Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 at Talking Stick Resort: Friday's Designers a Mixed Bag

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See also: Emerging Designers Off to Rocky Start at Phoenix Fashion Week 2014 at Talking Stick Resort

Blackberry Maverick opened the emerging designer portion of Friday's show with a collection that was baffling. The Colorado label showed pieces in gray, violet, and aqua. And while they didn't appear to be shoddily crafted, they might look more appropriate as costumes on, say, a colorful children's TV program. Bloomers, zippers, and an array of ideas ensure that anyone wearing the collection will surely, as the brand's tagline suggests, "be noticed."

One look stood out as particularly chic among the collection. The pale pink day dress wasn't styled well (the leather garter belt didn't exactly complement the outfit), but it was a pleasant surprise. Clearly the women behind Blackberry Maverick have creativity to spare. But more judicious editing would serve them and their burgeoning brand well.

Seattle's Atiz followed with a collection that was so polished we nearly got whiplash from the quick change of pace. Designed by Swati Padmaraj, the East-meets-West line favored stylish subtlety over flashy glam. It might be the strongest emerging collection of 2014 we've seen yet.

Phoenix label Kismit displayed some elegant fabric choices in black, white, and gray. We particularly liked the floor-length black gown that opened the presentation. But the collection was plagued by an overuse of plastic buckles, reminiscent of those used to secure fannypacks, that made some otherwise nice garments look like straitjackets.

Following the slightly unhinged theme, New York's Schuylark presented a line in white, black, and red, that felt scatterbrained. While the dresses were lovely, the use of military-inspired blazers, belly-baring tops, and miniskirts didn't combine to form a unified collection.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski