When you think of high fashion, Lexington, Ky. isn’t typically the first city that comes to mind.
On Thursday night, all of that changed when UK students clad in eclectic ensembles strutted down the runway at the Color Me Kentucky fashion show. The annual event was held above Kroger Field in a sprawling space adorned with blue and mauve paper flowers. Guests wore their best pieces to the coveted event, displaying chic cocktail dresses, fitted suits, and eye-catching accessories.
Out of all the ensembles at the event, a particular royal blue shawl with silver and gold leaf adornments stood out to me. The stunning Johnson Hartig look was worn by none other than Elisabeth Goth, the primary sponsor of the Color Me Kentucky fashion show. After Faye Lowry, a friend of Goth’s involved with UK Philanthropy, reached out to Goth in regards to the show, Goth knew she needed to be involved.
“Cool up and coming brands give it [the show] a little invigoration, making it cool for people of all ages," Goth said. "To me, that’s the most interesting — when you have people young to old, that’s when the most interesting conversations and ideas occur."
The fashion show absolutely demonstrated that concept, as all looks were created with merchandise from Lexington boutiques.
The event’s master of ceremony was none other than TV personality Carson Kressley, known for his role on Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. A Pennsylvania native, Kressley grew up traveling to Lexington and Louisville as his family is in the horse industry, breeding and owning American Saddlebred horses.
“I would come down here to go to junior league and to the Kentucky State Fair, so Kentucky has always been like a second home to me,” Kressley said.
The University of Kentucky fashion show was put on entirely by Dr. Scarlett Wesley’s MAT 559 students, a project they worked on the entire semester. The looks on the runway were even modeled by UK students, giving some of them a start in their modeling careers.
“I think it's great that people realize you don’t have to be just one thing in this world,” Kressley said. “You can be a med student and a model on the side.”
BØRNS' "Electric Love" played over the speakers as the lights lowered and the event began.
The fashion show was not limited to a certain occasion, as models walking in the show wore everything from street style looks to chic gowns. UK student Slade Howard wore a lavender tulle gown from Bella Rose, perfect for a glamorous ball. KRNL’s own Paul Gayle and Bryce Huff sported unique streetwear looks from Vintage Therapy begging to be worn to a UK Football game.
An array of students continued strutting down the catwalk in pieces from various other local boutiques, given an extra boost of confidence by Kressley’s clever remarks. The show was a smashing success and Wesley’s MAT 559 student’s made their way up to the stage as the show concluded to receive their much deserved praise and applause.
The fashion industry often seems like an exclusive area of work, hard to infiltrate and hard to remain in. However, the University of Kentucky’s Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles program grants students the opportunity to enter the industry.
“I’m thrilled that, hopefully, this event will show more people, potential supporters and students that there is a fashion program here where you can get a degree and actually get a job working in fashion,” Kressley said.
I think I speak for the entire audience when I say I cannot wait to see what next year’s fashion show holds.