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College of Health and Human Sciences

Fashion studies students selected to participate in virtual fashion week

Monday, October 26, 2020

Gracie Key and Jaxson Metzler, seniors in fashion studies, showcased their design collections during this year’s Kansas City Fashion Week, which was held Sept. 24-26. Each season, KCFW gives students from across the nation an opportunity to showcase their own collections on the runway.

This year’s event was hosted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Preparing for the show with COVID-19 was an interesting task,” explained Key. “There were minor challenges such as scheduling safe fittings and fabric shipment delays, but the biggest challenge was being prepared to change everything at a moment's notice. If a model happened to get sick or exposed days prior to filming, then I had to be ready to fit a new model very quickly.”

Metzler noticed the biggest change in the scheduling. “On runway day, we normally spend 12 hours at the

event but with COVID-19, we had to waterfall the schedule, so everyone was properly distanced. Overall, we spent about four hours on set for filming day. KCFW did an amazing job of making sure the whole filming process was safe and felt special.”

Key debuted her collection “In the Chateau”, which embraces femininity and influences empowerment by using inspiration from the Palace of Versailles. “French chateaus, originally built for defense and structure, are beautiful works of art that are prized possessions of France,” said Key. “To mimic this idea, I have created a collection that is ornate and feminine to highlight the powerful women who wear it.”

Originally from Louisburg, Key started her journey as a fashion designer by creating custom evening wear, while practicing sustainability through reusing and recycling fabrics. She has expanded her brand into the ready-to-wear market while also continuing to create custom pieces and one-of-a-kind, sustainable items. She is the owner of Gracie Key™, which was created to empower women through affordable and sustainable designer fashion. Each piece is cultivated to highlight individuality and bring a bold, feminine touch to every wardrobe. Gracie Key™ is a ready-to-wear collection that has a classic style that is both timeless and versatile. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and visit her website to learn more about Gracie Key™.

Metzler debuted 16 pieces from his collection “The Pearl”, inspired by Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer’s painting, The Girl with the Pearl Earring, as well as other predominant paintings of his. The collection, originally designed with12 pieces, was set to debut in March but with the postponement of fashion week, he was able to add four additional pieces.

Metzler, originally from Minneapolis, was inspired to do apparel design and production after stumbling upon Project Runway as a kid.  “I was fascinated at how they could take an idea and transform it into a beautiful garment. I have been designing ever since,” he said.  The mission of Metzler's brand, Jaxson Wyatt, is to create clothes that empower all women. “If you can feel confident in what you are wearing, you can rock whatever you do, whether it be at your job, a night out on the town, or a daunting first impression. We also have the responsibility of creating clothing that is more socially and environmentally sustainable.” Following his time at K-State, Metzler hopes to move to New York City or London to grow his fashion design business.  You can find more on Metzler’s designs by visiting his Instagram or his website.

KCFW and the K-State fashion studies program have a great relationship, with many students having received the opportunity to showcase their work during the event. Teisha Barber, president of KCFW, has praised the apparel and textiles program with producing good quality work and students who are extremely professional.

For more information on Kansas City Fashion Week, visit kcfashionweek.com

The fashion studies program, located in the College of Health and Human Sciences, is focused on human well-being related to the human need for clothing and textiles products. As the only four-year fashion studies program in the state of Kansas, students are prepared to meet the needs of the current fashion industry and to advance it toward a more socially and environmentally resilient industry throughout their careers. Students are inspired to envision fresh new approaches to the global challenges facing every aspect of the fashion industry. For more information on K-State’s fashion studies program, visit their website.

This article was posted on Monday, October 26, 2020, and is filed under College News, Interior Design and Fashion Studies.