North Bay Fashion Ball pushes boundaries and creates safe space for all

Local fashion designers joined forces over the weekend to put on an all-inclusive North Bay Fashion Ball and Pageant in Petaluma.|

Local fashion designers joined forces May 28 for the first North Bay Fashion Ball and Pageant at Petaluma’s Phoenix Theater to benefit Face to Face, a Santa Rosa nonprofit organization working to end HIV in Sonoma County.

To kick off the night, dancers from Santa Rosa Junior College and Isis Goddess Temple, an interfaith temple in Geyserville, accompanied by drummers, paraded around the venue “to create a towering cyclone of booty-shaking energy,” according to organizer Cincinnatus Hibbard.

Attendees, encouraged to come dressed in bright and bold outfits, then took to the runway for a chance to win a tiara in one of eight themed categories: tarot card, Met Gala, gender drag, pop/rock star, upcycled/recycled, festival wear, Y2K and miscellaneous.

Sporting a handmade rainbow bodysuit, Jaqueline Smith was declared the overall winner and was awarded an invitation to present a fashion collection at next year’s event.

A fashion show highlighted works by designers and stylists handpicked by Hibbard, each representing a different aesthetic and age group. Featured were designer Janet Aguirre, ethical fashion duo Mathilde Amiot and Joshua Thwaites from Big Mouth Unique, artist and clothing painter Alejandro Salzar and Buck Lucky Collective founder Lena Claypool.

The night ended with a performance by Yozmit the Dogstar.

Tickets to the ball were $15. Pageant contestants got in for $7.50.

The event raised more than $2,500 for Face-to-Face and an anonymous donor matched the amount. Funds raised will go toward the organization’s prevention and care programs, which provide HIV testing and direct assistance to Sonoma County residents living with HIV.

“When you break clothing rules, which define social identifications and roles, you destabilize those and perhaps create freedom ... it's an act of rebellion,” Hibbard said.

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette