Fashion for a cause! The Beards, Bowties & Bikinis Fashion Show at 6 PM on June 1 was a runway unlike any other. Held at the Highland Lounge, it brought together designers of color from across Austin, TX to showcase their designs, celebrate individuality, and raise awareness for #ThisIsWhereIStart.
The #ThisIsWhereIStart campaign is an initiative based in Austin, TX that encourages victims of domestic violence to take the first step to get help, to promote awareness for domestic violence and advocate for domestic violence prevention.
Designers & vendors featured on the runway: Merida B, Bow Inertia, Not Black Ties, Bow Ties by Brunson, Ttomboigirl Bow Ties, Amore, Shavanthe, Cocos Image, Genell Custom Designs, Barbara Humphrey, Mike Frames, Electric Moda Boutique.
Modeling isn't something that can be done in a silo. You need a team! Family to build you up before casting calls, friends in the industry to go to calls with and even to let you know when other events are happening. I met some great gals at the casting call for the 2019 Beards, Bowties & Bikinis Fashion show and we all went out to dinner together afterward.
|Models L-R: Dani Blaire, Christi Ho, (myself), Terris Jenay|
Rehearsals are the time to invest in your practice, allow yourself to experiment, and to show the other industry professionals in the room what you can do. We were lucky to have a professional photographer (Luis Nieves) at a couple rehearsals so that we could really see ourselves on the runway before the big night.
Seasons on the KCFW runway certainly came in handy as I collaborated with the designers to layout the runway & seating and coached the other models.
Recognize those super cute and comfy shorts? They're from my Zena Salon and Boutique Glam Bag that I reviewed last year!
Wearing Flow from Electric Moda Boutique
Wearing Not Black Ties
Wearing Bowties by Brunson
Wearing Bow Inertia
Photographers: R&V Fashion, Henry Singleton, Luis Nieves
The runway show photos just keep coming! Something new with this show -- I got to keep the Kendra Scott earrings I wore on the runway!
I was so honored that junior designer Thuan Nguyen trusted me to showcase his vision in the Kendra Scott Design Challenge for UT Fashion's MATRIX runway show. You can read my interview with him in this post to get to know the why behind this amazing garment.
During one of the panels before the fashion show we were able to capture a few studio photos. To see some captures and a video from the runway, keep scrolling!
One of the challenges of a day-to-night look is keeping the design both professional and subtle while giving it a sexier edge. Thuan accomplished this brilliantly with the monochromatic detailing (like the grommets and belt) & basic suit fabric while still giving it a fun twist with the off-the-shoulder sleeves.
During a pre-show exhibit, judges -- consisting of Kendra Scott employees, UT Textiles & Apparel professors, and a number of other VIPs -- selected the top 14 designs that would compete on the runway to win the Kendra Scott Design Challenge. I've said from my first fitting that my designer's garment would make it to the Top 10 (which is what we initially thought it would be) and I was happy to be proven right!
One of the coolest features of this garment -- which you can't see in the photos but you will see in the video at the end of this post -- is that the sleeves are detachable!! The challenge was to create a day-to-night look that incorporated Kendra Scott jewelry and I think adding that bit of flexibility with the sleeves was a creative way to meet the rubric.
|Photo by Ralph Arvesen|
And here's the video of my runway walk on live TV!
Designer: Thuan Nguyen
Jewelry: Kendra Scott Kiernan Hoop Earrings
Shop This Look!
Even more exciting than getting to walk the KCFW runway for my 5th season was knowing that some of the evening's craziness and glamor was being filmed for KCPT's documentary about the history and future of Kansas City Fashion, Walk Turn Walk.
I first saw Jennifer Tierney's designs on the KCFW runway at Union Station last season (her first season with KCFW!) and I was blown away by her garments, so when she selected me from this year's roster I was thrilled to accept! Check out this interview with Sartorial Magazine to see some of her gorgeous designs and read her backstory.
For her Fall/Winter 19 collection, she was inspired by marketing and advertising of the 60s through the 90s, particularly the branding that supplies a feeling around their products. And even gives a nod to Louboutin with her take on the red-bottom heels: orange soles.
Enjoy the photos below of this season on the runway and please please please comment to let me know which are your favorites (because I'll be purchasing unwatermarked versions of these images for my own portfolio).
|Walk Turn Walk Teaser|
|Photo by Brooklyn Boyer|
|Photo by Brooklyn Boyer|
|Photo by Nikki Bulger Photography|
|Photo: In Kansas City|
After the show, the girls posed for a few photos on the red carpet with photographer Chris Ruck of Ruck Studios.
|Olive Henry / Myself / Megan Baudry / Hannah Bailie / Saloni / Amela Husic-Watts / Jennifer Tierney / Landon Patterson / Sophia Slusher / Stoney Nicole | Photo by Heather Slusher|
|Photo by Heather Slusher|
You can next see J. Tierney Designs at the West 18th Street Fashion Show on June 8th.
