Phoenix Fashion Week 2016 officially began on Thursday night with Community night. The runway shows were dedicated to emerging and lifestyle brands that truly highlighted the best of Arizona, including a ton of work from student designers! I couldn’t wait to get to Talking Stick Resort and see what the Phoenix Fashion Week team had in store for us, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
Every event has highs and lows, and for years I’ve been covering each show down to the nitty gritty details. However, what I’ve realized is that when I go home and talk with my friends and family about the events, they want to hear the highlights. Just like when people watch a football game, they want to focus on the touchdowns, interceptions and awesome plays, I want to focus on my favorite designers and moments from the event. So think of this as the highlight reel for fashion. If you want the full “game”, check out our Snapchat coverage @suburbscouture.
Below are a few of my personal favorite moments from Thursday night’s shows:
The opening show by The Art Institute of Phoenix was an impressive display of emerging talent, trying their hand at a challenging subject: menswear. The opening video explained to the audience that the collection was done by a team of designers, each responsible for their own look, while remaining cohesive to the overall show. I was super impressed with how avant garde these ensembles were. Typically, menswear can be a bit of a snooze, but these student designers pushed the envelope to develop a show that was exciting, innovative, and fashion-forward. A huge congratulations to everyone involved.
The Little Black Dress got a modern makeover from Art Institute of Phoenix designer, Alejandra Inzunza. This designer’s bold silhouettes propelled her collection forward, while showing the looks in all black ensured it was sellable and wearable for today’s woman. I can honestly tell you that I would wear every single look in the show (well, maybe not the crop top for me personally, but I have a list of friends who would), and that is really saying something. I’m looking to see where this talented designer ends up after she finishes school. Believe me, it won’t be the last time you hear her name.
One of the most impressive parts of the night was the community fashion show. Phoenix Fashion Week invited several brand new, Arizona designers to showcase a few pieces from their collection. This fast-paced show was right up my alley, and blew me away with the variety of aesthetics represented on the runway. You guys, the emerging talent that is happening right in our own backyard is insane! I had a few favorites that you can bet you will see more of on Couture in the Suburbs.
I got my first look at Sillin Inc. at the Square 1 Extra Layers fashion show earlier this year. I am quite impressed with her tailored aesthetic and particularly enjoy her use of prints. This designer features strong looks for both men and women that highlights contemporary silhouettes mixed with classic patterns. This is definitely a designer you should keep your eye on.
This designer’s bold aesthetic was the perfect mix of flashy and fashion-forward. I was most impressed by her well-constructed jacket, and could see it easily pairing with a pair of jeans and stilettos for the modern work woman.
The 16 year old designer of Prodigies definitely has a bright future ahead of her. The modern black and white look was striking, yet sophisticated. Her construction and fit was spot on, and styling with the plain black chokers was an excellent choice.
I don’t know about you, but when I was 11 years old, I could not have pulled off the impressive looks that Kelly Callaway created. This young designer has more taste and talent than people more than 3x her age. I don’t think this is the last we will hear of this rising star, and I for one cannot wait to see more.
Prodigal Son was an awesome example of urban streetwear with a twist. As soon as the music started playing and the first model hit the runway, I understood exactly who his customer was and what his brand was all about. And that, my friends, is no small feat.
John Jay and Rich brought the crowd to life with their energetic #LoveUp show. Featuring local celebrities and heroes, the crowd was cheering as firemen, local news anchors, and of course the morning show hosts strutted their stuff on the runway. One particularly special moment was when a family of three walked the runway after being able to adopt their daughter thanks to the Johnjay & Rich Care for Kids Foundation. I’m not going to lie you guys, this brought a little tear to my eye. Where were my Anna Wintour sunglasses?!
The show continued with a fun 90’s grunge inspired aesthetic, styled by Audree Kate who flew in from New York specifically for Phoenix Fashion Week. I loved the way Audree brought the t-shirt line to life, and I have a feeling her looks will inspire many to get a #LoveUp tee for their personal wardrobes (ehem, I’m talking about me).
Marisa Mike has been a crowd favorite for most of the Emerging Designer competition, and I can understand why. The way the designer mixes traditional Native American prints with contemporary silhouettes is impressive and innovative. I particularly liked the looks that featured a full length gown in the print with modern cutouts in the back.
A huge congratulations to Lifestyle Designer of the Year, Isy B! This Cayman Islands designer nailed it right out of the gate with her flowing red dress that set the tone for the collection. I liked the way the designer incorporated prints in unexpected ways. I can definitely see this collection being a success in many resorts and vacation destinations.
2015 winning designer, Charmosa Swimwear, came back with a bang. I loved her new dresses and jumpsuits that turned the collection to a full resort line rather than just swim. I think the designer will greatly benefit from that transition. My favorite look was a little off the shoulder dress with wide sleeves and a gorgeous hemline. Don’t be surprised to see me wearing than dress on my next vacation!
When Francesca Lake’s show opened up with a massive white coat, I knew we were in for a treat. The audience loved the designer’s avant garde looks, especially the pink gown with an over-exaggerated hip area. I, for one, have been dreaming about her pink fluffy coat and scheming for an occasion to rock such an exaggerated look. Any suggestions?
Overall, I was quite impressed with quality of designs on the runway Thursday night. I thought that the students and emerging designers from the community show really showed a lot of potential and I cannot wait to see more from this next generation of talent. What will Friday night of Phoenix Fashion Week 2016 have in store for us? Stay tuned! Be sure to follow @suburbscouture on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter for live event coverage.
Join the conversation! Tell me what you thought of the shows by using #CitSxPHXFW.
Please credit Couture in the Suburbs and Almanza Photography when sharing photos.
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