Rane Bo Cross
KC Fashion Week turns 15 this season and this runway show business venture is very much like a precariously tall 15-year-old model trotting around in super sky-high stilettos. While the KCFW entity has far outgrown its early childhood days, the four-day event still shows a few signs of being mid-teen awkward and slightly trip-prone. Most of the Fall Winter ‘19 collections presented to a packed Grand Hall of the Power and Light Building in downtown Kansas City really showed off the big strides made in growing our local runway scene since 2004, but a handful of last week’s presentations pointed right at areas for “potential improvement” – in terms of strengthening our overall aesthetic sense, outgrowing small town awkwardness, and honing our collective couture consciousness over the next 15 years in this big little city.
the Thursday Cake!
The second night of KCFW opened with a hardcore bang once the first of the Topping Designs’ models turned the corner and strutted down the polished marble floor runway to the sound of heavy metal tracks. Seeing an old grizzly-haired vet in a biker vest who made a 180-degree turn from military service into the world of women’s fashion is not your typical designer story and while Denver’s Duane Topping took no risks in showing a collection comprised mostly of all-black garments (could easily veer off into the “overdone and uninspired” territory); it was the cohesiveness and graphic strength of the hi-color pops found in strap and buckle features, his subtle yet surprising design details, and the strong hair, makeup and shoe styling of his collection that made his show the most exciting grand slam of the entire evening, with the pocketless pants and his half & half dresses being especially memorable. Two designers from neighboring Iowa added dimension and depth to the Thursday offerings with a high energy Hanna Kristina collection from Des Moines serving up light, bouncing fun while foreshadowing all the flip sequins yet to come on Friday night.