Last year saw the inaugural Style Battle explode onto the scene in Grand Rapids, Style Battle fought its way to the top of year in review list around the city as a top contender as a new concept on the fashion scene. 2011 saw no real difference, Style Battle has emerged a winner again. Set against the backdrop of ArtPrize and, this year a gloomy rainy Thursday evening perfect for an indoor battle, Style Battle’s bell rang to get things started and a four hour bout broke loose. In its new location at The Intersection and again presented by Spotlight616, Style Battle 2011 was the golden gloves of the fashion fight in Grand Rapids.
The event again showcased local talent, fashion professionals, and independent clothing retailers exclusive to the West Michigan area. Style Battle 2011 ended with a fairly traditional runway walk, but in the hours leading up to that catwalk the teams battled for the winning style and look and photograph. The unscripted, unrehearsed battle was fully visible to spectators; each team collaborated to create five completed looks which were styled – start to photo finish – in a four-hour timed challenge.
The audience walked from station to station throughout the evening to observe each team as the creative process unfolded. Similar to ArtPrize, and Style Battle’s first year, the audience determined the audience choice prize winner; but this year a judged competition element was added. Judges also walked from station to station observing and dissecting the competitors’ styles and photographs. For year two, Spotlight616 chose The Grand Rapids Red Project as its charitable organization. A portion of proceeds from the fashion event went directly to this outstanding organization. Red Project provides HIV/AIDS education and prevention training, education, and support right here in the Greater Grand Rapids area.