Okay, so editing those photos took a bit longer than I thought. But finally - full photos from Thursday night's Up & Coming Designers show! Check back over the next few days for photos from the other three shows.
The Up & Coming Show of UFW Spring 2016 kicked off the public portion of the week’s festivities with a bang, showing 12 designers in a single evening – almost twice as many designers as any of the other events. Although this extended line up made for a longer run time, and while this venue was smaller but just as packed as the other shows, the diversity in the designers’ presentations made this show well worth the hunt for parking. More about the show + photos of each collection after the jump ---->
Each designer’s line was unique and interesting, making the show a lot of fun to watch. We were presented with everything from spunky daywear (by Laurel Sherbert) and retro work & casual looks (by Winnet) to Eastern-inspired formal wear (by Rebekah Silver Jackson), re-worked vintage pieces (Clever Couture) and uniquely inspired gowns (by Kathryn Mecham / L’Esthetique). We also saw vintage-inspired pieces from Vintage Pygmy Design, some truly fantastic daywear & party looks by BreeKel Orton, regal formal wear by Crystal Christina and gorgeous bridal gowns in non-traditional hues (like grays, lilacs and blush) by Tayler Nichole. Rachel Cash put a distinctive (and beautiful) spin on her wedding collection, while Bella Vue provided a just-sexy-enough collection of evening dresses, full of fluffy tulle, sultry lace and unexpected textures, and Ann&Ann created a collection of gowns reminiscent of the ocean, sand and volcanic rock.
One of my favorite collections of the evening (and of the entire week) was the stunning and fabulously eco-conscious line of dresses by Anna Gregory of Clever Couture. Although the Clever Couture label is brand spanking new, Anna has been sewing and making patterns since she was just three years old (!!!) and that talent is wildly apparent in her designs.
“I primarily focus on taking pieces from old apparel and making them new again, mostly working with bridal,” Anna explains of her design aesthetic. “For example, one of the dresses I made for the show (and for the bride’s wedding) used lace from the bride’s mother’s dress, as well as a thrift store dress, and combined it with some newer fabrics and a completely new design to make it her own… I like to reuse whatever can be salvaged from clothing and make it into something new and beautiful. Each dress in my collection was made using fabric from discarded dresses and scrap fabric. I made each pattern to specifically work with the materials I had on hand.” (Talk about ‘making it work’!)
a gorgeous wedding gown by Anna Gregory of Clever Couture
Clever Couture mostly consists of custom work designed by Anna for clients at their request; if you’re interested in having a piece designed, she can be contacted via email at email@example.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/clevercouture. She says a sample sale is also in the works, so be sure to follow her on Twitter (@clever_couture) & Instagram (@clever.couture) so you don’t miss the announcement.
Anna also showed in the very first Provo Fashion Week (in 2013, before it was re-branded to Utah Fashion Week), and is both inspired and gratified at the growth the organization has seen and the impact it’s had on Utah’s culture. “I think [the Spring 2016 show] went really well,” she said. “I am amazed to see how well [UFW/PFW] has grown in quality, attracting great designers, and really starting to make a significant impact on Utah fashion. People are starting to take the Utah fashion scene more seriously, as demonstrated by the various media coverage and sold out shows.”
I definitely think Anna hit the nail on the head – although stereotypical Utah style still prevails (meaning butt bling and sweats) we’re seeing huge growth in the local fashion industry. The attitude towards fashion and style here in our state has started to shift, particularly in Salt Lake City itself; our state may never be considered a fashion mecca on the same scale as New York, Paris or Milan, but creating an awareness of the importance of style in our society is an important step. Although fashion is viewed by some as a shallow pursuit, the fact is that what we wear affects our mood and how we see ourselves, as well as how others see us (don’t believe me? read this and this, then opt for some perfectly fitted skinny jeans and a pretty blouse instead of sweatpants for your next trip to the grocery store).
With that in mind, the first show of UFW Spring 2016 was a huge success that served as the prologue for three more incredibly successful shows. The collections featured Thursday evening were truly stunning, and showcased just how much potential Utah has in the fashion genre. Overall, Utah Fashion Week is proving to be a game changer in the way Utah style is viewed, both by locals and by those outside the state.
Scroll down for a photo gallery featuring looks from the Up & Coming show, as well as a quick review of each collection, presented in the order they were displayed in the show. Stay tuned over the next few days for in-depth coverage on the other UFW Spring 2016 shows, more featured designers and plenty of photos from each show (you can find all of the articles here as soon as they're published). Be sure to leave your thoughts on the looks and collections and the state of the Utah fashion industry in the comments at the bottom!
P.S. These photos were taken with a combination of my phone (a Samsung Galaxy S5) and my DSLR (Samsung NX300). Feel free to re-use/repost them, but please be sure to tag me (@momandkumquat on IG & Twitter, Mommy & Kumquat on Facebook) or include a link back to this post. You can also pop on by my Instagram and tag yourself in any of the UFW photos featured there!
