Saturday, October 28, 2017

Tampa Bay Fashion Week: Fashion Show Recap [+ interview with Elizabeth Carson Racker]

Confession time: last fall was the first time I had ever heard of Tampa Bay Fashion Week. WHAT. Please don't shun me for this one. Truth be told the only fashion week that I was previously familiar with at the time was the biggie one in New York. To be clear, when I say "familiar with" I really mean I saw my favorite bloggers  on my social feeds while they were there - showcasing their outfits as they ran all across NYC attending show after show.  But yes, "familiar with" still feels like the correct phrase.

Now that that's off my chest…

From what I read last year it was clear that the "couldn't miss event" of TBFW was the fashion show.  It was a night showcasing incredible designers, held at the one and only International Plaza. I promised myself that there was no way I was missing it for 2017. I literally blocked off the month of September in my iCal app with a calendar note that read "TBFW happens sometime this month". I obsessively checked the TBFW home page and followed along on socials to ensure I didn't miss the dates announcement.

The dates were announced, I was ecstatic. Then they were changed to a week later thanks to Hurricane Irma. I was still ecstatic. I couldn't wait to experience my first ever TBFW fashion show.

I was lucky enough to attend the show this year as a VIP no less. I brought my friend Kayla along with me. Seated diagonally left of the runway, we had perfect views as each of the models walked down the bright strip and made their pose at the end. Our seats were in the front row of our section which was prime for me to snap photos on my iPhone. We sat googly eyed in the middle of International Plaza while one fabulous look after another kept coming out.  I snapped away on my iPhone while whispering how much I wanted every other outfit for my own closet.

I'm excited to share my favorite looks with you here on Keeping Up with Kahla today! These were all snapped on my iPhone in between sharing the whole experience with y'all on Instagram Stories. I love getting to bring you guys along on events like this! Rest assured that my September calendar is already blocked awaiting the 2018 TBFW announcement. You should keep it on your radar too! The show is open to the public (being held in the middle of the mall and all!), and you have the option to purchase seats on the main floor. You'll see below that there were a lot of viewers standing from the second floor of the mall looking down at the runway. But trust me when I say, nothing beats being seated in the action.






I also had the lovely opportunity to interview TBFW crowd favorite: Elizabeth Carson Racker. She's no stranger to Tampa Bay Fashion Week. Her designs were such a fun and colorful pop to the runway. See what she had to say about her go-to pieces, favorite trends, and the best advice she's received on her journey in the fashion world below:

KUWK: What is your favorite trend in the fashion world currently? 
ECR: I've  been obsessed with the color olive green. it's been hot for about three years now, and still holding strong. It's become a staple color in my wardrobe. I find it very easy to style and accessories. 

KUWK: Where do you draw your inspiration from?  
ECR: My inspiration is pulled from Ethnic culture, local influence, music, Art, the movement of dance, nature, photography... life! I see inspiration everywhere.

KUWK: Name the “go-to” piece in your closet right now and why you love it. 
ECR: My go-to piece in my closet is my oversize off the shoulder shirt dress. I have it in black and Olive green, they're definitely my go to pieces. I can dress it up or down and manipulated by tying it up to make it short or long. I can style it with leggings, heels, or flats. Every girl needs at least one in their closet. 

KUWK: What was the best piece of fashion [industry] advice given to you? Who gave you the advice? 
ECR: Best advice I was given was from a close designer friend. The advice was to always remember that the fashion world is very very small!!!! "Everybody knows everybody" So you have to make a "positive" lasting impression everywhere you go. 

KUWK: You’ve had a ton of experience in the world of fashion! Knowing what you know now, what advice would you personally give your younger self when she was just getting started in this industry?
ECR: My note to my younger self would be, not to rush into anything, explore the fashion industry especially in a bigger city. Not to be afraid to do something uncomfortable which would force you to take chances. 

You can shop similar styles to my TBFW fashion show outfit below. Unfortunately my jumpsuit is old from BCBGeneration, but I'm linking up some other fabulous jumpsuits options that I think you'll love.

*Use arrows below to scroll through products. Click item pictures below to be brought to their product page for purchase. Similar items are linked where originals could not be:


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