Its been said that the West 18th Street Fashion Show marks the beginning of summer in Kansas City. Well, if this year's fashion show is any indication of the upcoming summer season, then it will be HOT! W18th st fashion show opened this year's show with a bang. It featured designers from all around Kansas City.
I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the designers by the name of Paige Beltowski of PG Designs. Beltowski is a familiar face to the West 18th Street Fashion Show, having participated in the show for several years. Paige, who was excited to start the show off, shared some details about her designs and makeup looks. "The makeup looks I paired with my designs are very colorful and bold, its all about the eyes. I worked with a theater makeup artist by the name of Jamie Leonard. Jamie specializes in saturated color and she understands how lights can enhance any makeup look." Paige also shared how she enjoys giving makeup artists the freedom to take control of the creativity when it comes to makeup looks.
I also asked Paige what advice would she give local aspiring designers. She stated that flexibility is key. Paige went on the say "I started in fashion with a few challenging circumstances, like very low budgets and not having the right equipment or not being able to afford the materials. But being creative and flexible enough to overcome and move past those challenges is the reason why I am here today."
The designers were not the only ones turning heads on the runway. Plus-size model, Dr. Amber Botros, demanded your attention as she fearlessly slayed the runway wearing designs from Rubbish Co. Botros has been modeling in the Kansas City area for about 2 years. She is definitely no stranger to the runway.
I had a chance to sit down with Botros before the show started. She was able to give me more details about the unique designs she was wearing. Botros stated the designs for Rubbish Co. are made out of recycled material. The designers wanted to bring awareness to how we can help aid in our planet’s health one step at a time by using fashion as a platform.
Before my convo with Botros came to an end, I was able to ask her one final and important question. "Why do you think its important that plus-size women are represented in Kansas City fashion shows?" She answered "I think its very important and along time coming. When I started modeling there were a few plus women in the KC industry, now there are so many more. Its so exciting to see how far we have come in such a short time. Theres been several plus lines shown during Kansas City Fashion Week, along with local designers using more plus-size women in their shows. Its important because we represent the average woman. The average woman is over a size 16. An average woman should be able to see someone like themselves on the runway."
Being a plus-size model myself and seeing the crowd's reaction to Amber's confidence on the longest runway in KC, was truly inspiring. I commend West 18th Street Fashion Show for having an inclusive fashion forward show. W18th street fashion show is the epitome of KC's ever-growing diverse culture.