Revival’s coming to the Magic City, but you won’t need floppy hats, cotton dresses or straw-woven fans waving feverishly for the occasion. Instead of a sermon, there will be fashion, dance and music. And Trim Tab Brewing Company will take the place of a big top tent as venue.
On Saturday, July 26, Harold & MOD, a vintage fashion and lifestyle shop downtown, is putting on REVIVAL, a fashion show that hearkens back to the spirit of the old-time tent revivals, but is much more than that.
“I love the imagery of the old tent revivals and the idea of large crowds of people forming in expectation that some important change is coming,” explained Milo Beloved, creator of Harold & MOD. “The REVIVAL campaign speaks to Birmingham’s new life that we can feel right around the corner. But it also relates in a literal way. Our clothes and jewelry are predominantly created from once-discarded materials that others find ordinary or plain, and it’s our passion to bring a revived life to those things.”
This isn’t the first time Harold & MOD has put on themed fashion shows. As a matter of fact, REVIVAL is a natural progression from their last fashion show, Bomb Shelter, which highlighted their Holiday 2013 wear.
“For Bomb Shelter, we imagined ‘going out with a bang!’ The idea was an escape from the chaos of the outside world. REVIVAL comes in the aftermath; it’s what we do when we see the broken world around us crumbling,” Beloved said. “I think Birmingham can relate to this — REVIVAL brings forth an expectation and excitement.”
Both whimsical and visionary, the varied themes of the fashion shows are a result of the many personalities who might wear Harold & MOD’s clothing. With each piece being vintage, up-cycled and often tailored to the wearer, no two pieces are alike.
“Harold & MOD is such a hodgepodge. When you’re shopping, you feel like you’re digging through five to 10 very different characters’ closets. The themes came before the clothes, though, and are used to tell a story, thereby making it easier to see why the clothes belong together. In a way, the garments represent characters in a larger story,” Beloved said.
In this way, Harold & MOD has become an artistic stage by which the garment characters play out their story — one that’s not limited to fashion, but speaks to the many forms of talent present in the city. The REVIVAL event will showcase the talents of musicians the Heavy Hearts, dancing company DANCEe / elizabethrossdanceco, custom jewelry makers Alabama Funk, and craft beer by Trim Tab Brewing Company — each of which has a story of artistry and craftsmanship unto itself.
“Harold & MOD has evolved so much from what I imagined it would be. Instead of just being a vintage shop, it has become a platform — a stage, really — for so many beautifully talented people to tell their stories,” Beloved said. “I like to think that the lifestyle aspect of Harold & MOD is more than decor and clothing, but rather a life of getting to know and appreciate the amazing people and places and art in Birmingham. Collaboration is what got us here, and now we’re in an amazing position to create a stage that showcases others.”
As a way to incorporate the many talented collaborators into a cohesive story, REVIVAL will feature a video — shot by another talented collaborator, videographer Tyler Sanford — that tells the story of the REVIVAL theme by using the song “Keep Your Light On” by the Heavy Hearts. When Beloved heard the song for the first time, he dreamed what is captured in the video.
“When we premiered our SummerCamp video last year, I had someone tell me, ‘I’m not really into fashion, but I can understand why I would wear those clothes after seeing them within the context of that story,’” Beloved remembers. “The REVIVAL video presents classic Southern imagery but points to a new hope. As soon as I heard ‘Keep Your Light On,’ I immediately felt it should be included in REVIVAL because, like the rest of the campaign, it has a sort of somber feel with anticipation that something important is comin’.”
The runway show itself follows a similar trajectory. Because it is a tale of renaissance, the color palette starts with black and muddy colors and finishes with bright white — “the new canvas on which we hope to present the feeling of new opportunities,” explained Beloved. Further, the REVIVAL collection is not ignorant to Birmingham’s sweltering summer heat, so the collection will feature lots of flowy, airy, lacy, drapey fabrics.
While watching the REVIVAL runway show, patrons should take note of items they like because they will be able to purchase the looks at Trim Tab immediately following the show. And after DANCEe / elizabethrossdanceco performs during the opening song by the Heavy Hearts, patrons will be invited to dance, so wear your dancing shoes.
And while you’re there, say a word of congrats to Beloved, because Harold & Mod was chosen as one of six designers to present a runway show for RAGTRADE Atlanta on August 23. Following that, they will be doing a trunk show in Nashville and working toward launching an online store in response to an out-of-state following.
REVIVAL will take place on Saturday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Trim Tab Brewing Company, located at 2721 5th Ave. S. in Birmingham. Tickets can be purchased for $15 in advance or for $20 at the door. For more information, including ticket purchasing, see the events tab on the Harold & MOD website or the Facebook event page.