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Q&A: Finding Fashion in Detroit

Forget Halloween for a while…get out your best and get to Detroit.

This weekend, Fashion In Detroit promises to put the “right” kind of spotlight on the region, its designers and its devotion to design. It runs Friday and Saturday at MotorCity Casino Hotel with 12 high-end runway shows, celebrities along the catwalk and some good deeds. (More on See 10 things to do in Detroit)

Here's the skinny from Joe Yamin and Leslie Ann Pilling, two FID Committee members who will be running the festivities.

Background: The event was co-created by Project Runway's Joe Faris, along with Karen Buscemi, K'Kio Hardin, Lians Jadan and Leslie Ann Pilling to put a fashion spotlight on Michigan and create a venue that fills the needs of many locally based designers and the Michigan fashion community.

The two-day event will include runway shows by a collection of local and national designers, designer trunk shows, "Cheers Michigan" product displays, a VIP private reception and an Afterglow bash. Each day's admission ticket includes six fashion shows, gift bags, a souvenir guidebook/lookbook and eligibility for high-end giveaways. Fashion In Detroit will feature top models showcasing the best designs of Spring/Summer 2011. The spacious seating arrangements allow room for 700 buyers, fashion industry insiders, VIP guests and fashion lovers each day. (a portion of the proceeds go to Forgotten Harvest.) (More on See pictures of the remains of Detroit)

The finale show, Motor City Denim Co. from Project Runway's Joe Faris, will include local and national celebrities including Christy McDonald and Erin Nicole from WXYZ Channel 7, Lauren Podell from WDIV Channel 4, singer Karen Newman, rapper Hush and Detroit 187 stars Erin Cummings and Jon Michael Hill.

Q: Does Detroit (Metro area) have a particular style? Could you describe it or how various cities style themselves?

Yamin: Detroit has its own style and it is best described as ‘rebellious' but under the radar.

Pilling: Detroit fashion is edgy, couture, street style with an overall industrial sophistication with a modern edge. (More on See TIME's special report "The Committee To Save Detroit")

Q:  What should people outside of Michigan know about our fashion consciousness?

Yamin: Non-Detroiters need to know that Detroit Fashion creates its own style and is not afraid to step away from the national script.

Pilling: People outside of Michigan should know that we are interested in the global trends and look for the insight of designers both historically renowned as well as designers with up and coming designs.

Q: What makes our local designers stand out?

Yamin: Our local designers stand out because they create functional fashion whose design is not dictated by a national template or a desire to fit into a particular category or to satisfy a particular agenda but, on the other hand, their unique designs are functional, innovative and have a look that makes an impression. (More on Read a postcard of how philanthropy is remaking Detroit)

Pilling: Local Michigan designers stand out because there is such a tremendous amount of talented and creative people in this area.

Q: What makes your event stand out?

Yamin: The FID event, like our fashion designers, puts to rest the concept that fashion history cannot be made in Detroit. This is the event that did when the main stream thinking was ‘Not in Detroit.'

Pilling: Fashion In Detroit gained international attention in 2009 due to the fact that it was presented as a high end showcase for designers when the state of Michigan had a great deal of economic challenges and this was offered up a positive event to participate in. Fashion In Detroit 2010 stands out from last year because we have added the opportunity for designers to participate in a trunk after each days fashion shows. We also give opportunities for Michigan companies and schools to showcase themselves and/or their products in a space called Cheers MI where guests can receive complimentary samples and information. Finally we very much like to showcase new talent and that's why we offer the Design Competition every year for up and coming designers to apply to. The winner of the Design Competition is offered a spot at the next show to feature an entire collection on the Runway and cross paths with the likes of some big name national designers. (More on See a TIME special on how Detroit lost its way)

Q: If you could design the perfect outfit for one major Detroit-area celebrity -- who would it be and what would he/she be wearing?

Yamin: One celebrity: Joe Yamin in a tuxedo

Pilling: Tim Allen in a William Malcolm suit! "Arrrggggggg"

See more from TIME's yearlong look at Detroit

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