We catch up with Buf Reynolds, the show-stealing designer from Thursday night’s Kansas City Fashion Week show.
Story by Kathryn Greene
After a spectacular kick off on the roof of One Light, Kansas City Fashion Week relocated the runway Thursday night to Union Station, where the remainder of the events will be held. Last night’s show was a charity benefit for Fair and Fashionable, an organization on a mission to teach woman that letting their natural skin tone shine through is a fashion do and tanning is always a fashion don’t. Tanning was the only fashion don’t to be found yesterday evening—everything else, from the bold Schiaparelli-like motifs in “Project Runway” veteran Michael Drummond’s collection to the delicate vintage silhouettes of Heirloom Bridal Design, was a definite do.
Perhaps one of the biggest standouts was designer Buf Reynolds, whose cosmic collection of dresses were made of fabric printed with the most famous of stardust, nebulas and galaxies far, far away. Blues, greens and cotton candy pink were predominant colors, with models’ hair teased to resemble the spun confection. The looks were out of this world and yet entirely of it—dreamy garments that every woman would love to wear.
Instead of music playing, Reynolds opted for a several minute spoken narrative, the famous excerpt from Carl Sagan’s 1994 book, “Pale Blue Dot.” A reflection on Earth’s place in the incomprehensibly vast universe, Sagan says, “Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.”
I sat down with Reynolds immediately after the show to discuss her celestial inspiration and debut at KC Fashion Week.
Q: Where did the inspiration for this collection come from?
A: It came about because I kept wanting to print my own fabrics, but there are always copyright issues. I found the NASA Goddard photos and imagery that are available to the public. I thought, “Some of these images are so cool. That’s what I’m going to do.” So I started a storyline here on Earth and kept going deeper and deeper into space. The final dress [that came down the runway] was the Hubble Deep Space image where every point of light is another galaxy, which is mind-blowing. You feel so insignificant. It was one of those moments where you feel so small, but at the same time I loved making the dresses and the way everything turned out.
Q: Did you go to school for fashion design?
A: I’m self-taught. I sat at home in front of the sewing machine, like, “Let’s do it.” And if it wasn’t good, I would re-do it. I never learned patterns, I just went straight to work on fabric and draping on mannequins and forms. I’m getting to the point now where I make my own patterns.
Q: Who are your inspirations?
A: My friend, Dan Richters, a designer in Omaha. Iris van Herpen is always amazing. Also, Elie Saab—love, love love him. Always spot-on.
Between Reynolds’ divine inspiration and expert influences, its no wonder her collection is stellar. Check out some of her previous collections at www.bufreynolds.com
Tonight Kathryn Greene is going backstage at Union Station before the show featuring special guest designer Joshua Christensen from “Project Runway.” Be sure to check back Saturday for the full run-down.