By Diana Cavagnaro
When history and fashion collide
The Villa Montezuma is an incredible Queen Anne Victorian mansion located in the heart of Sherman Heights near Downtown.
This magnificent mansion, built in 1887, is also known as the Jesse Shepard House. For the last 10 years, this museum has been closed but recently reopened on April 16 for a special day of tours. Louise Torio, chair of the Friends of the Villa Montezuma (FOVM), Inc. was onhand to greet everyone who attended. Free tours were given every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. – noon.
The amazing docents were David Janisch, who is a member of FOVM, and Charles Spratley, vice chair of FOVM and author of “Piercing the Veil.” They gave excellent stories about Jesse Shepard, the music, the art, and the literature that took place in this lovely Victorian home.
As an added bonus, the Villa collaborated with the top four student designers from Fashion Redux, for a recent event presented by the San Diego History Center and San Diego Mesa College. This year, the competition was focused on the 1890s, which fit perfectly into this Victorian house tour, and the top four garments were displayed throughout the house.
Nada Zein and Lina Mills were in the music room and each discussed their inspiration for their garments. Cherry Doung was unable to attend, so Gabe Selak, public programs manager at San Diego History Center, discussed Doung’s inspiration in the drawing room. Megan Sheffield presented the final garment in the Tonner’s Suite.
All the designers spoke about their journey that began with their Victorian inspiration and concluding with the creation of their contemporary clothing. To keep abreast of new goings on with the Villa and Friends of Villa Montezuma, visit VillaMontezumaMuseum.org.
Who made my clothes?
A Fashion Revolution was held at the Crow Thief on April 22. The concept for the event began on April 24, 2013, when over 1,000 people were tragically killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed. As a result, the Fashion Revolution was born on this day all over the world, with people demanding change in the business and bringing attention to the need for a cleaner and more equitable fashion industry.
Awareness to the cause led to the idea of transforming the industry by asking the question, “Who made my clothes?” There are now 80 countries worldwide that take part in the Fashion Revolution Week that runs April 18 – 24.
San Diego’s Fashion Revolution was organized by designers Carmen Artigas, Melissa Hendrix, Kestrel Jenkins and Anna Tychinskaya. In recognition of this important date, they organized pop-up designers so patrons could come and “meet the faces behind your clothes” and in this case the local designers featured.
Participating designers included Alizee Hazan from Ekzo who brought lovely cashmere scarves and T-shirts and Mathew Hickey from Be Kind Vibes presented American-made, eco-friendly apparel and accessories. Other artists included Abraham Voytek from Dixon Rand who showed his amazing Western Inspired Apparel and Accessories and Eliza Sloane displayed her Bohemian Mermaid By Hand Jewelry. More handcrafted items were exhibited by Holly Stavnes from Hera By Day who brought her turbans and accessories, and Thomas Brierton from Bryer Leather.
Brierton specializes in luxury leather goods and presented his exquisite duffle bags, handbags, and wallets. For all of you who enjoy wearing hats, Jon Kastris from the Feather Barber displayed his cool accessories for hats and Marc Sanchez from Reeco showed off his marvelous handcrafted up-cycled surfboards.
All guests finished up the fun evening with a SoNo photo booth. If you missed this awesome event, stay tuned for next year’s event, by following FashionRevolution.com
May 15 | FWSD16 Spring Showcase — Fashion Week’s spring showcase is here from 6 – 9 p.m. at Harrah’s Resort Southern California, 777 Valley Center Road in Valley Center. For more information, visit fashionweeksd.com
May 26 | FAB Authority — Presents Becoming a Creative Entrepreneur Workshop featuring artist and designer Clarione Gutierrez at FIDM San Diego, located at 350 10th Ave., #300, Downtown, at 6 p.m. The event is free so RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.