[ A view of the top portion of the festival, taken from the chair lift by Instagrammer Caroline McCann]

It’s nearly one o’clock in the afternoon on a Saturday here at Gnarnia, and I’m just waking up, still wearing the clothes I had on the night before. I didn’t get back to my “roughin’-it” fashion tent last night until about 4 a.m., which was when I finally — and I mean finally — called an end to all the fun I’d been having in the artists lounge and trekked it back to the campgrounds. Wow. What a night..

A fashion student visiting from New York.

I began my festival experience Friday evening by snapping pics of cute fashiony girls spotted in the craft and artist’s section that lined the festival’s entrance. There were people walking about everywhere, literally dotting the sides of the mountains, and all were rocking their oversized neon sunglasses, glitter, sporty caps, ripped denim, fur-lined boots or sheer lace pants, tanks and bikinis.

I quickly ended up behind the event’s main stage, tucked away in a white building used for snowboard rentals in the wintertime, amongst twenty or so models and designers, all scrambling to get ready for what would be Gnarnia’s first ever fashion show.

The event, produced by Asheville jewelry designer and fashion photographer Jade Kale, boasted designs by On the Inside, Recyclone, ARTeries, Mamie Ruth, Cavortress and Tesla Jamieson. As the show got started I watched from the stage, looking out as the models boldly strutted out to an audience of screaming fans. The heavy fog and darkly lit mountains served as a perfect backdrop. Clearly, the Festival of Gnarnia was ready for a fashion show.

And there I stood wearing my trusty gray suede ankle boots, a comfy neon blue mini, sheer green tank, and an endlessly reliable iPhone that snapped all the pics you see here now.

Mamie Ruth

Cavortress

On The Inside

The fashion, music, and people.. all of it had taken ahold of me. I found myself gazing out at a crowd of hundreds, spotting fashionable ladies taking pics during the show, chatting about the styles with their friends. Wild flowers sweetly decorated one young woman’s hair while another wore suede boots and fur paired with an over-sized orange tunic keeping her comfort at a maximum and still managing to look exquisitely cool.

There was something distinctly wild and free about this festival. The people were there to cut loose and party. And partying is just what they were doing amidst the layers of mountain ridges, chalets, and low-hanging clouds. The music beat loudly in the background throughout the night and kept the crowd’s wild tempo pulsing for hours and hours of untamed and relentless partying.

DJ and Musician Mark Farina

The weekend of Gnarnia belonged entirely to the young people who made the festival happen, as well as those who made the festival their home for a weekend.

The style was certainly unique. Very Gnarnia and very East coast. What an experience.

xx-

Sonia