It’s another nice night in Omaha, but the glamorous Nebraska socialite hardly notices the sweat trickling down the back of their necks as they gaze down the wide parked catwalk in the middle of the Omaha Design Center. Electronic beats start pouring out of the speakers as the models strut their stuff, showing off various stunning outfits. Patrons sit and fan their faces with the programs as another season of Omaha Fashion Week kicks off under twinkling chandeliers.
Omaha Fashion Week is a five-day opportunity consisting of fashion, shopping and brunch, for designers from across the country to showcase their hard work. The show happens twice a year: once in the spring and again in the fall. The Omaha Fashion Week Spring Show Was Everything virtual due to COVID-19, but with declining cases and a variety of COVID-19 vaccines this fall, the fashion show returned in person. Therefore, the designers were especially excited about this season’s show. These are the things you missed on Friday and Saturday at Omaha Fashion Week.
The night started off smoothly at 8pm with headliner Lauren Bander. Her designs were simple, but striking, with dark floral dresses and tulle skirts. The models wore glowing eye patches and the show was backed by ominous classical music.
Then things got chaotic when the designer lineup got mixed up and MPOWER designs were shown under the wrong designer’s name. MPOWER’s pieces were mostly Y2K-influenced sportswear. There were flashy t-shirts and shorts, neon colors, and neon fingerless gloves. The models wore various sports accessories. The crowd especially loved a child model who wore a baseball cap, pink top, and black sweatpants with pomp and vigor.
Another crowd-pleaser was House of Jadè. The collection was mostly African styles and full of voluminous colors and textures. Men’s clothing consisted of long, sleeveless red coats with patchwork backs and multi-patterned pants. Women’s clothing consisted of slit pencil skirts and mermaid dresses with elaborately ruffled necklines. When the collection ended, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation.
A collection with an interesting name was Eww feelingz. Before the collection was shown, the announcer let the audience know that the clothing was designed to draw attention to emotional awareness. Audiences were able to feast their eyes on white button-down dress shirts with multi-color screen-printed blocks, black graphic tees, colorful face makeup, and brown and black leather patched pants. The collection did its job, as audience members laughed at the comical logos, cheered at the models’ original poses, and gawked at the beautifully handcrafted cropped pants, which, in the end, was the main focus of the collection. the collection: getting viewers back in touch with their emotions.
Friday evening concluded with a presentation of the Sabrina Jones Spirit Award to Alyssa Dilts, Director and Owner of Develop Model Management. Fashion week co-workers, employees and friends gave speeches about how she was an amazing teacher and truly inspired everyone to delve into the world of fashion.
And with that, the sun went down on Friday night’s Omaha Fashion Week display and fashion enthusiasts went to sleep dreaming of the spectacle that was sure to be Saturday’s fashion show.
The Omaha Design Center was much busier on Saturday night than it was on Friday night, and with good reason. The garments on Saturday were more elaborate and the collections were larger than the show on Friday.
Although the show started a little later than the mentioned 8:00 pm start time, the crowd was patient and the drinks and small plates of cheese and crackers were flowing.
Finally, the lights went down and the show began. The Nuevintage brand got its start impressively with curly-haired models and a ’90s hippie aesthetic. Models wore metal belly chains, misshapen-dyed patchwork dresses, and red flannel balloon pants. Although the collection was small, consisting of just 10 pieces, it was energizing and set the crowd up for the long night.
Victoria Cates, designer for Potion23, was at the fashion show on Friday to get a feel for the Omaha fashion scene before her show on Saturday, as she came all the way from Missouri and it was her first Omaha Fashion Week.
Although Cates initially hails from America’s fashion hub, New York City, she has been very impressed with Omaha Fashion Week so far and believes it’s something even non-fashionistas should visit. .
“Omaha Fashion Week is great, and everyone should come see what fashion is really all about. There are real people making these garments,” Cates said. “Every piece you see involves real input and effort that you can’t experience just by looking at a billboard or a fashion magazine.”
So Cate took to the runway on Saturday. The crowd beheld striped dresses with tulle petticoats, extravagantly large hair bows, sky-high heels and a stunning long-line floral petticoat. The collection had a weird Victorian mirage aesthetic and she gave the crowd goosebumps.
The only standing ovation on Saturday went to Potapenko and Yanchenko. The entire range of outfits were beautiful and designed to honor the turmoil in Ukraine. Background music was provided by Elena Bosworth, who is an internationally renowned electric cellist. The attire consisted of floor-length white ball gowns with elaborate hand-painted florals, towering floral headdresses, checkered aprons, waistcoats, and tulle-sleeved ball gowns. The crowd remained silent throughout the performance, as if they were too stunned to react.
When the models finished walking, they returned to the catwalk with candlelight and a moment of silence was held for the fallen Ukrainian soldiers. It was impressive.
Another crowd favorite was Vivi Design Studio. The collection was elaborate children’s clothing. Each of them carried fake lanterns and dressed like adults in long coats, black leather pants, earmuffs, and black gauzy dresses. One model even fell to the ground at the end of the catwalk to quickly recreate a camping scene by lying on the ground next to her lantern.
Hannah Caroline Couture was also a popular collection and consisted of a variety of wedding dresses for all shapes and sizes. There were some black wedding dresses, two-piece wedding dresses, and a white wedding dress that had pockets.
The show ran later than expected, but the crowd didn’t mind and even seemed saddened when the last of the designers, Buf Reynolds, wrapped up his collection: a modern assortment of mismatched outfits that get credit for it. than being things you can find in your trash. drawer.
As glamorously clad models, designers and audience members gathered on the red carpet for final goodbyes and last-minute photos, Hannah Hundley, a passerby, was standing on the outskirts of the crowd enjoying a cigarette. She has attended Omaha Fashion Week four years in a row. She just wishes Omaha Fashion Week had more food.
“Hopefully next year they will have a little more meat and cheese on the menu,” Hundley said. “But ultimately, the artists did a great job.”
While the snacks were gone, Hundley said the inspiration and art were flowing.
“I love the creativity and all the different aspects that come together to make such an amazing show,” Hundley said. “I will absolutely be back next year.”