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Do all Designers Have This Much Fun?

Celebrating the Accomplishment of Completing a Runway Collection

Today is the day Team J.Mullin Apparel has been anticipating and preparing for since early December, when I was accepted to be featured in the upcoming Spring /Summer ’23 Kansas City Fashion Week. This afternoon I will be presenting my completed runway collection to the Kansas City Fashion Week Committee for their inspection and approval. Then, we will have a dress rehearsal of our runway show, seeing all of our models and the entire collection together, and seeing how the models move to our newly remixed soundtrack. After so many hours of putting this show together, it will be so gratifying to see it come together.

Our runway show, “A Weekend in Saint Tropez,” scheduled for Thursday, March 9, will feature 12 ensembles that evoke the luxury lifestyle of the French Riviera during the 1960s and 70s. Inspired by the iconic photography of Slim Aarons, our collection is all about the elegant ease of kimono-inspired dressing that easily adapts to the various sides of a leisurely stay at a luxurious resort. But even in day-to-day life, we can give ourselves permission to bring more elegance and grace into how we live. By putting more thought into how we show up every day and adding the extra touches that elevate our lives, we will bring some of that free and easy vacation state of mind to our daily lives.

As I worked long hours in my studio creating the runway collection, I imagined a drone camera zooming out high above the city to reveal all of the other designers throughout Kansas City and beyond who were also working late into the night in their studios. As solitary as this line of work can be, I have become very aware of the vibrant community of artisans and creators there are in Kansas City! The J.Mullin Apparel team itself is a dynamic and creative crew of several remarkable individuals who bring their talents and personalities into my world, inspiring me to expand my vision and get out of my comfort zone.

Today’s dress rehearsal will be rewarding enough, but the real moment of celebration will be the night of the runway show when I will see the audience’s reaction to the collection — not only their reaction to the designs themselves, but also to the energy and vibrancy of the models who are wearing them. The ultimate reward, however, is seeing the way someone comes to life when they try on one of my garments. It is a transformation that inspires them to give themselves permission to shine and be all they were meant to be.

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