Phew! I’m finally catching up on posts from an exciting weekend at Phoenix Fashion Week after a slightly crazy week of work — starting with my recap of the first night at PHXFW.
If you’re new to Phoenix Fashion Week, each evening of shows is typically divided into emerging and established designers. Each year, Phoenix Fashion Week hand selects emerging designers from around the world to launch their brands — after a four-month designer bootcamp — at Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort.
A “designer of the year” is then chosen in each of the three categories: lifestyle, contemporary and couture. And while Thursday evening included shows for the three lifestyle brands competing, it was expanded to showcase many Arizona designers as well. Dubbed Community Night, Thursday featured some amazing up-and-comers from Arizona and beyond. Here are my highlights. (PS: See what I wore to day 1 of PHXFW.)
All photos in this post courtesy of Phoenix Fashion Week & Almanza Photography.
The Art Institute of Phoenix
Typically, when I think of couture, I envision womenswear, but the Art Institute of Phoenix’s show was a nice surprise as men came walking down the runway in various avant garde looks. This collection was a collaboration of numerous students, but I was impressed at how each look fit into it so cohesively. Overall, a great start to Phoenix Fashion Week 2016!
Building on the momentum of the first AI Phoenix show, Arizona native and Art Institute student Alejandra Inzunza showcased her all-black collection. I loved the structured look of each piece and her modern take on the “little black dress.” I definitely would rock a lot of her looks and can’t wait to see where this designer’s career takes her!
I don’t recall there being a community designer show at Phoenix Fashion Week last year, but it was definitely a highlight in 2016. Each of the 12 designers showcased up to three looks, and many of them were seriously impressive. Here are my favorites.
I couldn’t mention the community designer segment of Phoenix Fashion Week without mentioning Kelly Callaway. This 11-year-old designer (yes, I said 11!!!) left me in awe. I was really impressed by her ability to mix patterns, the overall structure and creativity of her looks and how well the pieces fit her models. Keep an eye on Kelly Callaway — I can’t wait to see where her passion for fashion takes her.
Prodigal Son Clothing
While I obviously don’t wear menswear myself, I can certainly appreciate a menswear line with such a clear vision and understanding of its target customer. I loved the edginess of this collection and felt the models did a great job of really wearing the looks the way they were meant to be worn.
Of the 12 community designers, I found myself most impressed with the youngest of the group. In addition to Kelly Callway mentioned above, 16-year-old designer Prodigie shined with her sophisticated aesthetic. She’s another with a bright future ahead of her!
You may remember Charmosa as last year’s designer of the year in the lifestyle category and one of my personal favorites from Phoenix Fashion Week 2015. Once again, Neide Hall did not disappoint. I was impressed by her ability to design looks that were unique over what she showed last year and loved how she expanded from simply swimsuits and cover-ups to more lifestyle looks as well.
Isy B. was one of my early Phoenix Fashion Week favorites after the Shop Garment District event in the summer, so I was thrilled to see her full collection. This resort-wear line showcased patterns perfectly and included such a variety of looks. I imagined myself wearing many of them on a tropical vacation somewhere, so don’t be surprised if you see that gorgeous patterned cover-up above in my own wardrobe soon.
I was also thrilled for this Cayman Islands designer when she won lifestyle designer of the year! It’s so well-deserved. Be on the lookout for her collection on Evine Live soon.
Night 1 of Phoenix Fashion Week ended with a serious bang thanks to FIDM alum Francesca Lake. Inspired by the evolution of a seed into a flower, this collection was couture perfection and featured a palette of white, dusty rose, buttery yellow and periwinkle blue. Easily one of my favorite shows of the evening, I loved everything about this gorgeous collection.
So there it is, my recap of evening 1 of Phoenix Fashion Week at Talking Stick Resort. Join me this week as I continue my recaps and share what I wore each night. Happy Monday!