By Jake Thacker & Carrielle Sedersten, Fashion Correspondents
Every August, people brave the summer heat and look forward to the fifth largest fashion week in the United States: Omaha Fashion Week.
From avant-garde outfits constructed entirely out of plaster and crystal embellishments, to an elegant evening wear collection inspired by Parisian ballerinas, Omaha Fashion Week’s August show brought artistic collections constructed by a roster of fashion connoisseurs.
The Tuesday night shows featured avant-garde designs. These collections are not intended for everyday wear but are inspired from imagination and creativity.
The Haus of Donna Faye by Tiffany Headley collection displayed an ode to punk subculture, filled with classic prints of plaid and stripes, bold textiles and a color palette that was, for the majority, black and white.
Headly’s opening look was a black dress with a tulle neckline, which featured a black and white striped heart that covered the top of the garment. The look also included a train with a pop of the same striped fabric.
Another great look from the collection was a short punk dress in a plum, plaid material, adorned with gold chains gathered at the waist and sparkling tulle.
When the finale dress of the Haus of Donna Faye collection took the runway, sounds of admiration were heard throughout the audience. The garment was the “Wicked Witch of the West meets Maleficent” from Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” as it channeled the dark arts with various black fabrics such as lace and tulle.
Another notable collection from Tuesday’s avant-garde night was Get Plastered! by Angela Balderston.
Balderston’s designs were worn by models that appeared to be glam-rock aliens that had attend an intergalactic disco.
Runway styling helped, too. The Get Plastered! models wore only nude stockings on the bottom half so the crystal- and mirror-embellished, plaster-covered torsos could command all the attention.
Wednesday night showcased ready-to-wear designers.
Caine by Caine Westergard’s collection seemingly drew inspiration from aviation and the 1940s, with a color palette of rich blues and shiny olive greens.
Westergard’s vision was much more singular than what she showcased at Omaha Fashion Week’s March 2012 show. With an Amelia Earhart inspired line, Westergard, an Omaha Fashion Week veteran and student at Iowa State University, has helped display the improvement seen in many of the local designers’ collections.
Terri Buckner’s line Nuevintage Apparel + Accessories is unlike most ready-to-wear collections, as she created her pieces from repurposed vintage clothing and scarves.
The “Prairie Bohemian” collection, as Buckner called it, combined flowy scarves, lace and crocheted materials into one cohesive look. One of the best pieces had a well-structured bodice that contrasted the light-as-air sheer skirt.
Red, white and blue floral hair pieces crowned the models and added to Nuevintage’s overall runway appeal.
The talent shone brightly on Thursday night for the eveningwear collections.
SuShe by J.Tracy, designed by Juantiesha Christian, was filled with retro-inspired pieces that harked back to the glitz and glam of the 1930s, with a modern spin. This eveningwear collection featured plus-size designs, as well.
Fella by Fella Vaughn’s line was inspired by 18th century French women traveling to India. Sparkling red and black fabrics commanded the audience’s attention. Crop tops and midriffs were prominent in the collection.
Closing Thursday’s show was local 16-year-old designer and crowd favorite Kate Walz.
For her eighth collection for Omaha Fashion Week, Parisian ballerinas from the 1960s were described to be a reference point and source of inspiration.
What Walz sent down the runway was nothing short of stunning.
Models graced the stage in gorgeous shades of blush, cornflower blue and pale purple. One of the best looks in the collection was a floral-print overcoat with three-quarter length sleeves. Underneath was a simple yet chic white slip dress, decorated with crystal embellishments.
After Walz’s final look came down the runway – a well-constructed, pink ball gown -an emotional response was created among fashion fans, as some were seen with tears in their eyes, awestruck with her beautifully constructed collection.
Many of the designers that showed their spring 2014 collections throughout the week showed again in Saturday’s finale show, where the runway was extended to 200 feet to accommodate a much larger audience.
Omaha Fashion Week, the caliber of its designers, models and beauty teams were top-notch quality, which helped create more than enough excitement for next season’s show.