Have you ever noticed a simple, unassuming event that eventually pushed your life in a different direction? While thinking about writing this post, I realized there was such an event for me in June of 2015.
At that time, I wasn’t doing style or fashion blogging. The thought had not yet crossed my mind. I was, though–and I’ve have always been–interested in materials, design, and those who create magic using the two.
In June, 2015, my daughter Rachelle and I attended our first Kansas City designer pop-up event. We had been to Kansas City Fashion Week the previous Fall and thought we would enjoy seeing Kansas City designers in a more intimate setting, which included cocktails and nibbles (can’t go wrong there).
When we entered, I immediately noticed this pink and black vintage inspired dress on this lovely, young woman. The dress was designed and made by Sarah Nelsen, who was wearing it. After a brief conversation, I happily took one of her business cards, which pictured that dress. I pinned the card to my studio peg board. I really admired the design of Sarah’s dress.
I talked to other designers that evening and bought some items. That was the first time I had talked and bought from local designers. It felt really good.
It was that evening that put a thought in the back of my mind: time to change the focus of my blogging. I took the leap a few months later.
Learning About Sarah
Once I made the decision to focus on style, Sarah’s path kept crossing with mine. Now that I have a couple of creations by Sarah in my closet, maybe it is time to introduce my readers to Sarah Nelsen.
Even though Sarah’s mother taught Fashion Merchandising at Fontbonne University in Saint Louis, Missouri, Sarah didn’t originally see herself as a fashion designer. Instead, she pursued a graphic design degree at the University of Kansas.
When she graduated, Sarah decided to stay in the Kansas City area and worked for various advertising agencies. But she found herself drawn to fashion design. She started taking fashion design classes in her spare time at Johnson County Community College. During a summer, she studied draping at the London School of Fashion. Eventually, she was freelancing in graphic design while giving more time to her passion for fashion.
One of her first experiences with design was with costumes for Kansas City’s innovative dance company, Quixotic. Sarah participated in the 18th Street Fashion Show, an annual event that ran for several years.
Sarah just wrapped up a two year professional development residency with Rightfully Sewn. This program helps put local based designers on a practical path toward success.
The Studio and Asiatica
Sarah now has a studio at the Livestock Trade Building in Kansas City’s West Bottoms where you will find her when she isn’t at her day job. For two years, she’s been a cutter and in charge of social media at Kansas City’s Asiatica. This is a dream job if you are someone like Sarah.
At Asiatica, Sarah works with vintage Japanese fabric along with new on-the-bolt fabrics. She has to decide how the designs are going to fit once the fabric pieces together. Many times the vintage pieces have holes and blemishes. She has to figure out how to work a design around these imperfections to create drop dead gorgeous garments.
In her studio, Sarah has two type of garments: those from previous collections (like my pink and black dress from the Strata collection) and one-of-a-kind garments that she has made (like my top Solar).
She has her own website and often has garments to purchase there. At the moment, there are also a few original designed pillows. All of her past collections are in her look-book. Well worth a look, I think.
At this point, Sarah constructs each of her designs to suit you, the customer. Being a seamstress myself, craftsmanship is very important to me. Sarah’s craftwomanship is impeccable.
The experience of going in for fittings and having someone else make and sew a design that I loved, was a true pleasure.
Sarah’s designs make me look great and I feel amazing when I wear them. Isn’t that what fashion is about?
Three Great Sites to Check Out
I will close with a close up view of Solar.
That wraps it up for this week. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll have another blog bit early next week because this Friday is a 1st Friday and that means it will be time for a new 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup.
You are certainly welcome to leave a comment or two or three. I love to hear from you.
I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.
Husband Michael, Rachelle and I took photos used in the post today. Michael does a bit of editing from time to time.
Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..