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KCFW and the Designer to Keep Your Eye On!

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Every March and October, the city’s best designers come together for Kansas City Fashion Week. Over the last five years, KCFW has grown to become the city’s event of the year. Finally, designers have a platform to display their talent and hard work on their journey of pursuing a career in fashion. And a journey it is. Each designer goes through a rigorous selection process and professional model castings. They work tirelessly on their collections for months leading up to the shows.

Coming from a design background myself, I have the utmost respect for emerging designers. I know the stress and hard work that goes into creating a collection from scratch, and I know the feeling of accomplishment that comes when you finally see that collection walk the runway. It’s a feeling like no other. Since my design days are over, I have had the opportunity to attend KCFW from the other side of the runway, as press/media. Over the past three years, I have been able to witness some unique collections made by people right here in KC.

This past March, I attended KCFW to see Fall/Winter ’17 collections. Seems strange, right, to see Fall clothes when it was barely spring? But that is how the fashion world works! Designers are always one season ahead and set the tone for what’s trending the following season. Each season brings fresh new talent, and this season it included Keilah Jadlow, whose collection caught my eye right from the start. She brought vintage designs to the runway in a hip, modern style. Not only did her designs look well made, they told a cohesive story from start to finish using a mixture of similar colors, textures and design elements. Many of her pieces included wide corduroy, a fabric that played a major role in the ’70s, paired with cotton, silk and wool. She paid close attention to details such as bell sleeves and heavy ruffles that gave otherwise boxy pieces a feeling of femininity. Overall, it was my favorite collection.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with Keilah about her Fall ’17 collection.

AW: Where did you draw most of your inspiration from for this collection?
KJ: I love vintage, ’70s styles, antiques and I draw a lot of inspiration from music. I love to go thrift shopping and the idea of making what is old new again. Recently, I have been going to estate sales! When you walk into those homes and the closets of the people that lived there, you are transported into a different decade. It is a more personal approach to shopping and a great place to find new ideas.

AW: What is your design process?
KJ: I always start with the sketches of designs before I start creating the actual garment. Then comes choosing fabric, which I usually order from I start with solid-colored fabric first before finding patterns to complement them. Then I try to make the sketches come to life!

AW: What was your main focus for this collection?
KJ: I wanted to create a collection with a ’70s undertone that represented my creativity. I love the color rust and I love to play with juxtaposition of textures so both of those ideas played a large part in this collection.

AW: What was your favorite thing about designing a collection for KCFW?
KJ: Being able to see my designs go down the runway. With the amount of work that goes into this, it is amazing to see the designs come to fruition.

AW: What is next for Keilah Jadlow?
KJ: I would love to do a Summer collection! I tend to gravitate toward heavy structured fabrics or more autumn tones. I want to challenge myself to create designs with lighter-weight fabrics and lighter colors and to look into branching out to some new styles. Besides designing, I also do a curated edit of vintage clothes for a website called It’s a way for me to be creative and continue to draw inspiration for future designs.

AW: What advice do you have for future designers?
KJ: Learn how to sew and don’t stop.

Just keep sewing. It is the building block to design. ■

Are you interested in attending the show’s? KCFW will be happening October 8 through 14, 2017. Check out for more information leading up to the event. I would love to see you there! Also, find Keilah’s edit on
under @hikeilah.


Written by: Abby Wood


Abby Wood is a wardrobe stylist and style blogger in Kansas City, and her education in design plus retail experience make her an expert in fit, fabric, style and trends. Her professional experience in fashion began with an apprenticeship with a bridal designer, shifted to creating and showing her  own line, moving up to management and training at a retail level and now professional styling as an independent consultant. Abby loves to work with individuals and help them develop and evolve their own sense of style. Find her at For daily style finds and tips, you can find Abby instablogging as @abbywoodwear on Instagram and Facebook.