Kansas City Fashion Week Rundown

It's crazy to think that one year ago, I didn't know Kansas City had a fashion week. Times have changed and I had so much fun getting to experience the epic production that is Kansas City Fashion Week both as a model and as media for Luna Elise. This will be a long post, but if you're in the same boat I was last year and don't know much (or anything) about Kansas City Fashion Week, definitely read on to learn all about the hard work, fun and talent that goes into making this event possible. 

Sunday: Kendra Scott Kick Off Party

Photo: Larry F. Levenson

Photo: Larry F. Levenson

The week got started in the best fashion possible--shopping, champagne and sweet treats. The Kendra Scott boutique in Leawood hosted us, and Dolce Bakery provided delicious food. A proceed of all sales went to the Kansas City Fashion Council (giving us an excuse to shop). The best part of the event was getting to meet and chat with KCFW staff, photographers and fellow bloggers who we would be seeing all week. I'm pictured above with fellow fashion blogger, Bella Lightner. Check out her blog here. 

Monday: Media Meet & Greet @ Fortuity

Darrin Hackney Photography

Darrin Hackney Photography

Another night of getting spoiled with sips, snacks and swag. This event was held at the downtown KC Fortuity warehouse (the one with the insta-famous "Kansas City I'm So In Love" wall). While the swag bags from Dior Beauty and Lee Jeans were amazing, the best part of the evening was meeting fellow bloggers in the KC area. The wine by KC Wineworks was great too--I'll definitely be checking out their new downtown winery soon! 

Tuesday: Bubbly & Bowties 

Photo: Larry F. Levenson

Photo: Larry F. Levenson

I had been looking forward to this black tie event ever since I modeled for the promo shoot (yes, that was my hand in all those ads, haha!). Invite a large group of fashionable people to a black tie event and the styles are going to be incredible. I loved seeing all the amazing gowns and interacting with designers. This was the most-attended event so far, so it was fun mixing with everyone before the following runway show days. 

Wednesday: Coco & Illia Runway Show

J. Santiago Photography

J. Santiago Photography

After successive nights of parties, the real show started on Wednesday. I shifted into model mode with an appearance on KC Live with designer TR Brown, then rushed to the Power and Light Building for my noon call time with Coco & Illia. I would be lying if I said the day wasn't long, but it was well worth the preparation time. Bellus Academy took charge and made sure every detail of our hair and makeup was perfect (special thanks to Miss Jessica!). Coco & Illia are a duo of designers fresh from Stephens College, and their designs brought an edgy yet playful street style to the runway. Red sequins, purple satin, dramatic lace-up pieces and mesh looks dominated the Wednesday night runway. The debut collection, Blackout, will be available for pre-order soon, so make sure to follow Coco & Illia so you don't miss out!  As for my experience--I was glad to get my first runway under my belt as I was a little nervous! Wednesday left me confident and ready to take on the rest of the week. 

Thursday: Media Day at KCFW

Bo Flores Photography

Bo Flores Photography

Lexy Covinsky for Roger Figueroa

Lexy Covinsky for Roger Figueroa

Noelle Manica for Amanda Casarez

Noelle Manica for Amanda Casarez

Nina Monzón for Madyssen Jean Designs

Nina Monzón for Madyssen Jean Designs

Shelby Smith for Lee Jeans

Shelby Smith for Lee Jeans

While Thursday was technically a "rest" day for me since I didn't have a runway show to walk in, I started the day with an early hair and makeup call time for a TV spot with Georgina Herrera. Fellow model Tmara Hepburn and I modeled Georgina's jewelry on Univision--a Spanish-speaking channel! This was followed by a much-needed nap, an even more needed happy hour sushi date with my friends, and then it was back to the Grand Hall to watch the Thursday night shows! Highlights of the night for me were Roger Figueroa, Amanda Casarez, and Madyssen Jean Designs. Roger Figueroa's models seemed to glide down the runway to slow electronica in edgy, androgynous designs and Lady Gaga-inspired jewelry. Amanda Casarez spun her very wearable pieces into an eclectic mix of knits, oriental inspired up-dos and gilded makeup. Madyssen Jean Designs showed a line of boudoir inspired pieces embellished with wistful love quotes, engendering a dark romance in the collection. Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Lee Jeans injected energy into the set as models showed the newest range. I absolutely loved attending KCFW as media, and seeing how other models handled the runway made me even more prepared for the following days.

Friday: TRBrown Runway Show

Friday's procedure was almost the same as Wednesday's--noon call time at the Grand Hall. Hair and makeup were underway, again by Bellus Academy. Tiffany Brown, of TRBrown Designs, was presenting a collection of 70s inspired clothing, so our hair was teased to the heights and mod makeup was applied with upper and lower dramatic lashes creating a Twiggy-esque effect. We had some fun during the afternoon shooting our full looks around the Grand Hall with KCFW photographer, Eli Stack. With the complex hair and makeup and the shoot, before we knew it, it was showtime. I had the privilege of opening the show for Tiffany. The crowd response to her collection of rich colors, deep furs and upholstery fabrics was phenomenal. It was the biggest response a runway show got all week! It was surreal to walk with people cheering and commenting on all sides--and keep a straight face. I was so proud of Tiffany and can't wait to see where TRBrown goes in the future! 

Saturday: Georgina Herrera Runway Show

Eli Stack Photograpy

Eli Stack Photograpy

Ryan Swartzlander Photography

Ryan Swartzlander Photography

"Ohhh, you're walking for Georgina?? Congrats, we love her!" Was the response I unanimously got when I told people who I was walking for this season. Their response was appropriate. Georgina Herrera, of MCK brands, is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. Plus, she is also extremely talented and knows how to put on a show. Her collection of big, bold jewelry stood out perfectly against simple black and white dresses. The runway set-up (although giving us some trouble in rehearsal!) was perfect to showcase the jewelry. The models had several stops, turns and poses along the runway, so all of the audience had the best chance to see the detailed accessories. Walking for Georgina was a perfect way to top off my KCFW experience! Check out her collection here!

An enormous thank you goes out to the KCFW staff! I can't say it enough, so thankful to be a part of this great experience! To learn more about Kansas City Fashion Week and for updates on future model castings and tickets, visit their website and like the KCFW Facebook page

A special shout out to all the photographers whose work has really only just begun as they edit all these images: 

Atherton Photography

Ryan Swartzlander Photography

Larry F. Levenson Photography

Eli Stack Photography

Bo Flores Photography

Fabutainment 

Kenneth Levine