Phoenix Fashion Week kicked off on Thursday evening, an annual event that brings established and emerging designers together from all over the globe together to showcase holiday and spring collections, and push Arizona forward through fashion, education and community.
This year, the four-day, three-night event will feature a total of 21 designers, nine established and 12 emerging, as well as 10 accessory designers, who will pair their pieces with some of the clothing brands that will walk the runway.
Thursday night was also Phoenix Fashion Week’s community night, and 12 different designers local to the valley had the opportunity to showcase their work. Among those 12 designers was 16-year-old Paige Deavult, a California-bred designer who taught herself to sew at the age of seven. Now, Paige lives in Mesa, and along with having her designs modeled on the runway, Thursday was also the day she launched her own clothing line, Prodigie Apparel.
“I got started with fashion because I am generally a modest person, and there are not a lot of things on the market that are modest, but young at the same time,” Deavult said, “so if you go to Forever 21 or something, you are not going to be able to easily find a knee-length skirt.”
Growing up, Devault designed clothing for dolls, and eventually, for herself. She said that being tall herself only added to her struggle to find clothing that was both fashionable and modest, and she created her own clothing line out of necessity to cater to her own taste.
She got involved with Phoenix Fashion Week by attending seminars, and initially tried out for the emerging designer boot camp, but felt that she was not ready because her collection was not established at the time. She was then introduced to the community night event, and saw it as an opportunity to show off her talent.
Her first collection was inspired by architecture, as well as female body parts that she believes people do not focus on, such as collar bones, shoulders and waste lines. So far, she has only released four different pieces, including two pairs a pants, a shirt, and a dress.
“I have my base set of what I have that is out there, and I’m going to be releasing things every once in a while for the same collection, and so it is like a growing collection,” she said.
Soon, she will be releasing a set of outerwear pieces, and she is looking forward to rolling out all of the surprises that she has in store for her current collection. Next year, she plans on competing for the Emerging Designer of the Year title, and wants to begin her next collection for her line at that time.
Besides architectural design, she also draws much of her inspiration from her aunt, who passed away from breast cancer.
“She was a seamstress, and she did what I do, and she is just my biggest inspiration,” Devault said, “and whenever I sew, I feel like she is in the room with me, and my sewing goes off an a tangent, and it just works.”
Devault is still is currently still in high school attending half days, and in the evenings, she is attending classes at community college. She is double-majoring in fashion and marine biology, and hopes to work in fashion in the future, because she believes that she would enjoy it so much, it would not feel like work.
Phoenix Fashion Week is held at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, and the event will host two more runway shows on Friday and Saturday evening to showcase even more talent and announce Emerging Designer of the Year, as well as Model of the Year.