The Kim Schalk trunk show was held on Friday April 5th through Sunday April 7th from 10am-7pm to showcase Kim’s spring designs. The event was held at the Tabula Rasa in southeast Washington D.C. The Tabula Rasa is an event space that uses environmentally friendly LED lighting, Eco friendly cabinets and non-toxic bright white paint. The venue was a perfect choice for the show, the Eco friendly and open space was a perfect choice for a spring event to showcase Kim’s organic and nature influenced designs.
The event showcased three different designers: one for handbags, perfume and clothing. Nomaterra is a Brooklyn based brand that sells Eco friendly, all natural, one of a kind perfume. Aggie, the founder of Nomaterra, recently launched her first three scents: Miami, New Hampton and Washington D.C. Each of the scents in her collection are based off a different U.S city that she has traveled to and creates a scent based around that smell.
Many perfume designers have used celebrity endorsements or based their perfume off international cities but Nomaterra shows off the uniqueness of each state in the U.S. The designs are made from a mix of all natural essences by the designer herself in Eco friendly bottles. Washington D.C has notes of cherry blossoms in it and Miami is a refreshing cool scent made with coconut oil essence Each of the perfumes come in a travel sized aluminum case that is shatter resistant which protects the glass case that holds the perfume inside. To help eliminate waste, refills can also be purchased when the scent runs out so you don’t have to keep buying the exterior piece. Now that’s Eco-friendly!
Claudia Diamante, founder of Diamantina leather handbags, was also present to showcase her line of luxury Argentinian bag. The leather bags ranged in color including red, aqua, metallic silver, green, burgundy, tan and black. Each are created from genuine leather and include a unique touch such as embossing to create texture, hand stitching, studded embellishments, braided handles, tasseled zippers and vintage hardware to name a few.
There is a bag to suit any style, whether it’s a boho look or the sophisticated businesswoman look. Diamantina sells a variety of large bucket totes, duffel bags, roomy hobos and shoulder bags which are all perfect for traveling, new moms or college students with lots of books to carry around campus. Her small flap purses and cross body bags make the perfect companion for shopping outings and sightseeing when you want to be hands-free but still be able to take a bag with your essentials on the go. A variety of her clutches are available in embossed snake-skin leather and include organizers for all your credit cards and removable chain straps so your bag can go from day-to-night. The brand also has a variety of woven and braided leather belts in fun colors such as cobalt red, green, gray, black and aqua which are perfect for throwing over a tunic to create the perfect daytime outfit with one simple accessory.
Kim Schalk is a Washington DC based brand. The looks are fashion forward and the designs are innovative. She uses luxurious fabrics and mixes them with leather for an interesting and edgy effect. One thing that Kim strives to achieve with her line is excellent quality and attention to detail while still keeping prices affordable She believes there is no reason to pay more for a garment than necessary and does this by offering designs that both flatter the body and are moderately priced. Kim also keeps prices reasonable by having it manufactured and produced locally within the United States in Los Angeles which allows her to order product in smaller quantities and keep shipping expenses low.
Kim first got interested in designing after doing some pattern making while working at Barney’s New York and found herself selling some of her designs to customers. When she later moved to the DC area with her husband she opened up a boutique in Adams Morgan before starting her first line ‘God help Miss Agnes’. Her line was launched a few years ago in spring 2011.
Kim’s latest looks are the perfect combination of edgy and feminine. She used a variety of luxurious fabrics such as silk, tweed, jersey and leather. Navy, the black for summer, was used in many of the designs. Other key colors included champagne burgundy, light gray, black, lime and dark orange. The silhouettes in her collection were either loose with gathered details or structured. Her jersey tops and tunics had ruching details, low cut keyhole and square necklines and small adjustable leather straps going across the front. These innovative details, comfortable fabric and good price point make them perfect wardrobe staples for any style. Kim also had a variety of a-line skirts in neutrals such as navy, gray and black with pleats and little pockets in the front that are perfect for a sunday brunch or coffee date. Perfectly tailored suit separates include skirts with exposed zippers in textured tweed prints are the perfect update to a boring office wardrobe.
I got the opportunity to ask Kim some questions about what it’s like to be a fashion designer.
Mz Mahogany Chic: How did you gain interest in becoming a fashion designer?Did you attend a design school of any sort?
Kim: When I worked at Barney’s and made my own clothes my buyers loved them. I had a store for a while and really learned the ropes there, but I can’t remember a single incident. Wait scratch that. I know exactly when it happened. 10th grade!
Mz Mahogany Chic: Where do you look for collection inspiration?
Kim: I love vintage inspired looks. It can be 20′s, 40′s or mod. I’m also inspired by sci-fi movies like Blade Runner.
Nature can really inspire me. I love the organic lines of drift wood, a mermaid purse, even praying mantis. There is also a toughness to the aesthetic. The praying mantis is cool because it can turn its head and kinda looks like a tiny futuristic robot. There is a beautiful wickedness to a praying mantis especially when it turns its head to look at you, then it raises it tiny claws like it thinks its gonna kick your ass-yikes!
Mz Mahogany Chic: What was your inspiration for your spring 2013 collection?
Kim: The silk pieces you took pictures of were inspired by lingerie from the 20′s. Little bed coats and bloomers. Check out the whore houses in Boardwalk Empire. My inspiration for my spring line specifically was the futuristic 40′s.
Mz Mahogany Chic: Are you originally from the Washington, D.C. Area?
Kim: No, I actually was born in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Mz Mahogany Chic: Who do you consider your target market of customers to be?
Kim: I would say my target market of customers would be 25-65 year old tasteful woman who are adventurous and don’t dress like the norm.
Mz Mahogany Chic: What is your favorite type of garment to design?
Kim: I don’t have a particular favorite but I love a great fitting skirt.
Mz Mahogany Chic: What is your favorite garment that you have created?
Kim: I like the leather bolero that I created the best out of my garments so far.
Mz Mahogany Chic: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Kim: I kinda feel like a newbie so far. I have really only done this wholesale thing for a couple of years although I have been designing a while. I do love selling though not to buyers but to my customers. They really have taught me so much about fit and I really appreciate their feedback.
To update your wardrobe with Kim Schalk’s collections visit kimschalk.com.