Kansas City is known for a lot of things - BBQ, jazz, Chiefs tailgating, the Country Club Plaza, entertainment, etc. However, you may not realize that it is also known to host an incredible fashion week!
Local, national and international designers gather in Kansas City for a week, twice a year, to showcase their newest collections and preview trends for the next season. Kansas City Fashion Week (KCFW) is in its 12th season, hosting sold out crowds and bringing some of the best designers to the City of Fountains.
This year, I had the pleasure of hosting the Media Lounge in April for the Fall/Winter '17 show and again just last week for the Spring/Summer '18 show. Before the models hit the runway on Saturday night, I spoke with designers, learning about their fashion line, style and vision. I also spoke with fashion bloggers, picking their brains on the best looks, trends and the most anticipated designer at the show.
KCFW was hosted at Union Station in the Grand Hall. This gorgeous room makes the perfect backdrop, plus there was enough space for vendors, a photo booth, a couple of bars, the red carpet, our media lounge and a beautiful runway.
Once the show got started, we had a front row seat to all the action, admiring the beautiful designs. Saturday night, the last event of the week, boasted some fantastic names including Meghann Wheelock of Ethel & Dean, Barbara Bultman Designs, Jon Fulton Adams of Queen's Rocket, Joshua Christensen, Nataliya Meyer of Lucia's Sarto, Maria Behnen, Samirah Alotaibi of MASISA and Ngan Vuong with Enve Designs.
Everything was absolutely incredible! I thought I was ready to bust out the sweaters and start dressing for Fall/Winter, but after Saturday's event, now I'm ready for Spring/Summer again! These designers are amazingly creative and talented and it was remarkable seeing their work firsthand.
Not only is this event one of the cities hottest shows, KCFW also gives back to the community. Over the last 12 seasons, they've been able to donate over $20,000 to local charities.
Plus, did I mention there's a sports connection? Every season, one of the runway shows is dedicated to the Kansas City Chiefs. Some of the Chiefs players and their wives strut the runway, the designers are football focused and everything, of course, is red and gold.
During the Chiefs runway show, Caryn Lerner, CEO of Beauty Brands, shared some of the hair and makeup looks that we may be seeing this Spring/Summer.
"The first trend is this sort of tonal shades – using the same tone of a color, but in different shades and having them all come together for one look. I love the neutral-ness, subtlety and the artistry of taking different shades of tope and making them into a beautiful face palette. You’ll also see a hair technique called balayage, which is where you see a woman’s hair color actually changes color as it goes down or up but it’s all one shade within a shade."
The KCFW staff always delivers a splendid show and this year’s was no exception. They are dedicated professionals but, remarkably, they are also all volunteers who donate their time and talent. Three cheers for a job very well done, KCFW!
It was such an honor to be a part of this event again and the full interviews are on Facebook!
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