A highly-publicized rave at the Ghost Ship warehouse, with electronic music by Golden Donna 100% Silk troup in Oakland, California, turned into an unthinkable tragedy Friday evening. Fire broke out, trapping music fans in the maze of the building where artists worked and lived, and electronic musical events such as this were held. So, it is no surprise that Oakland-based, music-centric fashion designer and Project Runway Season 15 contestant Dexter Simmons intended on going to the rave at the eclectic artist’s venue and now mourns the loss of friends in this tightly-knit artistic community.
On Friday night, Simmons tweeted that he was taking a break from work and going out. Yet, he did not reveal where he was headed to or what he planned to do.
“Heading out alone tonight, it’s good for me.”
Dexter’s next tweet was on Saturday. He tweeted video from the warehouse fire, with a brief revelation that he had been heading to the warehouse where the rave was held. It is not clear if he ever reached the event, or if he was in or nearby the Ghost Ship warehouse.
“Last night the rave I was going to lit on fire and many are missing and a lot of people died.”
Next, Dexter tweeted that he was safe, but “freaked out.” He pointed out that if the events of his night out had played out differently, he would have been right in the midst of the unthinkable tragic event.
“I freaked out but safe. If my night had gone any different I would have been in the middle of that.”
His last tweet revealed his worry that he could not find his friends and discovered that other friends had died. Dexter expressed his appreciation for being lucky to not have been in the midst of this venue. Yet, understandably, Dexter confessed that he was not really sure if he is okay.
“Trying to find my missing friends and finding out people are dead. I’m so blessed and also just lucky. I’m not sure I’m really ok tho.”
Fans of the extremely talented designer are also sure to be grateful that Dexter is okay. At this time, he has only spoken through his Twitter feed, but not to the media, with details of his evening and his personal relationships to those who lived and worked on their artistic pursuits at the Ghost Ship.
The Oakland-area artists are a tight-knit group of people that move in similar social and artistic circles. This horrific incident will forever alter the lives of this Bay Area artistic community, yet fans of the innovative Simmons surely hope that he continues to create his beautiful and haunting designs.
A Project Runway Season 15, top eight designer, Dexter Simmons became good friends with Erin Robertson. Their friendship turned into what could be considered the hippest duo in the Project Runway history. The producers played on this and perhaps did a little creative editing to make this exceptionally talented pair of designers look as if they were slacking off. Anyone who has attempted to sew a garment knows that putting together any sort of look takes far more time than what Project Runway allots. So, when Dexter was eliminated, it was a horrible shock to his BFF Erin, as well as his many fans.
Dexter was auf’d in a shocking double elimination during the season’s 10th episode entitled “A Power Trip.” This episode had the designers take a field trip on a helicopter that flew over the city of New York. This was the inspiration for a high-powered editorial look for the pages of Marie Claire magazine.
Dexter took a very Goth-inspired, long, sheer black gown with black leather jacket with his trademark puffy shoulder pads down the runway. Sadly, he was on the bottom with this bold gown. In a shocking twist, Nathalia JMag was eliminated and seconds later, Heidi told an emotional Dexter that he was also eliminated. Even though it was not a winning look, Dexter remained true to his aesthetic and was proud of what he accomplished on the show.
So far, 30 bodies have been recovered from the Oakland warehouse fire, with the San Francisco Gate reporting that” only about 20 percent” of the “painstaking” and “heartbreaking” recovery has been completed. Nearly everyone that remains missing are young adults. All are in their 20s and 30s, and deeply involved in the tightly knit Bay Area techno music and art scene in Oakland.
At this time, Joel Shanahan, the Madison, Wisconsin-based musician who was the headliner, Golden Donna, is understandably shaken and has canceled his West Coast tour and plans on returning home as soon as possible. Other local techno-musicians remain missing.
At this time, the cause of the fire has not been determined. The building has been a source of issues for months, with neighbors complaining about parties and even underaged people living there. The eclectic interior was a maze to anyone that was not familiar with the building. The East Bay Times published a map with the complicated layout area. One staircase reportedly led to a locked door, while the other, was made of crates and literally “kindling.” Shockingly, the warehouse was not equipped with a sprinkler system.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows]