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October 15
Provo Fashion Week

PFW 2014 - Endless Photography-26-X3.jpg

Many know the city of Provo as the home of Brigham Young University, or maybe for its budding music scene. Few know it for fashion. Despite that fact, Provo’s fashion industry is pacing impatiently, ready to burst at the seams at a moment’s notice. Utah designers, Natalie Workman and Bree Wilkins, are dedicating their time and talents to making this happen, beginning with Provo Fashion Week. The duo plan to make the event permanent in Provo with semi-annual shows in the Spring and Fall seasons. The most recent Provo Fashion Week was this past weekend, October 10th and 11th, at the Provo City Library.

Although Provo is still a small city, the artistic scene is definitely developing. And this past show provided a few aspiring designers from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences with the opportunity to present their work on the runway.

BYU does not offer a degree in fashion design which forces these students to act creatively in balancing their desire both to attend BYU and to enter the world of fashion. Brandon Perry, family life major, told us, “I decided that even though fashion design was not offered as a major, I would choose a path that would later prepare me for a career as a fashion designer.” As one of the established designers at the show, his line consisted of unique items largely “inspired by [his] ancestral legacy, infusing traditions from [his] unusual heritage of Spanish Basque, Native American, and Northern European lineage.” Another designer, Kailee Brown, a family life major, also talked with us about her line, describing it as “kind of feminine with a fun but dark side.”

Founder Bree Wilkins attends BYU as a business management major, with a marketing emphasis. “I wanted to not only be able to design clothes – I ultimately wanted to run a successful business,” she told us. Her line was the finale each night. Her sparkling collection ranged “from [street wear] to cocktail [and] wedding gowns.”

As circumstances unfolded and word spread of Provo Fashion Week, I had the happy accident of becoming one of the runway models for established bridal designer Mary Rino. For this show, she focused on evening gowns inspired by the concept of a lost and melancholy 1930s starlet. Mary’s ingenuity, talent, and stylistic eye definitely made her elegant gowns some of the better pieces in the show. As an amateur model I was intimidated to be put on the same level with more experienced models, stylists, and designers. We arrived for hair and makeup at 3 p.m. and didn’t leave until after 10 p.m. And although the day was long and tiring, the atmosphere, humming with the creativity and passion of these people, created an amazing event and promising debut for Provo’s fashion industry.

With behind-the-scenes access it was obvious how much work and dedication went into this show and the development of the fashion industry in Utah. Provo Fashion Week is definitely an event to watch for and an amazing opportunity for anyone in the School of Family Life hoping to pursue a career in fashion design.

Photo of Brandon Perry by Mike Johnson​


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