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Alas! The Inaugural Indiana Fashion Week is upon us! All of the engaging festivities, from the conferences to special guests, and networking to building lasting connections, have been quite the highly anticipated buzz throughout the Midwest!

Although this week’s lineup of events will be a “must do” for all fashion enthusiasts, what would fashion week be without an extraordinary fashion show? The 2019 Emerging Designer Competition, held at the Crane Bay Event Center, Indianapolis Indiana on June 22, is one that will give fashion in the Midwest a fresh perspective.

With that said, there is much knowledge to be gained and imparted in regard to fashion. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing our featured IN Vogue Designer. Hailing from the state of Indiana is renowned fashion designer and phenomenal woman, Barbara Riordan of Pariah 5k Clothing.

Although she is an Indiana native, she has a decorated portfolio that deserves acclaiment. She has been published in issues of UK Vogue Magazines, and participated in the VFW (Vancouver) Fashion Week in 2018, amongst a plethora of fashioned accomplishments.

During our interview, I loved her zeal for fashion sustainability, but also her thriving heart to give back to those in need.

Join us in an emerging conversation:

Kevina: Barbara, as you know, and can be seen from your beautifully made lineage of clothing – is that Fashion is Art. What is your inspiration as you create?

Barbara Riordan: Basically, I just look at a fabric and say, “this is what I want to wear”, and I just start working it up from there!

K: Absolutely wonderful! How do you feel the Midwest represents fashion?

BR: Most of the general population in this region do not want to stand out. They’d just rather blend in. But I can say, there are pockets of people who express themselves through fashion. They are willing to wave that fashion flag (of uniqueness), and are bold in their choices of garments. That is to be admirable, especially in the midwest.

K: So in your opinion, what’s the next wave of fashion?

BR: I am all for the classic silhouette. The untraditional print. I do not identify nor am accustomed to trends. I’m an outlier, and just as some things wouldn’t work for me, there are a population of fashion enthusiast that the trends will not work for either. One must understand that fashion is not just a look, but a philosophy. My hope is that designers will make sustainable and ethical choices and while creating, and understand that it takes hard work and effort…

K: This is amazing….

BR: Yes, the cost of looking fabulous should not be at the expense of someone else, or the planet. If a garment lives 60 to 70 year,s it’s sustainable. That’s a wave.

K: How would you describe your fashion in 3 words?

BR: Premium, Whimsical, and Classic.

K: Yes! I can agree with that!

K: What advice would you give to younger emerging designers who aspire to develop a decorated portfolio such as yourself?

BR: I would tell them to keep at it, no one is an overnight success. Get broad shoulders, and be ready to take rejection. It took Moses (in the bible) several times to free the slaves of Egypt. So if you have to, you’ll have to keep going back until you succeed. Network and meet everyone that you can. Work for someone who is established and put in the time. Last but not least, Keep pushing, pushing, and pushing. Remember it’s a marathon and not a sprint.

K: Those are some great words of wisdom. My grandfather used to tell me the latter as a child and now I understand what that means. I admire that.

BR: I love giving advice or helping those who are willing to learn. I have never turned an internship opportunity down. I invest in them not because it’s free work for me, but they get value in the things that they learn for their fashion journey.

K: You have a beautiful spirit and I’m so excited to see what you will bring to the runway!

At the close of our conversation, there was laughter, words of wisdom, and the importance of faith in God on our paths exchanged. I had an amazing time learning more about this designer and her perspective on and off the runway. When Barbara is not IN fashion, she loves to read and socialize with her friends. She also enjoys boating, traveling, and meeting new people. She enjoys her pets, and gets into some yard work when she can!

You can find out more about Barbara Riordan and her clothing line: PARIAH on her website


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