This year, Phoenix Fashion Week was a little bit different.
Designers presented collections at Talking Stick Resort from October 2 through 4 that were better crafted and more smartly assembled than ever before. No line was an all-out embarrassment. There was plenty I didn't like, but there was more that I found impressive. And while I did spot a pinned hem here and a splitting seam there, overall garment construction for this year's emerging designers was of a much higher and consistent quality than I've seen at Phoenix Fashion Weeks past.
And thank goodness. Don't get me wrong; I love giving my opinion, as anyone who's kept up with Jackalope Ranch's Phoenix Fashion Week coverage can attest. But panning collection after collection sure gets tiresome. That's why I've rounded up a few of my favorite looks from Phoenix Fashion Week 2014.
In no particular order, here are nine of my favorites.
9. Albert Andrada's Muppet monster coat is proof that Alexis Hamilton can sell any look.
8. Jacqueline Nicole showed one of the most interesting pairings of materials with this outfit: a summery, shimmering sequined skirt and a weightier quilted pink crop top.
7. Bri Seeley returned to Phoenix Fashion Week with a refined line. This crimson gown is the pinnacle of Seeley's style evolution over the past few years: beautifully made, simple, and elegant.
6. Emerging designer Atiz's line was sophisticated and subtle, and this airy caftan embodies the collection's vibe.
5. Scottsdale label Kismit opened its presentation with a dramatic black gown with a harness and leather trim.
4. This blush princess-meets-trench coat was one of the best (and most wearable) looks from Hues of Ego, a Phoenix-based brand.
3. FIDM grad Carol Wong, who's originally from Chandler, showed an imaginative line that melded medieval armor and futuristic materials.
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2. It was tough to choose the top look from RAYAN's strong collection, but this ultra-chic caped gown in violet-blue might be the winner.
1. Bathing Beauty meets Return of Saturn-era Gwen Stefani in this hyper-detailed Rocky Gathercole piece.
Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 Day One: Emerging Designers Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week Day One: Established Designers Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 Day Two: Established Designers Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 Day Two: Emerging Designers Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 Day 3: Emerging Designers Slideshow - Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 Day 3: Established Designers