The Highs and Lows of Phoenix Fashion Week 2016

Alexis Hamilton models for emerging designer Ricci JvR.
Alexis Hamilton models for emerging designer Ricci JvR.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

The ninth annual Phoenix Fashion Week graced the pool-adjacent runway at Talking Stick Resort from October 13 through 15, bringing local and international designers to the Valley and showcasing everything from birdlike showgirl costumes and icicle jumpsuits to the botanically inspired collection of a FIDM student and graphic dresses by a Phoenix-based Native American designer.  

It was, in so many words, a lot. Here's a look back at the highs and lows from Phoenix Fashion Week 2016. 

High: Alexis Hamilton
Yeah, we're fangirls. So what? The 2011 model of the year has the walk to end all walks. And damn if some of her fellow models couldn't use a lesson or seven from her. (Which, heads up, is a thing she totally does.) 

State Forty Eight showed on opening night.EXPAND
State Forty Eight showed on opening night.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Low: Opening Night
One, two, count 'em, three T-shirt presentations. Come on now. 

Looks from Prodigal Sun Clothing at Phoenix Fashion Week 2016.EXPAND
Looks from Prodigal Sun Clothing at Phoenix Fashion Week 2016.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

High-ish: Community Designers
This is a project that needs some intense fine-tuning, but it was nice to see 11 locals have the opportunity to show their creations on Thursday night. Some of it was ... bad. But it's good to see Fashion Week changing up the formula.

Emerging lifestyle designer of the year Isy B.EXPAND
Emerging lifestyle designer of the year Isy B.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Low: Still with the Scoring
Why can't we know how the emerging designers scoring works? Each night, one emerging designer of the year was announced. But the crowd gets zero insight into how they fared during boot camp, how much things like web presence and audience response are factored in, and who comes in second, third, and fourth place. Give us graphics on the big screen — reality-TV-competition style — or stop talking about the scores. Please. 

Aconav's emerging couture collection at Phoenix Fashion Week 2016.EXPAND
Aconav's emerging couture collection at Phoenix Fashion Week 2016.
Melissa Fossum

High: Aconav
While the collection wasn't perfect, it was exciting to see a strong showing from a local Native American designer. We want more from Loren Aragon. 

Read on for the most upsetting micro-trend we saw — and designers who topped three-peats.
 

Nope.
Nope.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Low: Hideous Clown Shorts
Let's call it a micro-trend, but there were some real nasty shorts we had to look at over the weekend. These models deserved better.

Laura Tanzer poses alongside her designs.
Laura Tanzer poses alongside her designs.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

High: Laura Tanzer
The Tucson designer clearly grew leaps and bounds from her last showing as an emerging designer in 2015. She earned this year's contemporary emerging designer win.

Looks from Yas Couture's show on Saturday.EXPAND
Looks from Yas Couture's show on Saturday.
Melissa Fossum

Low: Couture
Is it high fashion? Sure. Is it couture? No. Stop it.

A look from Cosmogyral's Saturday show.EXPAND
A look from Cosmogyral's Saturday show.
Melissa Fossum
High: Diversity
The Row gets it wrong. Yeezy gets it right. And Phoenix Fashion Week does, too. This year, when it came down to the models — their size, color, age (though it would certainly do well to bring in some older models) — the event looked more diverse than ever. Cheers to that. 
Dolcessa was back, back again.
Dolcessa was back, back again.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Low: Repeats
Forget three-peats, this year Phoenix Fashion Week featured two designers — Dolcessa Swimwear and Rocky Gathercole — who have now shown four freaking times. They're cool. They're successful. And we'll hand it to Gathercole, he really changed things up with his presentation this year. But neither one really has anything to do with Phoenix. 


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Talking Stick Resort

9800 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256

877-724-4687

www.talkingstickresort.com


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