The Independent Marketplace in Sand City has to practically reinvent itself every month, and Thursday's edition of the popular event is no different.
For its sixth edition of the eclectic event, organizers have piggybacked on the national Fashion's Night Out campaign to come up with a uniquely Sand City-type event featuring local fashion designers, stylists and trendsetters, but with a more grassroots approach that ties into the local event's ethos.
"The tagline for the Independent Marketplace is that it's an experiment, it's intentionally experimental " said Patrick Orosco, one of the founders and coordinators of the event. "An experiment in food, arts, culture and community. We wanted to be able to play and have respect for people's individual expression."
In the previous five marketplaces, people have been able express themselves in the areas of art, film, clothing, jewelry, music, even in street food, homegrown produce, handcrafted beers, local wines and so forth.
Taking its cue from the Big Sur Fashion Show, in which fashions are created from everyday items and nothing can be commercially bought to display, Thursday's event will feature a number of independent stylists, fashion designers, couture collectors and makers.
"We've invited a number of predominantly young stylists who haven't necessarily had a role in the public to come and strut their stuff," said Orosco. "We'll have hair and makeup stylists, body art, henna tattoos, a photo booth.
People are asked to come dressed in something that expresses their own personal style, to get their hair made up, get photos taken by a professional and to even have some of their own clothing be altered to bring a fresh new take on their wardrobe.
Local stylists and designers featured include Maddox Haberdasher, Erin Schekcher (of Foxy Couture) and Domini Anne, while Brian Bode of Oya Salon will do hair and makeup and Moss Media will set up a photo booth and take photos of the event.
"I'm hoping men bring in their own suit jackets, everything from the low-end sport coats to tuxedo jackets and we'll see what works," said the ever-adventurous Sands City designer Domini Anne, who calls her project an "interactive men's clothing reconstruction booth." "I'll take whatever they're wearing and make it different. I want to show that personal expression doesn't have to be expensive."
In addition, the TopShelf Boutique fashion truck (a fashion spin on street food trucks) will be parked in the lot, while Cat's Meow, a local vintage clothing and jewelry shop, will be on hand; Iris McWilliams will be doing henna tattoos, while outfits such as Copper Moon Apothecary, Fringe, Jewelry Art 'n' Stone, Bonnie Jean Feather Accessories, Sifted Vintage, Beadwork by Rachel Moody, Big Sur Jade by Terry Hide and fringe by Carrie will add to the whole bustling fashion scene.
The Museum of Monterey, one of this month's beneficiaries, will display pieces from its vintage costume and couture fashion collection; Foxy Couture will bring its collection of museum-quality pieces; and fashions from this year's Big Sur Fashion Show will also be on display.
And in keeping with the Big Sur connection, the Henry Miller Memorial Library (where the Big Sur Fashion Show is held every year) will offer a pop-up bookshop and screen the top five films from this year's Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series at 8:15 p.m. in The Independent Galley next to the Independent Marketplace.
Also, Big Sur old-timey string band Songs Hotbox Harry Taught Us will perform from 7-8 p.m. on the Market Stage (in the Marketplace), while BiG SuRCuS' Rosalia Webster will perform a fire dance from 8-8:15 on the plaza outside the market.
DJ Oshen will spin music from 4-7 p.m. and 8:15-9 p.m. on the Market Stage.
Of course, what would the marketplace be without all the food, beverages and produce that has made these once-a-month happenings the talk of the town?
Street food vendors this time will include Aqua Terra and Point Pinos, Uncie Ro's Pizza, Maha's Lebanese Cuisine & Catering, Toast and Cruz-N-Gourmet, while popular shops such as Salinas' Fluff Cupcakery and Penny Ice Creamery will be back and produce will be available from outfits such as Lonely Mountain Farm, Labor of Love and
Wrath Winery and Mesa del Sol Winery will be pouring vino, while craft beers wil be sold by the Monterey Beer Festival and Post No Bills (located in The Independent) and the The Drink Mixtress from Big Sur will concoct fashionable cocktails for the occasion, including Independent Margaritas, Vogue Vodkas and GQ Mojitos.
Social media, as usual for these affairs, will also have a strong presence: The entire event will be streamed live on ustream.tv; after checking in on Facebook, participants can earn prizes for the best Instagram photos posted to the Independent Marketplace's Facebook page as well as represent the local event by posting to the international Fashion's Night Out website at FNOLive.com.
To say that this is the most ambitious undertaking by the Independent Marketplace is an understatement.
"It's a fun way of saying who you are, of expressing yourself," Orosco said about the whole concept. "And it reveals what the marketplace is all about. We're quite excited because you never know what's going to happen. Seeing how things unfold is a lot of fun."
"I'm really excited, it's a real honor for me to be a part of it," added Domini Anne. "It's filling a huge void in the area and I hope other similar events spring up because of it."
Mac McDonald can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. GO!
What: The Independent Marketplace presents "Fashion's Night Out"
Where: The Independent, 600 Ortiz Ave., Sand City
When: 4-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6