Local designers take the stage at Omaha Fashion Week


Local designers took to the spotlight during Omaha’s Fashion Week – one of the top five shows in the United States. The six-night event highlighted the local fashion scene’s spring lines. There were some interesting styles on display.

The cool thing about Omaha Fashion Week is that it goes beyond just models and designers displaying their wares. Community-related events were also featured – Student Night (which allowed high school students an opportunity to show off their design skills), Cancer Survivor Night (which featured men and women who have survived cancer or are current patients modeling outfits designed for them by local designers) and Beauty Show Night (local salons and stylists create “looks” for a chance at a prize package). The remaining three nights feature designers and their models.

I took in two shows – Cancer Survivor Night and the first designer Showcase. I may be a guy whose “style” is T-shirts and jeans, but even I can admire the fashions created by some of the best designers in the Midwest, as well as the United States.


Cancer Survivor Night can tug at your heart strings, especially when you see the children who handled their situations so bravely.

A little girl went straight for my heart. You could tell she loved being on the runway. She had the biggest and cutest smile on her face. The adult with her was having a great time, too. A little hair flips as they modeled their outfits. Just a sweet scene to take in.


One model showed her bravery on the runway. As she finished modeling her outfit, she started her turn toward backstage and took off her wig. The crowd erupted in cheers and applause. It reminded me of my older sister Phyllis (who we lost to pancreatic cancer), who said she had time with wigs.


Men modeled some cool outfits. They, too, received their fair share of cheers.


The few dozen models deserve individual praise and support for their bravery during their health battles. Perhaps, the most emotional participant was the youngest cancer patient/survivor – 12 months old. She and her mom walked the runway with smiles on their faces. That night was an emotional one for many people in attendance.


You know how they say it’s a small world? A friend messaged me to say her sister – Kristi Cornish – was walking the runway for Atomic Bombshell. The store is owned by designer Andrea Hurtt. The models wore Classic Bombshell dresses. Bombshell is a clothing style that focuses on 1940s/50s styles.


Hurtt won the designer prize for the night with the Bombshells theme.


The next night brought out more designs by the designers. The showcase featured outfits by six designers.

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Hurtt again had a line of fashion – Amaryllis designs – displayed by models. The bombshell look harkens back to mid-1900s, and the models looked beautiful with their hair styles reflecting the era. The outfits were very stylish. The Bombshell look is a lifestyle that many people have embraced.

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The first Showcase night ran a gamut of styles – ranging from a Native American theme to “hippie” to religion.

An elegant style based on churches was beautiful. Gowns and outfits were designed using religious aspects, such as a stained glass window. The gowns were stunning. I thought the designer would win the night’s prize. But, you never know.


Another designer used the late 1960s/early 1970s as her basis for a natural look. The models’ outfits looked like they could have been at Woodstock.


Remember the small world comment? Well, it turns out that not only did my niece have a couple of relatives on her husband’s side modeling over the weekend, but one of Lisa’s high school classmates had a daughter modeling the night I was there.

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Pyeper modeled for the Jessica Lynn-designed line. Lynn used a Native American theme for the line’s natural look.

Lynn has used Pyeper as a model several times.

“(Pyeper) has an amazing personality and just is a simple sweet kid,” Lynn said. “She puts forth her best effort every show and is easy to work with.”

Pyeper, who is almost 11, has been modeling since she was five. She has enjoyed her modeling career, notching appearances in four Omaha Fashion Week shows, as well as participating in Kansas City Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.

“My mom just decided to put me in it one day,” Pyeper said. “I would like to model for as long as I can.”

After watching models display some outstanding outfits, judges awarded the night’s designer prize to Atomic Bombshell’s Hurtt for her Amaryllis line.


The showcase events fly by each night. I didn’t know what to expect the first night I attended. I figured it would be a 3-hour show, with lots of extravaganza and posh. Nope. The cancer survivor show lasted a little more than an hour. The designer showcase lasted about 90 minutes.


Fashion Week started with preshow cocktails and photo opps for attendees. A few vendors were onsite selling items, such as purses and jewelry.


Models were on display as “living mannequins.” Overall, they did an excellent job not breaking character. That had to be difficult, with people looking at them and commenting on their appearances, etc.


Omaha Fashion Week obviously survives based on the work of its volunteers and staff. I had the honor of meeting Logan Finn, who is a volunteer.


I know I am far from a fashion guru, but I liked a lot of the outfits the designers put on display. Most of the outfits I could see young women and some older wearing on a normal basis. Sometimes, the outfits you see on TV for fashion shows seem to be designed for just the show. There’s no way people would wear most of what is displayed at shows like in Milan, Paris, etc. But, the outfits at Omaha Fashion Week could easily be worn by the average person.

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I had fun covering the event for the blog. I was unsure when Lisa and I decided to apply for a press pass for the event. Since Lisa works evenings, I knew I’d be the one going. It was fun, and I’d do it again. I recommend checking out a fashion show in your area, if for nothing more than the people watching you’ll get to do.

Disclaimer: Thank you to Omaha Fashion Week for the press passes. However, all opinions and views are mine.