While our fashion community works to show the rest of the world what Nashville really looks like these day, the creative minds behind The Belcourt's nD Festival remind us that Nashville style has never been in short supply.
For this weekend's nD Festival, running Friday through Sunday in Hillsboro Village, The Belcourt chose four decades — the '40s, '60s, '80s and present day — to showcase Music City's timeless look and stylistic flair over the years. "We knew we wanted to do Nashville 'street style,' but we had no interest in just mirroring what an outsider might imagine would be Nashville street style," explains Cindy Wall, The Belcourt's marketing and development director.
"We thought the decades would help frame that — not in the sense of costumes from these decades, but inspiration from styles and sensibilities across time," Wall explains. "And it's also a subtle way to honor The Belcourt. The clothes that our audiences wear today were inspired by like-minded film-loving Nashvillians who sat in the same theater decades ago."
But fashion is just one piece of the nD Festival. The event, a fundraiser to support The Belcourt's educational and community engagement programs, is a celebration of independent film, fashion and music. Now in its third year, the fest directly funds the outreach work that The Belcourt does throughout the city, and it's made Belcourt education and engagement coordinator Allison Inman's job possible.
Inman oversees an outreach program that focuses on encouraging visual literacy in the city's youth. "Because field trips are special occasions for students, I bring a mobile theater to them year-round," explains Inman. This summer, Inman showed animated, experimental and documentary short films to students from kindergarten to seventh grade at East Nashville's Martha O'Bryan Center.
"We keep getting more requests from after-school programs and schools, which is exciting!" Inman says. "I'm so happy the desire is there, but we still have to manage the demand with the resources. I hope to branch out into other parts of the community and to keep those school buses lined up at the theater."
The event's honorary co-chairs, Imogene + Willie's Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, are drawn to the educational program the nD Fest funds. "We'd like to do whatever we can to further The Belcourt's platform and vision," says Carrie Eddmenson. "We believe that this event is right on target."
Eddmenson also sees the festival as an opportunity to encourage the fashion community's continued growth, drawing upon the resources of our creative community. "What makes the evolution of this fashion community so beautiful is the camaraderie of artists from film, fashion and music," she says. "These three genres, in their rawest form and drawing from each other, are redefining Nashville fashion. We don't have to try to be something that we are not."
A Patrons Pass ($225, which includes a yearlong Belcourt "Cast & Crew" membership; $175 for Belcourt members) provides admission to all nD Festival events and is available for purchase at belcourt.org. Individual tickets are available for all events except for the Patrons Party. Here's a quick rundown of events:
Hosted by Dana and Phillip Nappi, this cocktail party is exclusively for nD Patrons and sponsors. Friday, Sept. 28, 7-9:30 p.m. at Peter Nappi Studio
The Belcourt Biscuit Boogie
If you've always wanted to partake in a late-night dance party on the Belcourt stage, this is your chance. William Tyler (The Stone Fox) and Ben Swank (Third Man Records) will oversee DJ duties. Friday, Sept. 28, 10 p.m.–1 a.m. at The Belcourt; $25 ($20 Belcourt members)
Mimosas, Marys & a Movie
This popular nD event includes a delicious brunch from Puckett's, a showing of fashion documentary Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution, a Skype interview and Q&A with Versailles filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper, and the requisite mimosas. Saturday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m. brunch, 11:30 a.m. Skype with Deborah Riley Draper, noon Versailles '73; $25 ($20 Belcourt members)
Found Footage Party
Hosted by Third Man Records, this party promises entertaining and undiscovered clips that deserve your attention. Oh, and Chris Crofton as emcee? Yes, please. Saturday, Sept. 29, 7-9 p.m. at The Belcourt; $40 ($35 Belcourt members)
Fashion Show & Auction
This is what we've all been waiting for: a silent auction filled with goodies from local designers and artisans, fabulous food and drinks, music provided by Third Man Records, and Nashville runway style, featuring a catwalk filled with people you'll recognize from our community. Sunday, Sept. 30, 5 p.m. patron and sponsor entry; 6 p.m. cocktails, supper, auction and fashion show/live music, at The Belcourt; $100 ($75 Belcourt members)