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Indiana Fashion Week to showcase talent, connect with Hoosiers

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When people think of Indiana, the first thought is not typically fashion. Technology, health and farming — especially corn — are some of the things that come to mind before runways and intricately sewn garments.

Indiana Fashion Week (INDFW) is looking to bring fashion — and in turn the talent of local designers, stylists, producers, directors and makeup artists — to the forefront of Hoosiers’ minds.

“There’s a saying: ‘There’s more than corn in Indiana’ and there is, there’s fashion,” said INDFW show producer Temara Payton.

INDFW, hosted by nonprofit Indiana Fashion Foundation (IFF), will be Aug. 14-21 at various locations around Indianapolis, including the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Hilbert Circle Theatre. The events will include a pop-up fashion show, photography exhibit, fashion panel and an emerging designers runway show and competition.

The purpose of the fashion week is to showcase work created by local artists and help establish Indianapolis as a viable creative economy and fashion market, said Denisha Furgeson, CEO and founder of the Indiana Fashion Foundation.

Indiana Fashion Week
A week of activities are planned to celebrate Indiana Fashion Week

Aug. 14 — 4-9 p.m. The Summit, Paradox, 6281 N. College Ave. Tickets, $10 with student ID; $20 general admission
Aug. 16 — 6-7:30 p.m. Stitchworks Tour & Cocktail Hour, Stitchworks, 1125 E. Brookside Ave.
Aug. 16 — 7:30-9 p.m. Making It IN Fashion Conversation, virtual
Aug. 17 — 6-9 p.m. Tokyo Twiggy Soiree and Trunk Show, Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis, 717 Broad Ripple Ave.
Aug. 18 — 7:30-8 p.m. Flash mob Fashion Show, Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St.
Aug. 19 — 7-9 p.m. Ensemble Fashion Photography Exhibition, Paradox, 6281 N. College Ave.
Aug. 20 — 7-10 p.m. VIP Guest Welcome Party, private location
Aug. 21 — 12-3 p.m. Fashion Fair, Monument Circle
Aug. 21 — 5-7 p.m. Fashion INcrowd/VIP Lounges, Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle
Aug. 21 — 7-9:30 p.m. The Runway Shows featuring the Emerging Designer Competition, Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit indianafashionweek.com.

The theme for this year’s INDFW is “Connect” because IFF wants to demonstrate how fashion connects people and can be a viable link between other more established industries, such as agriculture, health care and technology.

“It’s about showing how fashion connects and creating opportunities for those in the creative industry to actually do what they love,” Ferguson said.

INDFW’s first event, The Summit, will kick off 4 p.m. Aug. 14 at Paradox. This five-hour networking session will include a panel discussion, design competition and conversation.

The guest speakers at The Summit are Thomas Walker, co-founder for hip-hop clothing brand Cross Colours, and Chicago designer Vic Lloyd. Some of the brands participating in the design competition are Broken Needles, Neighorhood Maniacs and No Rivals. Tickets for this event are $10 with student ID, $20 general admission.

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

Two days later, IFF will host a cocktail hour and tour of sewing facility StitchWorks at 6 p.m. Then, a panel of to-be-confirmed speakers will participate in the Making it IN Fashion Conversation, which will be 7:30-9 p.m. at Circle City Industrial Complex and online. The StitchWorks tour is invite-only, but those interested can email IFF and request an invitation. The fashion panel does not require a ticket.

The winner of the INDFW Emerging Designer Competition in 2019, Jenn Felts, and her brand Tokyo Twiggy will be featured in a trunk show 6-9 p.m. Aug. 17 at Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis. Attendees do not need a ticket and will be able to talk with Felts and purchase items from her brand, which is inspired by Japanese fashion and culture.

IFF will also host a flash mob fashion show at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Indiana State Fair. A few models will participate in the fair parade and then get out by the Midway arch, where more will be more waiting to strut and show off 20 outfits of “elevated fair wear,” said INDFW hair team lead Christina Lockett.

This pop-up fashion show is one way the IFF is attempting to reach new audiences and make the Indiana fashion community more well-known, Ferguson said.

“They have thousands of people that come through there,” she said. “It’s about being able to just expose those creatives to another market while also exposing that market to more fashion and glamour.”

There will also be a ticketed fashion photography exhibit 7-9 p.m. Aug. 19 at Paradox and an invite-only VIP guest welcome party for Steven Kolb, CEO for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), CFDA connects coordinator Elliot Carlyle and fashion designer Rinat Brodach, who was in the first season of Amazon Prime show “Making the Cut,” 7-10 p.m. Aug. 20 at a private location.

On the final day of fashion week, there will be a fashion fair 12-3 p.m. on Monument Circle, and at Hilbert Circle Theatre there will be VIP lounges 5-7 p.m. and the final runway show, featuring the Emerging Designer Competition, 7-9:30 p.m.

The fashion fair will have a DJ, photo backdrops and a fashion display with 10 models wearing looks from Indiana designers pulled by Indiana stylists, such as INDFW lead stylist Raemia Higgins. The fair is free and does not require a ticket. These display looks will also be the first down the runway at the main show.

The main event of the night is the Emerging Designer Competition, in which eight Midwest designers will show a five-piece collection and be judged on criteria such as their creativity and composition. The winner of the competition will receive a $5,000 manufacturing grant to produce some of their designs.

One of the competition’s participants is Indianapolis-based streetwear designer Monty Matuka. Matuka’s brand More Equality Less Ignorance (MELI) features sophisticated streetwear, created using more elevated fabrics such as silks and linens and tighter-fitting cuts, with many unisex articles of clothing. His five pieces for the show will be upscale everyday attire, or clothes that people can wear while in the office, running errands or going to dinner with family.

Another competitor and Milwaukie-based designer Stacy Hogan will be showing off her five-piece collection “Anything but Basic,” which includes classic clothes with a twist. Hogan specializes in creating plus-size designs and said she looks forward to showing off her ability to create clothes for all body types at the show.

“Sewing for individuals with multiple different sizes is one of the things I take pride in,” she said. “There’s not an individual that I haven’t been able to design a look for.”

Felts of Tokyo Twiggy will also be featured in the show as the IN Vogue Designer, and to finish off the night and INDFW, Brodach will showcase some of her work as the featured designer.

Tickets for the show can be purchased here.

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