T. Tierney Designs: Instagram
H/MUA: KC Couture Beauty Team Instagram
Kansas City Fashion Week: Website | Facebook | Instagram
West 17th Street Fashion Show: Website | Facebook
|Photo by Eli Stack|
This was not a piece designed to sit in; it was designed to be powerful and empowering.
Without models, designer Duane Topping believes his clothes cannot come to life. In the fashion industry, models can be seen as just hangers for a designer’s clothing. Because of this, this exceptional designer goes to great lengths to make his models feel like family and treat them as just as important as his clothes.
He opened the Thursday night show for KCFW with a ton of energy, passion, and belief in his models' abilities to make his collection shine.
|Photo by Eli Stack // Model (standing) Maria Savoy|
|Photo by Eli Stack|
This was the first KCFW that I auditioned for remotely by submitting photos and a video of my walk instead of attending the open casting call. Because I wasn't in Kansas City in the weeks leading up to the show, correspondence with my designers consisted solely of emails. I didn't even know what I was wearing until noon each day.
This was also my first KCFW that my designer booked a photoshoot before the show and I'm so glad he did! These images by Eli Stack are some of my favorite Fashion Week captures ever (and they aren't even on the runway).
Annnd, this was was the first KCFW that I OPENED THE SHOW!! Topping Designs was the first designer for the Thursday night show and I was the first look! Talk about pressure!
|Photo by Eli Stack|
This garment was one of the tricker pieces I've worn on the runway and it took some serious double-sided fashion tape and some wiggling in the dressing room to get the attached garter and armbands positioned correctly. You can even see Duane himself making some adjustments before a photo on the red carpet a few photos further down.
|Photo by Alex Todd|
Photos by Cameron Milan Cirino // CMC Photos
|Photo by Fabutainment|
|Photo by Heather Slusher|
And because it's always fun to see the process and what's going on behind the scenes, here are some backstage photos, too. When I asked my hairstylist from KC's Bombshells Beauty Crew how many hairpins I'd find in my hair after the show, she said she used an entire can of hairspray to create this 'do and no hairpins.
And some after the runway shots with my VIP guest in the audience :)
|Photo by Alex Todd|
Help a girl out! You can vote for your favorite photos from the official photographer galleries on my latest Facebook post. I'll be purchasing the photo with the most likes for my portfolio.
H/MUA: KC Bombshell Beauty Crew Instagram
Show: Kansas City Fashion Week
Venue: The Grand Hall KC
These are the two "duhs" of the health world: are you drinking enough water? and are you getting enough sleep? But these two are so important for both your physical and mental wellbeing. And there are so many additional cosmetic benefits, like clearer skin and better breath.
- Yes, you've made the roster but now is not the time to get complacent! Keep to a regular workout schedule that keeps your motivated and fit. I like my barre class, barbell class, and yoga class at the local gym to make sure I'm focusing on both strength and length in my workouts.
- Practice, practice, practice! You've already developed your walk, but can it be improved? Have your friend video your walk so that you can critique yourself.
- Look into coaching or lessons with some KC runway pros, like Ciara's Coach the Runway or The Model Board's Fashion Show 101 workshop. There are so many amazing local resources in Kansas City; take advantage of them!
- Break in your shoes. If you're bringing your own shoes for the runway, make sure they're a pair you know you can strut your stuff in without worrying about painful blisters or wobbly ankles. It's always good to have two good pairs of strappy nude heels and strappy black heels - keep them both in your model bag!
- Hair health. Do you need a slight trim? A conditioning mask? Invest in yourself and take the time to get used to your new 'do - but don't stray too far from what your designer saw when they booked you!
- How are you feeling in the gym? If you've kept to your routine and are happy with your overall fitness, are there specific areas you'd like to focus on? For me, my upper arms and posture are super important to have as close to "perfect" as I can get them because that's what I'll see in my photos after the shows, so I'll do more upper back and shoulder work to really hone in on those areas.
- Whiten that smile!
- Hair removal! If you wax, take care of that at least two days before the show to give time for any redness or bumps to go away.
- Get those zzzzz's. Sleep is so important! You'll feel better and look better if you keep your stress level low and your eyelids closed.
- Plan your day. Do you know how long it will take for you to get to the venue? Are you driving, ubering, or having a friend chauffer you? Plan it in advance!
- Nails. Your designer will specify natural nails, manicured nails, or a specific color (which they will likely supply themselves the day-of). Keep your nails trimmed and your cuticles neat.
- Wash your hair. Day 2 hair is best for styling & your stylist will thank you for it!
- If you already have a go-to moisturizing mask, pile that on and put in a movie! Glowy skin will make your MUA artist happier with your skin and you happier with your photos from the runway. That extra bit of confidence will translate to your walk.
- Today is not the day to try a new skincare product or hair styling tool! Stick with what you and your skin already know.
- Pack your model bag! You can read my must-haves for back-stage in this post.
Top Photo: Tou Yang, http://www.touyangphoto.com/
Bottom Photo: Hananiah Aldrich, https://www.niahrosephoto.com/