By Emily Taylor
As I glanced around Phoenix Fashion Week 2016, all I saw were beautiful models preparing to strut the runway, press scrambling to score that perfect pic and interview, and designers eagerly awaiting the moment when their masterpieces would finally be revealed to the world. An undeniable passion for fashion roamed the scene.
Night one of Phoenix Fashion Week (PHXFW) went off without a hitch. Opening with community night, the projects of emerging designers from our very own backyard came to life upon the stage.
There was no lack of diversity as the night’s array of talent included menswear, resort attire and ensembles of utmost sophistication. The looks of Alejandra Inzunza, Paige Deavult and Francesca Lake caught my eye in particular.
Alejandra Inzunza redefined the meaning of Little Black Dress, her designs being crafted out of classic, black fabric. The structured cut of each look was breathtaking and reinforced the beauty of simple elegance.
Sixteen-year-old designer of the brand Prodigies, Paige Deavult, proved age does not define her. The checkered prints and black and white color-blocking of her clothing evoked a sense of ’60s mod, wowing each viewer.
Francesca Lake, a student from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise, amazed the audience with her unique structuring and pristine fabrics. The robust waist of her gowns stood out, as well as her intricate ruching of the material.
After the show I had the amazing opportunity to interview three of the night’s prominent designers, the first being 11-year- old Kelly Calloway… that’s right, I said 11-year- old. As one of the community designers, she explained that she attends school just down the street of where we were located. She discovered her love for fashion at age seven when her mom caught her sketching on her croquis in the kitchen one day.
Though she is still very young, she proclaimed she is definitely interested in going into the fashion industry when she grows up. The fun energy in her life is what inspired the bright colors and eccentric prints of her two designs.
My next interview was with the talented 2015 Lifestyle Designer of the Year, Neide Hall. Her brand, Charmosa Swimwear, consisted of beautiful bathing suits and beach attire. When she first immersed herself in the fashion world, she often focused on the designs of dresses; however, this changed when she moved to the United States from Brazil.
The blend of the two cultures was evident within each piece: the American influence seen with the suits’ bold cuts, the Brazilian roots apparent in the vibrancy of her designs. What was fascinating about the material she used was the fact that it was not only hand-dyed, but eco-friendly too.
With excitement, she explained to me that her clothing has the ability to decompose within three years, causing no harm to the earth, if thrown out. Since the launch of her line on EVINE Live in February, things have not slowed down for this designer and do not look like the will anytime soon.
I also had the privilege of interviewing star of the night, Isy Obi. Her line, Isy B., crowned her the 2016 Lifestyle Designer of the Year. Her brand consisted of resort wear, perfect for any tropical getaway. It included pieces meant for lounging, the pool and a fun night out.
Her fascination for fashion began at a young age, as her mom was a designer herself. When she grew up, she moved to the Cayman Islands, which is where much of the inspiration for her clothing is drawn from. She explained that she spent multiple years researching and experimenting with the fabric she now uses to craft her designs. The material used has SPF, providing women with proper protection from the sun, while still being moveable and breathable. Isy also incorporated silk in the construction of her clothes.
Though her designs can take anywhere from three to four months to plan, she managed to pull this particular line together in just three weeks-time for PHXFW. The coral shades and beautiful prints of her elegant clothing left an impression in the minds of the audience, while her dedication and passion inspired the hearts of all.
If you have the opportunity to attend Phoenix Fashion Week, I can assure you will not be disappointed. The beauty of the atmosphere and talent of the night were unforgettable, to say the least.
Almanza Photography on coutureinthesuburbs.com
Phoenix Fashion Week 2016 Facebook page