Has it been 10 years already? Yessiree. This year's incarnation of the West 18th Street Fashion Show, "A Decadent Summer," will be the event's tenth annual celebration.
On June 12, Kansas City's most well-produced fashion fiesta will shut down West 18th Street between Wyandotte and Baltimore Avenues. In advance of the whole shebang, we'd like to introduce y'all to a few of the designers whose collections were deemed runway-ready by the show's producers.
Starting with ... Liz Peters.
"I've wanted to be in this show for so long," Peters says. "It's been exciting, every time I've seen it."
Peters is a 21-year-old Kansas City Art Institute student, double-majoring in Fiber and Art History. In that picture over there to the right, she's showing off an incredibly detailed piece she created for Decadent Summer.
"I'm trying to reinvent quilting," Peters says. "I know it's so grandma, but I want it to be glamorous and fun."
Terry Richardson just couldn't stay away from the retail biz.
The entrepreneur is a part owner of Westport 39, a new(ish) shopping center at the corner of Pennsylvania and West 39th Street (where the vintage fantasyland Boomerang is now located, along with Chop Tops, Mash Handmade, and Kathy's Alterations). The newest addition: Colfax, 611 West 39th Street.
Midtown boutique shoppers will remember Richardson as the owner of
Revue, a boutique further west on 39th, which closed more than a
year ago. With Colfax, Richardson is back, albeit in a backseat capacity, letting her buyers fill the space -- an outdoor loading dock that's been transformed into a sunny, enclosed marketplace -- with 90 percent local merchandise.
What's worse than Crocs? You're looking at 'em.
Scott Fitness trainer Keith Earl is modeling the latest in disastrously ugly footwear. They're called Vibram Five-Fingers and the people who swear by them are typically runners, climbers and hikers. It fits right in with the latest fad health craze, the Caveman Diet. (The Troglodyte Diet just didn't have the same ring.)
These shoes are your feet's way of saying fuck evolution.
The J. Peterman catalog actually sells the shirt on the right:
On the pet peeve ranking scale of 1 to 10, this one rates, oh, maybe a three. (Other pet peeves, like Crocs and Ed Hardy clothing, rank so off-the-chart high that they won't be included in this compilation.)
My married friends here -- we'll call them Jada and Will, because each is kind of a big deal here in town, hence the Photoshop -- have lived together so long that they've started picking out the same outfits. I understand this. It happens. You liked each other enough to get married, so obviously you're into the other's style.
But the thing is, the night I took this picture, I'm pretty sure Jada and Will had arrived together. It's one thing to show up separately and have a cute, makes-single-people-barf moment where you're like, "Awwww, it's like we share a brain!" But when you come down the stairs and meet at the front door ready to go out and you're both wearing camel-colored jacket/sweater things over white blouses, seriously? Flip a coin. Loser has to go upstairs and change.
OH MY GOD YOU KILLED A GIRAFFE!
I know, I know, it's not real giraffe skin.
Thing is, I'm all about this joyously tacky resurgence of animal print.
But I gotta draw a line somewhere, and that line is giraffe.
A year ago, Shomari Benton and David Lloyd were fresh out of law school and grinding away their days at one of the largest corporate law firms in Kansas City -- and looking damn good doing it.They each got ribbed by other lawyers at the firm for their always-crisp attire -- three piece suits, pocket squares, the works. Both were frustrated that the only time they could shop for clothes that matched their style was when they traveled outside of Kansas City.
Lloyd and Benton hatched a plan to open a menswear store. Today at 4 p.m., the Downtown Council is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brick-and-mortar reality of Benton and Lloyd's dream: Method, their new store at 1529 Grand.
I chased a guy around the Beaumont Club before the Passion Pit show, trying to get a good shot of his feet, until I realized that he was not unique: 7/10 of the dudes at the venue were also wearing loafers without socks.
One loafer-wearing guy explained to me that he's gone sockless ever since he was a kid and got tired of his skate shoes wearing holes in every pair. Thing is, my problem is not with the lack of socks. It's more with the just-got-off-the-boat-gonna-have-some-brewskis-and-chill-bro, maybe-a-game-of-Frisbee-golf-but-can't-be-out-too-late-gotta-work-at-my-dad's-firm-early-tomorrow-morning loafers. They remind me of the pretentious golfers in Caddyshack. They remind me of Cary Elwes' character in Hot Shots.
And I bet they smell pretty ripe after a night of spilling beer and sweating inside the Beaumont.
I have a friend, pictured at right (okay, a kitten-mutant-lady, but a friend nonetheless) who is a stripper. We'll call her Blue Springs.
Blue Springs owns half a dozen velour tracksuits in a variety of plushy colors. She says they're ideal in her line of work.
When she arrives for her shift at the club, she has to walk past all the patrons to get to the dressing room, and she wouldn't want to give them a free show. Tracksuit! Then, at the end of the night, when it's after 3 a.m. and all she wants to do is go to bed, all she has to do is put on the tracksuit and voila: instant PJs.
I've created a simple flow chart to diagram the occasions in which it is acceptable to wear a velour tracksuit. You can find it after the jump.
I blame the liquor companies.
See, beer and liquor reps and their distributors are always dreaming up new promotional schwag to hand out in bars and at concerts. I still see Jäger Girls from time to time. I have a Bacardi key chain. I light
my other people's cigarettes with a Red Stripe lighter. I'm not complaining, but I'm basically displaying probable cause for a vehicle search for open containers 24/7.
However, I think this is how people end up wearing stupid shit like Mardi Gras beads outside of February, where Mardi Gras beads belong. It must have started with the liquor reps and went on to infect party favor manufacturers of all stripes. And now, suddenly, you'll be watching the St. Patrick's Day parade or at a Halloween party, and you'll look down, and dammit, there they are. Beads.
That's what happened to Neelay Shah the other night at the soft opening for Method, a men's clothing boutique (is there a manly word for "boutique"?) at 15th and Grand, which is scheduled to open for reals on April 17.
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