The Best of Indiana Fashion Week

Indiana Fashion Week
Paris Colby of Broken Needles (third from left) won the design competition at the Summit event hosted by Pattern during Indiana Fashion Week 2021

Indiana Fashion Week has been sashaying through town all week and will strike its final pose at today’s finale runway. Let’s review some of those events.

The Summit

Last Saturday, at Pattern’s Paradox venue in Broad Ripple, local designer Paris Colby of Broken Needles won a friendly competition and $1,000 that she will use to buy a chainstitch machine for her business. Colby’s focus on sustainable practices caught the judges’ eyes. She reworks and embellishes Carhartt coveralls, fabric baseball caps, and denim with streetwear attitude and artistry.

Indiana Fashion Week
StitchWorks cut-and-sew facility at the Circle City Industrial Complex

StitchWorks Tour

Instructors at StitchWorks, Indy’s only cut-and-sew facility, gave a private tour of their two studios and discussed their recent projects. The facility at the Circle City Industrial Complex gives local designers an alternative to offshoring sewing production. During the height of pandemic, when personal protective equipment was hard to come by, StitchWorks was making face masks and hospital gowns for Eskenazi staff. Project Lia, another effort by the team, repurposes discarded material into home decor, clothing, and accessories through job training programs for women returning from incarceration. Sewing classes and certification courses are available for beginners.

Indiana Fashion Week
Jenn Felts (left) of Tokyo Twiggy during Indiana Fashion Week 2021

Tokyo Twiggy Soirée & Trunk Show

Broad Ripple’s new Storefront Theatre feted Jenn Felts, the designer behind Tokyo Twiggy and the winner of the first-ever Emerging Designer Competition at INDFW. Visitors got a close look at her collection—featuring a lot of electric blues, orchids, and reds on black backgrounds—and gave her a sendoff to fashion weeks in Milan and London this fall.

Indiana Fashion Week
Stylist Raemia Higgins and makeup artist Danelle French at the Flashmob Fashion Show at the Indiana State Fair during Indiana Fashion Week 2021

Flashmob Fashion Show

Despite a downpour of rain on Thursday, the Midway entrance at the Indiana Stair Fair turned into a catwalk for a (seemingly) impromptu fashion show. Female models from Indy’s L Modelz turned out the event dubbed “IndyChella” for its focus on festival style the Indiana way. The crew got glammed up by makeup artist Danelle French and hair stylist Christina Ann Hair Boutique, and dressed by INDFW lead stylist, Raemia Higgins. Once the clouds broke, patchwork overalls and halter tops won over the State Fair–goers.

Indiana Fashion Week
At the Indiana Fashion Week 2021 VIP reception (left to right): Indiana Fashion Foundation president Michael Weston, IFF CEO Denisha Ferguson, Council of Fashion Designers of America CEO Steven Kolb, Making the Cut designer Rinat Brodach, and CFDA creative consultant Elliot Carlyle

Making Headlines

The Indiana Fashion Foundation received national attention from Forbes this week for its involvement with the Council for Fashion Designers of America. The prestigious organization’s CEO, Steven Kolb, came to town to promote a new inclusivity initiative, CFDA Connects, and the Indiana Fashion Foundation is one of its members. In time, IFF will benefit from CFDA efforts to link us to other cities’ fashion weeks and the larger fashion industry. In the meantime, the credibility bump was huge—Kolb chose Indianapolis as his first road trip to CFDA Connects member cities.