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North Bay Fashion Ball Returns | Bohemian | Sonoma & Napa Counties

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New York, Paris, Milan, Shanghai and…Petaluma?! Yes. With the Met Gala still fresh on the world’s Instagram feeds, fashion is having a moment.

And for local fashionistas, there is no place better to be than the 3rd Annual North Bay Fashion Ball and Art Market. In Petaluma.

Thanks to the efforts of the Bohemian’s own “Locals” columnist and Sonoma County: A Community Portrait podcaster Cincinnatus Hibbard and fashion label director Lena Claypool of Buck Lucky Brand and Vintage Collective, fashion fans can see tomorrow’s looks today—or at least Saturday—at Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewery and Beer Sanctuary.

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The event is a direct, proactive response to the relative dearth of area fashion events and a means to support our emerging designers. Among the local labels showcased this year are Reprezent, Buck Lucky Brand, Love Morgue, Poofi Studio, The Princess Boutique and YLX Design.

“I think they’re all so great. They’re all totally different. Everyone is speaking to a completely different customer,” observes Claypool. “I think everyone’s working together in a way that’s really cool.”

The criteria while choosing this year’s lineup was simple: “Do I feel passionate about what they’re doing, and who do I feel can really connect with the type of audience that we’re looking to have?” Claypool asks. “Most of the designers this year have never done a fashion show at all and have a brand or have something that they’re just trying to show to the world.”

Complementing this year’s fashion ball is a pop-up art market of over 20 local makers and vintage pickers, as well as food trucks to supplement the Lagunitas burger bar, and live entertainment throughout.

Photographers will be on hand to capture the glamor and glitz throughout the event, so guests are encouraged to dress for the occasion (suggestions include anything from “cover girls to an alien or a stripper”). To that end, guests are invited to enter an “open call” runway for a star turn on stage and a chance to “win a crown by a call of popular acclamation.” All participants will receive a certificate, authenticated by the fashion ball, declaring them “officially hot.”

Of note is the underlying credo of the North Bay Fashion Ball—“fashion and compassion”—to wit, all of the profits from the event are given to Face to Face (Sonoma County AIDS Network), to support their 40-plus year mission to end HIV in Sonoma County.

“Come to be inspired,” says Hibbard, who will emcee the event. “It’s like such a diverse group of people, and it’s really cool to see what they take away from it, because everyone takes away something different.”

Perhaps even a new wardrobe.

The 3rd Annual North Bay Fashion Ball and Art Market itinerary includes, from 2 to 5:30pm, a free Art and Fashion Market with live bands and food trucks, and from 6 to 8pm, the ticketed runway show (with surprise performances), Saturday, May 18, at the Lagunitas Brewery and Beer Sanctuary, 1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. Tickets start at $11.11. For more information, including ticket links, visit instagram.com/northbayfashionball.

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