Phoenix Fashion Week 2015 Emerging Designers: First Looks, Snap Judgments

The designers took to the stage as models walked their looks through Livewire.
The designers took to the stage as models walked their looks through Livewire.
Evie Carpenter

Phoenix Fashion Week introduced its 2015 class of emerging designers to a packed house at Livewire on June 11. 

The 13 fashion designers will compete over the coming four months for a chance to win a prize package valued at $10,000. Four of this year's designers are based in Arizona, and three of them are returning to the competition, thanks to some newly instated rules. For the first time ever, emerging designers can reapply to the program, something the models have been allowed to do for the past few years. Additionally, designers will compete in three distinct categories: lifestyle, evening wear, and couture.

That's right. No more T-shirts vs. ballgowns. 

Each showed one look that encapsulates their brand during the launch party, which also featured the debut of Phoenix Fashion Week's emerging models. In that contest, 40 men and women complete a series of challenges in hopes of signing a contract with The Agency AZ at the close of Fashion Week, which takes place October 1 through 3 at Talking Stick Resort.

A quick runway show revealed a variety of brands — from sportswear and dramatic gowns to laid-back women's basics and swimwear. Echoing that brevity, here are our snap judgments of each design.

Chicago brand ARAE opened the runway show.
Chicago brand ARAE opened the runway show.
Evie Carpenter

ARAE: We're getting a distinctly Hercules vibe from this mini dress. Is the fabric extra-fuzzy felt?

LA designer Azmara Asefa had one of our favorite looks of the evening.
LA designer Azmara Asefa had one of our favorite looks of the evening.
Evie Carpenter

Azmara Asefa: The fit is off, but we love this belted dress. Not with those boots, though.

Charmosa Swimwear competed in 2014 — and returns to this year's emerging designer contest.
Charmosa Swimwear competed in 2014 — and returns to this year's emerging designer contest.
Evie Carpenter

Charmosa Swimwear: Charmosa competed in the 2014 emerging designer contest. This is pretty, but we hope the skirt is removable.

Seattle brand Cute Like Mad's belt game is on point.
Seattle brand Cute Like Mad's belt game is on point.
Evie Carpenter

Cute Like Mad: We're not crazy about the black-and-white jacket paired with a beige top. Perhaps in another color scheme, it'd work better. The trousers are constructed beautifully.

L.A. brand Haute Body brought athletic wear into the mix.
L.A. brand Haute Body brought athletic wear into the mix.
Evie Carpenter

Haute Body: These garments look totally pro. But is a hooded sports bra a thing people want? Really, we're asking.

2014 fan favorite Hues of Ego is back for the 2015 emerging designer competition.
2014 fan favorite Hues of Ego is back for the 2015 emerging designer competition.
Evie Carpenter

Hues of Ego: Many thought Natasha Duran-Lynch's Hues of Ego should've won the 2014 emerging designer contest. We hope to see her kick it up a notch this year — and ditch the fabric used for this mullet skirt. It detracts from the luxe vibe of the crop top and updo.

Tucson's Laura Tanzer is one of just a handful of Arizona-based designers in this year's contest.
Tucson's Laura Tanzer is one of just a handful of Arizona-based designers in this year's contest.
Evie Carpenter

Laura Tanzer: Love the pants, though they're a little short for palazzos. The fabric for the top is too heavy for such a summery look.

Loela Sky is based in St. Louis.
Loela Sky is based in St. Louis.
Evie Carpenter

Leola Sky: Gorgeous design — sparkly, '70s, Studio 54. We vote to lose the distracting left sleeve and choose a fabric that looks less itchy and cheap.

Lily V. Designs suffered from over-accessorizing.
Lily V. Designs suffered from over-accessorizing.
Evie Carpenter

Lily V. Designs: The accessories are so bulky and distracting it's hard to tell what's happening here. 

Phoenix brand Lousy Rich brought a welcome dose of minimalism and clean lines.
Phoenix brand Lousy Rich brought a welcome dose of minimalism and clean lines.
Evie Carpenter

Lousy Rich: We appreciate the minimal styling and simple shapes, but from our seats both the hooded body suit and skirt both looked like they needed lining.

Medium Apparel Co. is another returning competitor, originally appearing in the 2013 emerging contest.
Medium Apparel Co. is another returning competitor, originally appearing in the 2013 emerging contest.
Evie Carpenter

Medium Apparel Co.: Another local returning emerging designer. We're not sure how much of this look (which includes jeans, a jacket, and T-shirt) is by Medium, but we hope to see the brand really push it with styling this year.

L.A. designer Michelle Hebert's dress closed out the emerging designer launch party.
L.A. designer Michelle Hebert's dress closed out the emerging designer launch party.
Evie Carpenter

Michelle Hebert: Hebert is also a returning competitor. This Bjork-y dress is certainly ethereal, but we're not sure if its complicated neckline and cutouts would flatter any non-models.

Michi Knitwear's a New York-based brand.
Michi Knitwear's a New York-based brand.
Evie Carpenter

Michi Knitwear: It's hard to tell from the image, but this look was super intricate and detailed in its construction — an impressive, if overworked, display of knitwear mastery.


Phoenix Fashion Week takes place October 1 through 3 at Scottsdale's Talking Stick Resort. Early bird tickets ($60 to $150) are now available through Eventbrite. For more information, visit Phoenix Fashion Week's website.

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Livewire

7320 E. Indian Plaza
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

480-970-6980

livewireaz.com

miles
Talking Stick Resort

9800 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256

877-724-4687

www.talkingstickresort.com


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