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BFW is literally one of the biggest fashion events of the year in the Pacific Northwest. There's so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming.  What show to you go to?  What to wear?  Are some events a bigger deal than others?  It's intimidating.  (Image: Seattle Refined)

A Beginner's Guide to Bellevue Fashion Week

Ok - so this is embarrassing, but I have an important confession to make. I LOVE fashion - but I've never been to Bellevue Fashion Week.

I know, shocking. It's literally one of the biggest fashion events of the year in the Pacific Northwest. There's so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming. What show to you go to? What to wear? Are some events a bigger deal than others? It's intimidating.

But it's time! We don't want to miss out on this any longer - so we confronted our intimidation head-on, and sat down with Jennifer Leavitt from Bellevue Fashion Week to answer all these questions and more.

There’s a LOT going on during Bellevue Fashion Week. For someone who has never been – what should they expect?
Fashion Week has many elements to it. It allows you to dip your toes into fashion for those that may be intimidated by the thought - or to go all in and revel in it! There are, of course, the actual ticketed shows, they are all very different. The Independent Designer Runway Show is a celebration of our local designer talent. They work so hard over a six month period to present, refine and really hone in their collection with the help of our fashion panel of judges. The Posh Party is a trend show – the clothes are coming down the runway based on trends for the season and it is like a Girls’ Night Out with beauty booths, step and repeats and great apps. The Collective is our newest show and it celebrates the looks from some of our best fashion stores. This show is organized by store, so you will see a very cohesive presentation. For those wanting to experience the Bellevue Square complimentary events, we have a full schedule that includes Fab in Five which is a beauty event, great stage presentations, mini-runway shows with active-wear and kids and an image consultant.

What event would you say is a CAN'T miss’?
I love all the shows, but the Independent Designer Runway is really inspirational and we love supporting all of the new talent and hearing their background stories. It will be a fabulous show.

Any tips on how to not get overwhelmed?
I think people get intimidated by the whole idea of a Fashion Week. I know I do! Instead, remember fashion should be an expression of yourself. You wear the fashion – it doesn’t wear you, so don’t let that get in your way. I find fashion very personal and creative. Fashion Week is about finding something you like and making it yours not being told what you have to look like.

And finally - the ultimate question...what do you wear to Bellevue Fashion Week?
Dress for yourself! Wear something that makes you feel good! That is really what fashion should do for you.

The take-away?

Diving headfirst into a fashion-forward crowd can be scary, but showing up with confidence and embracing your inner fashionista is the best route to go. Hope to see you there!