KCFW: Pamela Lucas on runway looks and classroom tips
On Kansas City Fashion Week’s third night, local designer Pamela Lucas’s line House of Pamela Renee will walk the runway at Union Station. Not only does Lucas design her own creations, but she’s also an educator with Rightfully Sewn, the local non-profit organization that seeks to provide seamstress training for women in need and other aspiring designers of all ages. We recently spoke with Lucas ahead of her Friday night show.
What brought you to Kansas City?
I am a native New Yorker. My Mom moved back to KC when she and my dad got divorced. I was a high school student at the time. I, then, as an adult moved back to New York City with my two-year-old daughter to attend “Fashion Institute of Technology.” Upon graduating from F.I.T., I moved back to KC. My daughter wanted to move back and grow up with her girl cousins. Best decision I ever made, my only daughter is well adjusted and I can be a designer anywhere.
You design custom suits for men and special occasion gowns for women. What drew you to creating clothing for dressing up?
I had a mentor in New York named Rosza Glenn. She had her own Bridal Design Company on 2nd Ave. I worked with her for many years. She said I have a real knack for men’s suits and fancy dresses. She was right: I figured a customer can get casual clothing anywhere, but, that special garment for that special occasion, makes the clothing memorable.
As an educator, specifically at Rightfully Sewn, how does teaching new designers impact your work?
Kansas City has an abundance of creative individuals! Our community is growing with new designs and ideas by leaps and bounds. I find it difficult to teach a person how to design. Either you have the creativity or you don’t.
I really enjoy teaching skills such as draping, flat pattern design, grading patterns to various sizes, and how to build proper size chart. As I teach how to drape a particular collar or a special design feature, I learn as well. The more I teach, the more I learn, the greater the impact on my own portfolio of work. We are all lifetime learners. At Rightfully Sewn, I have taught several classes on Technical Design.
Your last line that showed at KCFW had rich textures and bold fabrics. Where did you draw your inspiration from for this season’s line?
For me, inspiration is different for every collection. This season I looked at, felt, and analyzed several different fabrics. Then, when I came across “the one,” I knew it. You know, the one fabric you see and you got to have it! Don’t quite yet know what to make out of it, but you got to have it. After I had that fabric, I am thankful that I am blessed to have ideas just flow and flow. My God, sometimes I get so many ideas, I don’t know which way to turn. So, there was not an event that inspired me, or a person that inspired me, this time, my inspiration came from within, which for me, comes from above.
What can we expect from your Friday show?
This collection has 19 looks. I believe a collection should be cohesive. Each piece should compliment each other. I call this collection “From Fact to Fantasy.” There is a range of organza, seer sucker, satin, knits, and brocades, to name a few. There are also some surprises within the collection. When you see the model come down the runway … don’t blink, you might miss something.
Friday Evening Runway Show
September 20 at 6:00 p.m.
30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO, 64108