By Night 2, KCFW was in full swing! The sold out show boasted 7 designer collections, as well as a summer trend preview from Dillard’s- Independence Center. While I absolutely adored all the designers collections, here are a few of my favorite pieces!
We kicked off the evening with Kansas City native, Andrea Long of Andrea Marie Long Designs. Andrea’s background is in theatre, as well as fashion, which is apparent in her collection. This dress was dramatic and bold, yet incredibly soft and angelic. I found Andrea’s runway show to be the most unique of all the designers on Friday evening (including her finale walk). Her use of color and different silhouettes made this collection very intriguing as I watched each piece come down the runway.
Designer, Chelsea Riane’s F/W 2015 collection had an edgy, punk vibe with a slightly girly twist. I am OBSESSED with this asymmetrical peplum dress with sheer skirt. Her styling was spot-on… Above, the pretty finale piece is shown with hot pink pumps, but other models came down the catwalk in Chuck Taylors and Converse! How cute is that? Another interesting tid-bit about Jane of All- all the clothing is made from natural fabrics, and hand dyed by Chelsea using items from nature (fruits, veggies, and various plants). Gotta love that!
Dillard’s- Independence Center
Dillard’s presented a slew of fun summer trends on Friday! This was by far my favorite. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a jumpsuit 🙂
Maria Behnen is a 30+ year veteran in the fashion industry. One of her most recent acolades is designing a handbag and shoe collection for Nanette Lepore’s runway show! Her F/W 2015 collection at KCFW was well tailored and colorful… Really colorful. Like the all the colors of the rainbow… ROY G BIV! I loved it. Seriously. Hearts and flowers!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sara prior to the show, so my excitement was at an all-time high when it was her turn. When the first dress of Sara’s collection stepped out, I was expecting nothing less than perfection. I am happy to say, my expectations were certainly met. Each piece was more stunning than the next. And then… THIS beauty came out, and the entire audience gasped. Sara had designed a series of 3 mini collections; 1 bridal look with 2 coordinating bridesmaids. What I loved about the bridesmaids dresses, were the colors. They were not your traditional pink, periwinkle, or nude dresses. Sapphire blue, chocolate brown, and black. Well done, Miss Sara! Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us next time 🙂
I am thrilled to announce that I have been selected as Official Media for Kansas City Fashion Week! I will be attending runway shows from March 19-21, viewing collections from 20 different designers. One of which being Sara Kahrs, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing last week.
Sara is a 3rd generation seamstress, with over 15 years of experience. She found her love of designing at the ripe old age of 8!
The University of Missouri- Textile and Apparel Management grad, now resides as the Apparel and Technical Designer/Fit Technician for Bass Pro Corporate Headquarters in Springfield, MO. Sara is extremely dedicated to her craft; working her full time job by day, and creating her collection at night.
As a 3 year veteran of KCFW, Sara is bringing something new and fresh to her label this season: Bridal. She will feature a series of three “mini collections”, each containing 1 bride and 2 bridesmaids (not matching!). For more details about Sara and her 2015 Collection (hitting the runway on Friday, March 20th), see my Q&A with her below:
Q: When did you start designing? What inspired you to become a designer?
A: I began sewing at 8 years old, which means I’ve been sewing for 15 years! My mom was always an amazing seamstress, and her mom (my Grandma) was a home economics teacher. Between the two of them, they taught me to sew, and I quickly learned it was something I was rather good at. I grew to really enjoy making clothes in 4-H and competing in 4-H fashion revue, where members sew and model their outfits in competition with one another. I really owe my passion for sewing to 4-H, and my family. I have always been passionate about sewing, and decided at an early age that I wanted to pursue fashion design as a career. I studied Textile and Apparel Management in product development at MU, and learned how to design, pattern make, and create my own designs. Once that ‘clicked,’ the options for what I could make became endless.
Q: What made you decide to apply to show your collection for KCFW?
A: I had two close classmates in college who showed at KCFW multiple seasons, and encouraged me to apply. That was the first I had heard about it, so I was immediately anxious to apply.
I truly enjoy creating my collections, and it is so thrilling to see my pieces on models in hair and makeup, and displayed on the runway.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a designer for KCFW?
A: Of course I enjoy seeing my collection on the runway, but aside from that, I enjoy forming relationships with other designers, models, photographers, style teams, etc. Networking is huge in this industry, as any other.
Q: What makes your latest collection and/or design aesthetic stand out?
A: I’m taking on bridal, but I wanted to do something a little ‘fresher.’ Instead of the redundancy of bridal gown after bridal gown, I wanted to show my versatility by providing 3 small collections that coordinate with each other. I created three very different bridal designs, and designed two bridesmaids for each bride. The bridesmaid dresses would coordinate, but do not match exactly. I hope this will keep the audience’s attention, and show different techniques I can accomplish as a designer and seamstress.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration?
A: I generally draw inspiration from what I find in my trend research. I use all resources — runway shows, high fashion brand websites, Pinterest, trend research websites, soap operas, award shows — I look through all of it to find common themes, and find a way to make them unique. A large part of my inspiration is also functionality. It seems like such a simple response, but I strive to create unique pieces that women can actually wear. It’s one of my main goals as a designer. I would rather someone see my work and say “I would wear that” and buy it, than to look at it and say “that’s so cool, but where would I wear it?”
Q: Not only do you design your own clothing line, but you work full time as well. How do you find balance to make it all work!?
A: It’s definitely hectic to balance! I work diligently during the fashion week season, and even work of spreadsheets marking everything off that I have done. I get up and go to work at my full time job at Bass Pro Corporate Headquarters, working as an Apparel Technical Designer and Apparel Fit Technician, from 8-5. After work, I get home and sew from 5:30-11 most nights, and sew Saturday-Sunday. It takes a lot of drive and sacrifice. It’s taxing, but it’s worth it to do something you love.
Now for some fun questions!
Q: What’s one thing people don’t really know about you?
A: People who have known me all my life would know this, but anyone from college on might not. Growing up, I was much more of a tomboy. It’s surprising to most people because I, of course, love to shop, wear make-up, and all that now. As I got older, I was such a mix of girlie girl and tomboy. I grew up on a farm, showed cattle, shot competitively, was a drummer, and a black belt. Not a common list of hobbies for someone who becomes a fashion designer, which I actually love.
Q: What is your favorite way to spend free time?
A: I don’t have a ton of free time between work and sewing, but what little free time I have, I prefer to spend with my family and boyfriend. Otherwise, I like to paint, draw, and play guitar….or do one of the other 20+ hobbies I have!
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I’ve had a tough time coming up with an answer for this one! I guess just some of the corny reality shows that I watch. I’m not big into reality TV, but I do enjoy The Bachelor, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars. No shame! >> AMEN, sister! We definitely have this one in common 🙂