West 18th Street Fashion Show

I wasn’t in town for last year’s West 18th Street Fashion Show (held at the Kansas City Public Library due to inclement weather), but based on the small glimpses inside the show I was able to find via social media – it looked amazing!  I could not miss this year, not with so many designers I know showing their collections and collaborations.  I spent a solid 30 minutes debating which outfit to wear.  It’s the biggest  outdoor fashion show in the Arts District and I wasn’t going to try to get away with wearing tennis shoes (but I did wear flip-flops because I wasn’t about to ruin my good shoes walking across parking lots, I’m not even sorry.)  It was hot and humid; I’d just come back home from a baseball game where I’d soaked every part of my dress that was touching the seat.  Yes, the seat of my pants was like.  It was hot enough that it dried pretty quickly, but this was a mistake I didn’t want to make again.  I finally settled on a little black dress – chic enough for a summer fashion show, dark enough not to show wet spots, and cut to hide all the things I like to keep hidden (wink.)  You can see more of this dress filed under What to Wear to a Fashion Show.  

I was most excited to see Ngan Vuong’s latest collaboration, with Virgina Mietzer.  I had an opportunity to ask them a few questions about their work, and here is a sampling of what we discussed:

Ngan Vuong, eNVe Designs (read her West 18th Street Fashion Show bio here

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Ngan: Inspiration is everywhere (smiles) but mostly I’m drawn to things that are natural and freeform [pause] obviously raw stones, colors and formations in nature, and things that are constantly changing, like water and sky.

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Q: What three words would you use to describe your aesthetic?

Ngan: Raw, freeform, spontaneous are the first words that come to [my] mind.

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Q:  What do you want to be remembered for?

Ngan: Gosh [long pause] what do I want to be remembered for?? That’s like asking me what my life purpose is……..

Q: Well. [laughs] It’s a good question right?

Ngan: Do you mean in general or with this collection?  With this collection, as with [my] previous collections, I try to find the balance between two contrasting concepts and bring them together in each piece of jewelry I create.  This collection is about organized chaos.  I wanted to express how things that are freeform and unpredictable can, in the bigger picture, become beautiful and meaningul.  And in life in general, I just want to leave a mark of positive energy. That sums it up well in every aspect I view it from.

Virginia Zetmeir, vzettie.com (west 18th Street Fashion Show bio here)

Q: What influenced your decision to start designing?

Viriginia: My passion for design was fueled by the will to wear original garments that I could never find! I would basically rip my own clothes apart and sew them back together with patches and scraps. Being an imaginative person brings about the challenge of manifesting interesting visions. I have the desire to bring my ideas to life and designing garments was simply the outcome of that process. 

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Q: Tell us the story about your favorite look (who is she? Where is she going? What’s her story?)

Virginia: Favourites to me are about feelings. Themes of memory and nostalgia seem to pop up in my work a lot of the time. I find myself daydreaming about memories and I’ve worked harder to interpret what that could look like in design. I also feel that themes themselves relate to the nature of fabric- I find confidence in layers of silk, strength in solid white cottons, flexibility in stretch…etc. The story is about journey- as I’ve always been drawn to well traveled- independent and explorative characters who thrive and persist regardless of trends. 

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Q: Where do you see yourself five years from now? 

Virginia: Researching tirelessly for new creations. Collaborating with other designers on new platforms. Bring fashion design into public education for younger students to quest and pursue design projects. 

I can’t wait to see more photographs as both designers collaborate on photoshoots this summer!  Looking for more West 18th Street Fashion Show pics?  Follow me on Facebook to view them (and to tag yourselves!)

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

Jewelry by Ngan Vuong, clothes by Virginia Zetmeir via PrettyPolishedPerfect.com for West 18th Street Fashion Show 2016

 

 

View previous West 18th Street shows:

W. 18th St. Fashion Show Summer 2013: Gilded Summer

I was invited to attend the West 18th Street Fashion Show this year, and the theme for 2013 was Gilded Summer.  And what a gilded event it was (right down to the traffic cones.)

A few of my favorite picks from the evenings artwork*:

Margie Hogue & Heidi Herrman for Awava 
 
I thought I loved it from the front, then she turned around…..

 

I love everything about this look!

 

Chante Gossett

 

West 18th Street Fashion Show recap
I can’t get enough of the cognac leather shoes and accessories!
That skirt!
Emma Lammers & Kate Nickols
 

 

 

 
Exode – Clemence Lawson & Elodie Auvray

 

Not all suits can be pulled off without lapels, but this one is amazing.
Lana Leavens 

 

Better than tights, I loved this styling

*While more pictures can be found on my facebook page, check out these photos from Landon Vonderschmidt Photography.
A huge congratulations to each of the 18 designers who showed their impressive collections this year!  A special congratulations to the producers of the show (and everyone behind it, as well.)  The West 18th Street Fashion Show is an amazing event patronized by generous supporters of the Kansas City Art District (and art in general,) the hip young crowd always on the city scene (wanting to see and be seen,) those who eschew society and its’ rules, and everyone in between.  There’s an air of excitement mingled with artistic snobbery, and if you’ve never experienced that……..well, this is the time and place to do it. 

Comments

  1. sandyalamode says:

    darn! so sad i missed out on this event! looked like great fashion!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

  2. That second look! Wow. Gorgeous. I also loved the gold bands on the last models legs. Am I bold enough to try it? Maybe next year, after a winter's worth of workouts!

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