By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Before I get to recapping Kansas City Fashion Week (KCFW)’s first night at Union Station, Jake’s Take wants to congratulate Kansas City Fashion Week, LLC on its fifth anniversary. Thank you to Teisha Barber, Phillip Willoughby, Kathryn Mansur, Annette Pinter, Katie Sellers, Sarah Russell and the brilliant cast of models, stylists, hair/make-up personnel and the countless of volunteers for breathing new life into the Kansas City fashion community. I am very honored to have seen this impeccable organization grow and put Kansas City on the map for fashion.
Last night was Charity Night at KCFW, where a portion of the ticket sales went to KCFW’s charity partner: Rightfully Sewn. Rightfully Sewn’s mission is to provide seamstress training for at-risk women so that they can help reestablish Kansas City as an epicenter of garment manufacturing. In addition to Charity Night, Thursday also marked the second annual Mayor’s Night. In honor of the special occasion, Kansas City Mo. Mayor Sly James was on hand to issue a special proclamation that named Thursday, March 17, 2016: Kansas City Fashion Week day and personally thanked Phillip and Teisha for their contributions to the Kansas City fashion community.
As the trio left the stage, returning emcee: 38 the Spot & 41 Action News’s Crystle Lampitt kicked off the night’s event. The Little Line by Liz was the first designer to kick off the Union Station fun. There were numerous things that I liked about the newcomer’s presentation. First, her style (which incorporated various shades of blue, black, silver and white) were comfortable to the eye. Second, all of her looks that were showcased were $500, which is very reasonable to fashionistas’ wallets. Finally, one of Liz’s models, Isabelle, walked the runway after overcoming ovarian cancer that stunned and amazed the crowd. Of all the designers that I have seen make their debuts at KCFW, The Little Line by Liz’s first showcase will always be one of my favorite KCFW debuts.
T. Michelle Design showcased an impeccable children’s line that wowed the crowd. Like The Little Line by Liz, T. Michelle Design also made her KCFW debut. The self-taught Manhattan, Kansas designer’s outfits played with a black-white checkerboard and pinstripes theme with hints of black, blue and purple. What I admired about T. Michelle Design’s young models was the finesse way that they carried themselves as they walked the runway to remixes of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” and “Slave to the Rhythm” plus Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September.” If your fashionistas-in-training want to be the envy of their playground this fall, I would highly recommend that you grab some of T. Michelle’s work.
I want to give kudos to Brooklyn designer More Than Just Figs for bringing her latest line to KCFW. While I commend her for being playful with the fabrics and highlighting the darker shades of magenta, emerald green, turquoise and royal blue, I was disappointed with latter half of her collection. When the models walked across the stage with these great looks, the black leather boots threw off the entire collection and canceled out not only my interest in her work but also several of my fellow audience members.
St. Louis designer Ola Hawatmeth’s fantastic designs woke up the KCFW audience from the midway show slumber. She dedicated her return to KCFW to her recently deceased grandmother. I believe that her grandmother would be very proud of Ola’s showcase as her designs paid homage to lovely floral designs. She was also the first designer to incorporate male models into the showcase, as her hype man made the crowd smile when he entered the catwalk. I think that Ola has what it takes to make it in the fashion industry, and I hope that she showcases in other cities outside the Midwest.
Independence, Missouri-based designer Gypsy Blaque made her return to the KCFW with a vengeance. Her Fall/Winter theme colors incorporated black, gold and military green. Her designs were edgy but elegant, and I believe that this was her strongest set yet. Meanwhile, KJ Clothing Design’s innovative bridal line made is debut at KCFW! What I liked about KJ Clothing Design’s portfolio is that it threw out the traditional wedding style rulebook by incorporating colors such as red, gold and silver into the mix. By adding these colors into the mix, KJ Clothing Design’s gowns will be the perfect alternative for brides, matrons of honor and flower girls for any wedding.
The final designer of the night was The House of Khai. Khai Hutchison returned home to Kansas City from his current home, San Francisco, to debut his new menswear collection exclusively for Kansas City Fashion Week. I would have to describe this remarkable collection as “Goth meets grunge meets bad boy” and I think that Marilyn Manson, Rod Zombie and the casts of ARROW and Grimm would have fun wearing this collection.
For more information about Kansas City Fashion Week, visit their website!
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