressed MV, a fashion magazine showcasing local fashion styles for men and women living on the Vineyard. Dressed MV is available in print, and can be viewed at dressedmv.com.