When December ends and we have crowned the new World Champions at The National Finals Rodeo, we leave the bright lights of Vegas and 10 days of amazing western fashion behind us. The short break in between the busy winter time in Texas plays out in fast forward for the athletes of professional rodeo bringing us into stock shows, unexpected weather patterns, and RFD-TV’s The American Rodeo at AT&T Stadium in Dallas! Rodeo athletes from all across the United States who have worked hard to make the cut will travel to Fort Worth and Dallas in hopes of taking home the ultimate prize; a cut of the massive cash prize, the title of Champion, and bragging rights for the year.
As the athletes travel to Texas, mentally and physically prepared for their chance at big money, another group is also preparing to give it all they have…in fashion that is! Western fashionistas have been carefully putting the finishing touches on their chosen look for February 25th to be debuted at AT&T Stadium.
From sequins to fringe to rhinestones, you will see it all at the “World’s Richest One Day Rodeo”. Throughout the events of the weekend, western fashion was everywhere. The talent behind Denim & Velvet Marketing and Design worked with many boutiques in The historic Fort Worth Stockyards to showcase the latest and greatest in western fashion at RFD-TV’s The American Fashion Show on Saturday. Brightly colored custom hats, serape prints, and stylish clear bags (to satisfy AT&T Stadiums clear bag policy) were all on display on the AARP stage.
As Sunday approached and the stadium began to fill with rodeo fans, the carefully crafted looks of western fashion fans flooded the concourse. Joelle Souza, known as The Aloha Cowgirl, rocked it in an edgy and fun sheer applique maxi skirt, hat, jacket and perfectly paired lace top. Another great look I loved was worn by Shea Fisher Durfey, recording artist and wife of World Champion Tie -Down Roper, Tyson Durfey. Her floral print maxi romper was the perfect mix of fun and class.
Wild Instincts Custom Leather and I worked closely over the last year, making them to be my go-to designers for a show stopping custom jacket for the event. The jacket is made of butter soft black leather and features a tuxedo-style bodice that flows into floor length tailcoats. Accented with royal blue and silver color changing sequin cuffs and stiff high neck color to match, it gave just the pop of patriotic color needed for The American. Finished with 4 Swarovski crystal conchos, and dubbed The Harlequin Tailcoat, this custom piece took it to the next level and matched perfectly with my rhinestoned Steve Madden slouch boots. No outfit is complete without a statement belt. KurtMen Inc., designed a patriotic metallic fringe hip belt that is dripping with Swarovski Crystals and an Eagle buckle. The whipstitching and high-low effect of the fringe makes this belt truly unique and was the perfect accent to my Sunday look.
Every now and then, I would leave my seat to grab a bottled water or the occasional stadium snack and each time I did, more and more amazing looks were on display. From fringe to sequins to bright solid colors, the ladies of Western Fashion did not disappoint. This year’s trends seems to be on track with floral prints on one end of the spectrum and a more edgy feel on the other. Serape, velvet, fringe, custom hats, and turquoise are still going strong and will be for quite some time. I was super excited to see that an edgier style of leather, sheer garments, and tulle are becoming more popular within the industry. I love to see any fashionista take risks and show their own unique style, no matter what the current trends may be.
As the day comes to an end, we pack up our hairspray and fold our sequin blazers, we will all be headed back to our respective homes newly inspired by the fashions and looks that others put together and luckily able to see them posted in social media in support of one another’s personal style for months to come. When the sun goes down, the champions have been named, and we fall asleep, we will all be dreaming of our next great look. The sun will rise and the search for the greatest looks in western fashion will start all over again…
Brandi Michelle is a Fashion Influencer and owner of Western Atelier based out of Weatherford, Texas. She loves to inspire others on their fashion journey with her unique and edgy style and “dare to be different” attitude. She has been fortunate enough to walk the runways of the Western Fashion Industry shows, be featured on several magazine covers, and speak at a girl’s empowerment conference on self confidence and being your own unique self. Brandi is looking forward to the future and what 2018 will bring. Follow along with her fashion journey on Instagram @westernatelier