Omaha Fashion Week is coming to a close, Saturday night was the last runway show. A sip+shop event sponsored by Omaha Fashion Week happens Sunday, but the parade of models wearing beautiful designs under strobe lights is over for the year. Fashion is ignored in Nebraska with most people throwing on blue jean shorts and a red Husker sweatshirt before they leave to go anywhere. So the moments where fashion becomes an event are special moments.
This last show had a theme of designs modeled after perfection, and I can’t think of anything more appropriate for a warm, cloudless night filled with glitzy dresses and gelled hair.
Designers took this theme in stride and designed clothing with beautiful draping, exotic embellishments, artful pleating and so much more.
Dan Richters’ collection included translucent fabrics and scooping square necklines. Each dress oozed bada** woman vibes. The bodice part of the dresses were body hugging and a couple had flowy skirts. One gray dress had spikes and elaborate seams. Some models wore necklaces across their faces to complete the dangerous woman vibes.
Alex Scarpello, a senior fashion design major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, presented his work as an ominous song played in the background. The pieces seemed to be video game inspired with blocky silhouettes and metallic add-ons. The models walked slowly with a couple male models even clenching their jaws menacingly. Fur vests were layered over white collared shirts with pink satin pants. Every garment seemed heavy duty and would be perfect to wear in an arctic tundra. The elaborate collection was 12 pieces long and I, along with the audience, honestly didn’t want it to end.
Carsen Monaco’s collection was made of all white garments with a touch of romantic flair. There were shoulderless dresses, slightly see-through bodies and high cut skirts. It was the perfect balance between professional and flirty. The models walked with poise and a slow classical song played in the background. The collection contained eight designs.
Chessna von Abstrakt gave the audience a medical-themed collection. The vibe was eerie with models staring blankly out at the audience. They were all shoeless and wearing medical masks. The outfits were a mixture of black and white with trailing strips of fabric. One model also carried a clear plastic bag filled with prescription bottles. The collection was short and sweet and included eight pieces.
Erin Kelly, , a fashion design student at UNL, had garments that were about unapologetic femininity. They were all made from sustainable fabrics and cut into flattering silhouettes. The pieces looked comfortable and like something anyone could wear. There was a red and white striped dress with a peek-a-boo cut out in the back and another outfit with a baby blue shirt that was tied in the back with loose brown trousers. The whole collection contained only five pieces which added to the simplicity.
Hannah Hidalgo, a fashion design student at UNL, included blended textures and colorful swatches of fabric sewed into coats and bags in her collection. Layered under these patchwork-like pieces were colorful silk jumpsuits and textured white dresses. Each design was accompanied by exotic earrings from her own jewelry company. The outfits looked comfortable and like something a person could wear to an everyday activity, like going to class or running errands.
Hannah Jensen gave us a peek into an edgy American woman’s closet in the fifties or sixties. The models looked ready for a backyard party wearing patchwork dresses and floral chokers. Some dresses were poofy and bubble shaped while others were flowy and made up of patches of colored fabrics. The collection closed with a spectacular dress made up of black-and-white feathers.
Judy Bales’ designs consisted entirely of fractal geometric top and skirt combos. The skirts were made from pieces of colorful fabric seamlessly sewed together, and the tops were crafted out of braided ropes draped effortlessly over the model’s shoulders. The ambiance was sensual with slow music and each outfit left the model with a bare midriff.
Terri Jen Buckner immersed the audience in floral dresses layered under lace-up corsets.The models wore their hair down in loose waves or back in tightly braided buns. They all looked so pristine without a hair out of place, almost like dolls. The dresses had elaborate lace adorned necklines and some had poofy baby doll sleeves. The collection was large but each piece was different in its own way.
Marie Nelson woke the audience up with her bold hipster looks. A catchy pop song played as the models walked down the catwalk dressed in muted dresses. Some had fringe and others contained laser cut appliques. The models had on bold red lipstick and smiled softly at the audience. They also all wore wide brimmed hats, and one model wore a yellow cowboy hat with a loose, white dress.
Olha Potapenko changed things up with a bridal collection. Each model wore floor length white bridal gowns and tulle veils. The dresses were immaculate with perfectly cut slits and intricate beading. There was a pantsuit with a ruffled train and a European-style multiple-tiered number. The collection was huge and looked like it took a long time. The final dress was a black tulle showstopper worn by the designer as the audience applauded.
Samuel Macke’s collection contained punchy colors and a femine silhouette. Three pieces that stood out were a bold belted green dress, a purple poncho worn by a male model and a green bucket hat with an orange top and baggy trousers. Each model walked with one arm still to show the audience what a person might look like standing and wearing the piece. The ten outfit collection was simple and could be the wardrobe of an edgy teenager.
Borris Powell finished the show off with a bang. The theme of his collection was “love will lead the way.” Red one-piece outfits covered in sequins sparkled down on the audience. There were floral cardigans, sexily styled over bare-chested men and women sporting only red bras. Some models looked ready for the airport carrying red duffel bags, and some were ready for a night out in red wide-brimmed hats and red pantsuits with high heels and red sequin clutches. Powell ended his show by coming out and dancing on the catwalk wearing a snazzy red and gold suit and carrying an umbrella.
After the show the crowd milled around discussing the collections. Yuriko Doku came to Omaha Fashion Week as a fun weekend out with her friends. She loved the show and seeing all the different designs the designers came up with.
“The show was amazing. I really liked the dresses, especially the bridal gowns,” Doku said.
Giving fashion a collective adjective such as perfect is a difficult concept to wrap your head around. Making something “perfect” defeats the purpose of making it unique. If every piece of clothing is perfect then nothing would stand out. Lots of people at the fashion show had different ways to look at the meaning of perfect fashion. Doku summed it up in one final sentence.
“If you’re happy in what you wear, it is perfect.”