“Fashion is more of a look, it’s a statement.” And so began the sixth annual Her Universe fashion show, with host and founder Ashley Eckstein. Sporting a transformative dress inspired by Dreamworks Animation’s She-Ra and the Princess of Power, Eckstein first came to the stage in a hard-edged red suit which turned into an elegant yet powerful dress after a puff of smoke hid her from the audience’s eyes. Geek couture has once again invaded San Diego Comic-Con in one of the most inspiring and entertaining shows of the week.
— Wendy Lee Szany (@WendyLeeSzany) July 19, 2019
The show kicked off with big She-Ra vibes and casual She-Ra inspired looks. Designed with a younger audience in mind, made obvious by the younger models sporting the clothes, the looks were definitely pushing a comfortable feel that can be worn by anyone. At one point Eckstein and fashion designer Andrew MacLaine asked the audience to pull out She-Ra swords, which came in each audience member’s gift bag. It was a fun way to see all the excitement of the crowd all at once.
— AiPT! Comics @ SDCC (@AiPTcomics) July 19, 2019
Other themes included Harry Potter and Star Wars, both of which are part of the Her Universe line of clothing. Actress/host Tiffany Smith (Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal) joined the show as Eckstein’s co-host.
— Hot Topic (@HotTopic) July 19, 2019
Judge introductions took place along a fun video highlighting the work past winners made in designing the Hot Topic Avengers line of clothing. The audience was audibly hyped for these looks which can be purchased at Hot Topic right now. The Thanos jacket in particular was a favorite of mine.
After about 20 minutes the show kicked off. Each designer had a video diary segment pre-recorded from their homes while they were making their dress, which helped add a story to each dress. Each designer then walked the runway wearing their dress, which further added drama to the proceeding. It was fun to quickly get to know the designer and then piece together what they were working on with their final dress on the runway. The audience was often “oohing” and “ahhing” at the looks, some more than others. One such look was a She-Ra power suit, which looked a bit traditional at first, but then as the designer walked she shed pieces to reveal the suit underneath.
— She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (@DreamWorksSheRa) July 19, 2019
Looks throughout the show covered all things geek, from horror movies like It, to Star Wars and the Avengers. The three winners included Sarah Hambly for her Bodak Green look, inspired by Marvel Comics’ Loki, and Adria Renee’s Jurassic Park look. Check out Hambly’s look in the clip below.
— Rachel Paige (@rachmeetsworld) July 19, 2019
This year’s winning designers will start working today at Comic-Con on a new line for Hot Topic.
Other highlights include:
- Eckstein debuted a stigma-breaking design for mental health with her On Our Sleeves™ themed dress as part of her work with Nationwide Children’s Hospital
- In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the iconic Disneyland ride Haunted Mansion, Eckstein wore a custom couture pantsuit inspired by the famous Haunted Mansion wallpaper, designed by 2015 Her Universe Fashion Show winner Leetal Platt
The show was a blast and an inspiring one. From the designers clearly having a ton of fun walking the runway, to the inspiring stories, to the strong message by Eckstein about supporting one another, the show was a huge success. As Eckstein put it, “fashion reminds us that we are all on the edge of greatness.”