Simon, GQ and IndyCar present the Luxe Fashion Show

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, Simon Malls partnered with GQ Magazine and IndyCar in last night’s SP 16 Luxe Fashion Show.

But more than just the upcoming race was on display, as the night acted as a reflection of Indianapolis’ dual presence in both the athletic and fashion community.

Such an event for the city has never really been seen before and the excitement of this idea was apparent at the pre-show cocktail party. Every corner of the Napolese Pizzeria was packed with the show’s guests who altogether made a diverse spectrum of fashion folk, Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Indy Girls, professional athletes and Simon Malls associates.

As guests entered the bar, a cherry red sportscar greeted them at the entrance along with several checkered-clad Indy Girls, busily snapping away with their polaroid cameras.

“It seems that (Indianapolis) is becoming a young, vibrant city because it’s continuing to do events like this and like the Indy 500, the biggest spectacle of sports,” Indy Girl Chrissy Day said. “It’s awesome that Indy can host something like that and it makes me proud to be from Indiana.”

Inside the restaurant sat Alex Kim, a sales associate at Anthropologie by day and a freelance fashion illustrator by night. Tonight she was the latter, live sketching attendee’s outfits in hopes of capturing some of the evening’s best looks, and they were plenty to go around.

One such was Matthew Kosine, a sales associate at Raleigh Limited Menswear, who mingled in a pinstripe suit with a vibrantly printed tie and pocket square. Kosine said the store worked with GQ to create some of the fashion show’s looks which he described as, “everything from casual chic to suite up chic, so just chic across the board.”

Another among the well dressed was Pacers player Glenn Robinson, who said tonight marked his first fashion show.

“I like to keep it simple, but at the same time I like one accessory to stand out. Tonight, that’s the hat,” he said, pointing at his plaid fedora.

The 6’7’’ Robinson was unmistakably a symbol of fashion’s role in the sporting world, WTHR sports anchor Jason Spells said.

“All the athletes tonight are all dressed and that’s what we see now with the modern athlete,” he said. “They want to play well on the field and they want to look good and be well dressed off the field.”

After a few drinks and appetizers, the party shifted across the mall to the catwalk where the main event was set to unfold. The show had quickly sold out, so eager fans and shoppers crowded around the walls, even moving to the second floor and peering down from the balcony.

The show began on a high note with four IndyCar drivers taking the runway including Simon Pagenaud, James Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden and Max Chilton. Outfitted in pastel polos, cropped pants, silk bombers and striking suits, the drivers were met with much praise of cheers, applause and a swarm of iPhone cameras.

The show continued on with models appearing in merchandise that could be immediately purchased from the mall’s shops after the show. From Nordstrom to Brooks Brothers to Tommy Bahama, the upcoming season of fashion was displayed in a myriad of white pants and navy suiting for the men and cut out one pieces and ethereal shifts for the women.

At the end of the show, attendees lingered to discuss the runway’s style, sample mini desserts and maybe get a picture with the future winner of the Indianapolis 500.

Sabir Peele, GQ Insider and the fashion show’s host, buzzed around it all, talking to the drivers, the shoppers and the other guests. In summary of the event, he reflected on the evening’s interpretation of athleticism, style and how the two ideas came together.

“Sports and fashion are synonymous. We had four racecar drivers here tonight who are known for being the fast and the best but their style is also becoming a part of their personality,” he said. “The athletes are becoming the cool, fashion guys and the fashion people are like, ‘we were already cool.’”

Image courtesy of Julie Valentine.

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