By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Jake’s Take is thrilled to once again cover Kansas City Fashion Week (KCFW)’s Fall/Winter 2017 Collections.
KCFW changed locations this year as it began a new chapter at the Grand Hall. Built in 1931, the Grand Hall retains the splendor of the 1930s, while bringing elements of the modern era into its design. While the Grand Hall introduced a two-way European runway to the show, many attendees would need to walk up its grand staircase for the red carpet and mingle with designers such as Michael Drummond, Georgia Herrera, Erin Paige, Kendra Scott, and Lee Jeans.
After the evening’s emcee, FOX 4’s Abby Eden had made the proper introductions and acknowledgments, she introduced the first designer of the evening: Project Runaway alum Joshua Christensen. Joshua Christensen used different a diverse group of models to present a diverse group of colorful designs. The men wore shaving cream in the beard area of their face, which distracted me from the outfits. I will be honest with you, Mr. Christensen, your outfits underwhelmed me. While there were some great designs such as the modern day Jessica Rabbit, Aladdin’s Genie, and a Street Fighter character, I felt it was a little disappointing collection.
Meghann Wheelock showcased Ethel + Dean kids collection, and I think that if Rosie O’Donnell saw this group, she would declare “these cutie patooties gone punk.” These were some of the most aggressive kid models I have seen in my years covering the show. They had so much spunk, and the face paint that each kid reminded pop culture aficionados with memories of Orange is A New Black, Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho, and the late David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust.
Scientist-by-day and designer-by-night Julia Fischer debuted her new collection. I loved the 70s MOD style and the bold combinations. One of my favorite designs from her collection was sparkly disco ball top with the velvet pants. This was the first collection of the night that jump-started my mindset.
Nasheli Juliana was one of the most innovative designers that I have seen in a while. She ended the first act with her historical themed outfits. I felt like the audience was transported back to the Crusades and the time that Queen Elizabeth I ruled the British Empire. Some of the outfits reminded me of knights, fifes, and nuns. If Madonna wanted to remake “Like A Prayer” and put a historical theme behind it, she should contact Nasheli.
Saint Louis designer Lauren Bander kicked off the second act of the evening. Her collection took the audience on a roller coaster that started off with a dark Maleficent-esque tone of black dresses and ended with lovely white dresses. One of the highlights of the evening was a glow-in-the-dark wedding dress that would be perfect for a rave-themed ceremony.
Andrea Marie Long Designs has come a long way since I first saw her designs at Union Station. Judging by the cheers from the Kansas City Fashion Week audience, she is a fan-favorite designer. Her latest velvet collection was dominated by emerald green and sapphire blues, and the audience was blown away with her outstanding collection. It was my favorite collection of the night, and I hope that someone in the national fashion community would pick up some of her gowns.
Another designer that I enjoyed was Overland Park’s TRBrown. This self-taught fashionista’s collection amazed me to no ends. I felt like I was watching Twiggy at the height of her popularity in the 1970s New York City. The many fashion bloggers that I was in the audience stated that out of the designers of that showcased their work throughout the evening, TRBrown’s collection is the most wearable collection so far this season. Also, I firmly believe that Jennifer Lopez would be a perfect candidate to wear TRBrown’s designs.
The last designer of the evening was Queens Rocket. I felt like I was in the middle of a theatrical production starring the Magic Mike models. It seemed like Queens Rocket’s designs felt out of place at the show with the rest of the collections.
To see my photos from the event, visit my Facebook page!