The Kids Play Dress Up…The Student Show at Midwest Fashion Week!


So it’s time for Midwest Fashion Week again in Indianapolis. In the past, we’ve had really mixed experiences, but this year we decided to go into it with an open mind. That being said, why should we expect anything less than we would see on a runway anywhere else if the Midwest fashion industry wants to be taken seriously. While this is a young community in Indianapolis, one of which we are supportive, the reality is real artists have the same level of passion, drive, commitment and determination whether they’re living in Wanamaker, Prague or Milan. No excuses.

Tonight was the Emergence Fashion Show, displaying the works of student designers from the Midwest. We didn’t really know what to expect when we were invited by Ian Stikeleather. When we arrived, we immediately ran into several prominent faces in the local fashion community who we have come to call close friends. We chatted it up with Kaitlin Elyse who showed her newest designs from her T. Party line Saturday night at the Blu Martini. We were so impressed with Kaitlin’s recent show that we’re currently in the process of figuring out what we want to order. What was the theme of her show? Haters. Love it! We also ran into local fashion designer extraordinaire Nikki Blaine and photographer Polina Oscherov who we recently did a shoot. Amy Beers and Nightlights TV were also in attendance taping the entire event, interviewing designers and local celebrities in the fashion community as well as modeling herself on the runway. We chatted it up with Berny Martin, developer and producer of Midwest Fashion Week as well as well respected fashion designer of Catou, who was laid back and hilarious, proudly talking about this week’s events. We have to commend Berny on exposing Indy to some style and fashion we wouldn’t have witnessed without him. Nikki Sutton, famed local stylist and architectural designer…Wow!!! Absolutely gorgeous. We hadn’t had the opportunity to meet her before and we were so impressed. Definitely someone we hope to get to know better. Later, Nikki introduced us to Spanish bridal designer Antonio Fermin and his guest, decorator and socialite Julie Oliver. These two were so much fun, and we ended up laughing late into the night with them accompanied by Nikki Blaine and photographer Abdul-Shaheed Aaron, as we closed down the new Bazbeaux.

But onto the good stuff. The show. We were lucky enough to be seated front row center right next to Denisha Greene of Mode Magazine, who entertained us the entire evening. And here’s what we thought…first of all, we understand you’re students and we commend you for putting your stuff out there and taking the chance to have everyone watch you, but we’re firm believers you should never put something out there that you can’t stand behind. No matter how little time you had to prepare, the numerous pins and unsewn hems were embarrassing. And in reality, it made three designers stand out above all of the rest.

Obviously this isn’t a contest, but if it were Jennifer Spriggs would have come in third…but a very close third to second place. Her pieces didn’t even look like student pieces. They were sellable and intriguing and seemed to come from a very private place. These clothes, unlike many of those seen from the other designers, made the female models look attractive. Most designers had at least one good piece, but Spriggs, from Cincinnati, had a uniformity and a theme that was mysterious and alluring to the eye. Definitely someone to follow in the future.

Second place would go to Lorry Plasterer from Indiana University. Ok, this girl hand dyes her pieces and when you get up close, the detail is immaculate. Even the inside of the pieces were ornate and precise. One model wore a wool jacket that looked more like burlap but was incredibly soft and wearable. “Don’t you just love this material?” she said, behind cute, dark rimmed glasses. Not only are her designs playful, creative and eye-catching, they made the models look amazingly beautiful and besides Lorry, the models themselves were even excited talking about the pieces. She appeared so genuine and passionate about her art, which she seemed more like to us, an artist not a designer, that we are definitely intrigued to see more. And we also thought she’d be a blast to take out some night. So Lorry, there’s you’re invitation!

And of course first place. Now, before, like always, we’re criticized for picking favorites for various reasons, let us just say the reason we’re picking this designer is because their show was originally created, styled appropriately and the designer’s personality made us want to see more. Once we were home and we looked at their website, FLC International, we were even more impressed, reading the story behind their process and being able to see their designs as a entirely actualized business. Fred Schwier from Indiana University. This kid is so incredibly realized that his show completely flowed. Before we even came to the Emergence show we had been told to look for his pieces. Several male models walked out in these amazing Bermuda shorts, with material from Ghana, resembling Miss Celie’s One Size Fits All pants from The Color Purple, in a way that made us itching to have several pairs to wear to all of our events this summer. He also makes these amazing grey shirts, baseball hats and pants. In the last two years, we’ve had the opportunity to interview tons of celebrities on the rise and meet people from all over the world that when we were in their presence we realized they were going to be the next big thing. This kid…is the next big thing. Watch out!

We were incredibly impressed with the echelon of the models in this year’s show and wanted to give a special shout out to Ebony Smith who told us she’ll be leaving Indy sometime in the near future to move out west. We think this is a great idea for her as we stood in awe, yet again, as we stared at her incredible physique and facial structure. The girl is incredible.

We especially wanted to comment that we were absolutely intrigued by Emily Nyberg, one of the models who resembled a mix between Grace Kelly and Elaine Irwin. She walked the runway with an incredibly, confident signature walk we’ve never seen and even when she fell, yes…she fell, she just kept on walking. Amazing. Several people we talked to about Emily mentioned they felt she was too short for true runway and while this may be true, one of dear friends, Marissa Hobson, the newest supermodel and representative of Pantene, measures in at less than 5’4. A word of advice from the guys who interact on a daily basis with beautiful women all over the world…hit it fast out of Indiana! It’s your time to make it big in the big leagues. Contact us if you want any help…we have, well maybe a few contacts…Trust us folks…this girl is the next big thing!

We were incredibly impressed with the student show this year, especially the organization thanks to Ian Stikeleather and Berny Martin. We wish all the students the best of luck…oh and Fred…we were serious about that offer!

We can’t wait until Saturday to see the fashion show at the Gala event. Prepare to see us as we put our own spin on “Black Tie”. And then it’s on to Nashville for the boys of raannt to see Kelly Cutrone, Christian Siriano, Betsey Johnson, Gustavo Cadile and Traver Rains formerly of Heatherette for Nashville Fashion Week.

Eyes Open…We’re Watching!

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