Nashville’s Collaborative Fashion Showcase

On Saturday, October 5, I packed up a few of my designs and headed up the road to Nashville, Tennessee for a Regional Collaborative Fashion Show.

The show was organized by Hill and Hollow Farm and Fiber Farm, in conjunction with The Southern Appalachia Fiber Shed. It was hosted by The Nashville Food Project.

Both Hill and Hollow Farm and Fiber Farm are local artisan farms (in KY and TN respectively) and are leading the charge in a grass roots effort to shift the needle away from the monstrosity that is “fast fashion” and look toward a more sustainable future.

The Southern Appalachia Fiber Shed is a nonprofit that consists of regional fiber artists ranging from fiber producers, spinners, dyers, and makers.

The Nashville Food Project is a downtown based food cooperative whose primary focus is to bring organic, locally grown foods to communities without access.

The colors of the region

The central theme of this showcase was sustainability. The goal was to bring together as many regional textile artists and designers who all share a common passion of reducing the epidemic of consumerism yet still maintain a thriving trade. These creative souls traveled from Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and even one recent NYC transplant (welcome to the South girlfriend!)

If you have visited our About Us page, you already know Maggie May Clothing is committed to sustainability, community engagement, and eco friendly practices. For my piece, I showcased an 1830s era gown made in period style but shortened to the knee for modern day wear. The dress was made of 100% cotton salvaged from industry deadstock. The buttons were thrifted, and the ribbon belt is part of my vintage collection. The matching platter hat is made from eco-friendly straw and trimmed with the abstracted florals fashioned from reclaimed silk shantung. The center fringes were made from the fabric’s selvage.

There has been much chatter amongst the historical clothing community of late regarding integrating historical pieces into one’s everyday wardrobe. For those of us who have been doing this a while, this is not really a new idea, but now seems to be picking up steam.

Evidence of this momentum comes from the world’s fascination with the latest Instagram sensation Zack Pinsent, who goes full on with his 100% historical mode of dress. Another example is Instagram’s Bernadette Banner, who mixes upcycled and reclaimed vintage. But I have yet to see anyone really take a historical garment and adapt it for the modern wear. So that’s what I did with my pieces.

A 1830s work woman’s dress in modern warm plum floral cotton burn out salvaged from the industry’s dead stock

For this show, I was curious how a historical dress, simply shortened for modern wear, would be received amongst a larger community. I felt this was a perfect setting to “test the waters”- as these local fashionistas are already tuned in to alternative fashion but were not necessarily historical clothing enthusiasts.

The rustic circular florals adorn a straw platter style hat- lending themselves to the look and feel of sea anemones

The Collaborative Fashion Showcase drew a crowd that filled the gallery. Attendees varied in demographic and included models, fashion patrons, farmers, and foodies.

Our lovely hostesses introducing themselves
It was a packed house
A gorgeous hand crafted ocean inspired shawl-lette spun and then dyed with lichen. And my favorite- a walnut dyed layered cotton dress over dyed with iron to create a visual texture.
Gorgeous Saxon blue gown with textured accents! Stunning!
A fantastic barrage of color and pattern with this naturally dyed coat.
We often forget how vibrant and bright natural dyes can be!

So how did the 1830s era dress with matching begere styled for modern wear go over? In short, they were an overwhelming success. Looks like it’s a win for modern- vintage! And it’s a win for sustainable fashion!

A huge thank you to Robin at Hill and Hollow Farm, Kacie at Fiber Farm, The Southern Appalachia Fibershed, and The Nashville Food Project for inviting MMC to participate in this fantastic event! And of course, thank you to the gorgeous Ava for modeling my designs!

See more of our modern vintage inspiration on our Pinterest page

Our hosts: FiberFarm, Hill and Hollow Farm, The Southern Appalachia Fibershed, The Nashville Food Project

Learn more about Maggie May Clothing

About Susan

My interest in historical costume began at a very early age. I knew by age 5 I wanted to be a designer. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to turn my passion into a full time business. You can find my costumes onstage in NYC, on the big screen, and in museums around the globe.