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Sacramento Fashion Week

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The sixth annual Sacramento Fashion Week begins Tuesday night at Mix Downtown, featuring 15 regionally and internationally recognized fashion designers. It is produced by Magnum Opus Enterprises.

Dolene Simmalavong, designer and founder of DOLZENROK, will show on Saturday night.

“Although it is quite difficult to juggle the process of creating a full line, launching and creating websites, attending promotional events and photo shoots while preparing for a baby simultaneously, it is definitely possible,” she said. “I am eight months (pregnant) and couldn’t be more ready to showcase for Sac Fashion Week!”

After the launch party at MIX Downtown, free workshops will expose the public to the runway experience leading up to two sold out showcases at the Elks Lodge Ballroom on Friday and Saturday night.

This year some of Northern California’s most cutting-edge fashion designers will show off their latest collections. Janelle Cardenas, who showed at last year’s event, talked about the direction of this season.

“This year, I believe, a lot of my inspiration came from both my mother as well as the ’60s era — again women icons like Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick,” she said. “My 2012 spring/summer collection, I believe, embodies the ’60s mod era with a modern twist and my personal style.”

The Sacramento Fashion Week also gives local models a way to gain valuable runway experience.

Controversy surrounds Maria Luna, the first undocumented model to walk the Sacramento runway. In December 2011, she was interviewed on National Public Radio about immigration reform and the Dream Act.

Modeling, for Luna is another chance to voice her views to a wider audience.

“At first, it was kind of a joke for me,” she said. “Then I thought, why not let it be an opportunity to inspire not just dreamers, but also women and even American citizens that they are capable of doing so much and that they are blessed to even have a head start to be born here.”

Luna will wear Gina Kim’s collection, Foreign Made, on Friday and Julian Gutierrez on Saturday.

Though the showcases are sold out, attend the Launch Party Tuesday night or any of the free workshops on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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