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Whether your idea of an attractive model is Christy Turlington or a Schwinn classic cruiser, one particular Second Saturday Art Walk event this weekend could be for you.
Exploring the intersection between bike culture and fashion, Velo and Vintage will feature local models dressed in vintage threads - no Lycra allowed - from local shops. Thus attired, they will then cruise down the runway - atop color-coordinated bicycles.
Nevertheless, with two shows Saturday night in the expansive and stylish space of Hot Italian pizzeria at the corner of 16th and Q in Sacramento, Velo and Vintage isn’t just about wheels and wedges. It’s about community.
Conceived in the fertile, bike-obsessed imagination of activist and blogger Lorena Beightler and midwifed by style-crazed blogger and consultant Kari Shipman, Saturday night’s event began as a way to connect local communities. And it has stayed that way.
“It’s not about us, it’s about our community,” Beightler said.
Beightler, who was born in Venezuela but lived all over the United States before settling in Sacramento, decided to stage the event based on her experience in the Landmark Forum.
“I created this event and started working on it out of Landmark (a human potential organization)," Beightler said, "and what you’re supposed to do is create something that you’re committed to but not attached to. You need to find someone who’s a leader, who can take it over if necessary. And I found Kari.”
Shipman was not exactly enthused after she met Beightler. “It was two days after I finished doing this huge, time-consuming event, and I was not ready for another one,” Shipman said.
But Beightler’s enthusiasm, and the fact that, as Shipman said, “Everything about it was what I’m all about,” added up to her rapid agreement.
Andrea Lepore, owner of Hot Italian, was an instant convert to the cause, and Velo and Vintage suddenly had a home. Downtown fashion photographer Juan Ayora and graphic designer Jake Favour both got on board, and a community soon developed around the idea.
So what IS the idea, exactly? Beightler is passionate about it.
“The ‘cause’ is celebrating Midtown, these communities and cultures in Midtown,” she said. And the center of it is the bike.
“The fashion show is really abut the bike,” Beightler said. “People hear ‘fashion show,’ but the essence is the bike. We’re promoting biking, community, living your life with the bike as a mode of transport. Not as a toy, not as an exercise tool, but as how you get around.”
Beyond that, like biking, vintage fashion itself is green. Not as in bamboo fiber, but in the sense that, as she said, “Vintage clothing is recycled. And it’s a recycled way of promoting being conscious about the decisions you make when you’re spending your money. We want to promote the vintage shops in the town, and we want to promote good thinking, good decisions about how you spend your money, and how you impact our world.”
Getting local bike stores and vintage clothing shops to buy in wasn’t hard at all, the duo said. And now that they’re involved, the process of putting fashionable bike and stylish rider together is continuing apace during the week before the event.
Said Shipman, “We’re telling the clothing shop owner, ‘We’re bringing you this model; you dress them to represent who you are.' Then we’re matching the model with a bike that coordinates with it. It all resonates.”
Among the bike shops participating are Practical Cycle, Dutch Bikes from San Francisco, College Cyclery, Bicycle Business and City Bicycle Works. The clothing stores include Bows & Arrows, French Cuff Consignment and Fringe.
And the models are part of the community, too. Rachael Lankford of Sacramento365.com, musician Autumn Sky and bike maven Brad Gleed are among the models. West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, who lives in the central city, will be the MC.
There will be two shows, at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday. For further information, visit
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108490159184471. Shipman blogs at http://juniperjames.wordpress.com/; Beightler blogs at http://www.saccyclechic.com/