The Utah Fashion Week Spring 2016 program, showing the first half of the line up for the Up & Coming show.
designer: WinnetSpunky vintage-inspired pieces with plenty of bright colors and fun patterns. Loved this entire collection; great for every day office, casual and weekend party looks for spring and summer. Visit the designer on Facebook for more about her designs and fashionable endeavors.
designer: Vintage Pygmy DesignRetro-inspired pieces with a punk rock feel. A variety of decades were represented in this collection, ranging from 50's style dresses and 70's era paisley print, but the punky spin provided the overall cohesion necessary to call it a collection. Seriously love the girly dresses with attitude found in this line; also glad to see some menswear strutting down the runway. Check out the designer's website for more on her funky cool designs, or follow her on Instagram (@vintagepygmy).
designer: Laurel SherbertThis collection started with daywear and progressed into bridal gowns. I have to be honest - it didn't feel very cohesive as a collection, but the pieces are infinitely cool and wearable. Think fun patterns, comfy silhouettes and easy-breezy warm weather style. The wedding gowns in particular were absolutely gorgeous - classy and right on trend. Shop the brand on their website, or follow them on Facebook or Instagram (@laurelsherbertfashion) to peek behind the brand's curtain.
designer: Rebekah Silver JacksonRebekah Silver's Eastern-inspired designs definitely stood out Thursday night - in a very good way. Bright colors mixed with pearly whites to create a beautiful collection that felt like what you might find in a modern day Princess Jasmine's closet. The flowy white dress mixed with a splash of blush pink in particular felt incredibly princess-like: delicate and forceful at the same time. Find out more about the designer on her website, rebekahsilverdesigns.weebly.com.
designer: BreeKel OrtonOMG = pretty much all I have to say about this collection. That blue dress! THAT JUMPSUIT! I'm not normally a fan of jumpsuits, but BreeKel's is unique and gorgeous, with just the right mix of class and edge. I also dearly love this blue cold shoulder dress - in the perfect hue for spring, and just the right length for real life. Yeah, I might be in love.
Now that I'm done salivating, check out BreeKel Orton on Instagram, @breekelorton.
designer: Crystal ChristinaThe whole evening was full of fantastic clothes and beautiful designs, making it difficult to pick favorites - but Crystal Christina is definitely somewhere near the top. Her collection of black and sky blue dresses included cool adornments like tassels and pressed ribbon bows and plenty of straight, concise lines. The dresses themselves were very royal in nature, and the models were cast perfectly (not to mention the fantastic job done by the hair and makeup artists). I managed to snag a photo of the entire collection together after the show, and aside from being madly in love with the dresses themselves, I really dig the cohesive look of the complete collection; Crystal Christina has shown at other fashion weeks around the world, and her expertise was on full display at Utah Fashion Week. You can find more on Crystal Christina's website, www.crystalchristina.com.
up & coming designers, part 2
designer: L'Esthetique's The Vintage Daughter Collection
by Kathryn MechamThe Vintage Daughter Collection by Kathryn Mecham consisted of 13 dresses that ranged from pioneer-esque dusty blue floral chiffon frock to a full-skirted burgundy ball gown and a breathtaking boho wedding dress. Each piece was incredibly unique, but a touch of the designer was evident in every design. I particularly love the back detail present on some of the designs - such a beautifully unexpected way to sign one's work. Love, love, love.
You can even purchase some of these designs from The Vintage Daughter's online store, or follow the designer on Facebook (she even does custom work, particularly dance costumes).
designer: Ann&AnnI'm not sure if it was the designer's intent, but this collection felt like water, sand and rock to me - I see waves crashing on the beach and mermaids lounging on big black rocks that jut up along the shoreline. Maybe I just really like The Little Mermaid, but I'm head over fins for Ann&Ann's designs; what imagery does this collection evoke for you?
Check out the Ann&Ann website for more.
designer: Clever Couture by Anna GregoryI already sang praises of Anna's first Clever Couture collection above, so I won't bore you with a remix. But seriously.... how stunning is this dress? I especially love the bridal-appropriate color blocking done on the dress seen in the fifth photo down - so fantastically unexpected, but so incredibly cool. The fact that these dresses are earth-friendly is a huge plus too! (Also, props to the makeup and hair artists - so on point for this collection - and the models did a fabulous job as well)
Follow Clever Couture on Instagram and Facebook to find out when that sample sale will be held.
designer: Tayler NicholeI love the wide variety of textures used in this collection; each piece is visually interesting in an utterly exquisite way. I especially love this first dress, and the short gold sheath with the chiffon skirt-wrap-cape feels very modern-day Cleopatra, while the peachy-blush gown is a very on-trend take on a 70's style formal dress. Follow her on Instagram, @taylerstokes_, to get to know this adorable designer.
designer: Rachel CashOkay, first of all, how adorable is that little girl?!
Second, I love the spin designer Rachel Cash put on her wedding collection and formal gowns - she's taken some very formal, traditional elements and combined them with spunky, fun elements for a whole new look that's perfect for today's brides who want something just a little outside the normal without going too crazy. I also love the juxtaposition of the sweetness of the satin gown with the bow against the toughness of the model's tattoo; perfect casting choice for such a pretty dress.
Check out the designer's blog/website, missmagelicutti.com, and follow her on Instagram (@missmagelicutti).
designer: Bella VueI love this collection; the champagne lace and tulle are the White Swan to the Black Swan found in the black lace and chiffon. Such a gorgeous juxtaposition, with enough sexiness to be sultry, but enough class to keep things ladylike. Definitely gowns I'd rock if I ever got the chance. Check her out on Instagram, @une_belle_vue.
Photos copyright Jennifer Booth. May be re-used with notification, proper credit & link back to this page.
Check out my full coverage of Utah Fashion Week here, and be sure to leave your own thoughts on the collections and your favorites from the Up & Coming show in the comments below.