From ‘Project Runway: Junior’ to Kansas City Fashion Week: K-State sophomore shows a passion for fashion

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Jaxson Metzler, sophomore in apparel and textiles design production, works in the design studio at Justin Hall on Nov. 28, 2019. (Alanud Alanazi | Collegian Media Group)

Jaxson Metzler, sophomore in apparel and textiles, is no stranger to the spotlight.

When Metzler was a student at Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas, he was selected to be on “Project Runway: Junior.” Now, Metzler is set to take his designing talent to Kansas City. He will present his collection titled L’Inverno at Kansas City Fashion Week on March 27.

Metzler said he has known he wanted to go into fashion design and production since he fell in love with “Project Runway” as a kid. He learned the basics of sewing from his grandmother, honed his skills through 4-H Club and went on to compete in Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America fashion design and recycle and redesign contests in high school.

After an arduous selection process, Metzler was chosen for “Project Runway: Junior.” He said the show was an amazing experience that helped get his name out there and learn to be more competitive.

When Metzler was looking into college, he toured different schools to see where he wanted to take his fashion talent. What set Kansas State University apart for him was the strong connection between teachers and students, he said.

“I just fell in love with K-State,” Metzler said. “All those other schools, yeah they’re great. But what K-State has over those other school is just the atmosphere and the student to teacher connection. From that short tour, and the talk I had with some faculty, I got a better connection than what I had with anyone else.”

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Jaxson Metzler, sophomore in apparel and textiles, works in the design studio at Justin Hall on Nov. 28, 2019.
(Alanud Alanazi | Collegian Media Group)

Metzler said the abundance of sporting events was also a plus, as he was involved in wrestling, cross country and track in high school.

In addition to working on his collection and attending class, Metzler works at the costume shop for the theatre department in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. His is also a member of the Ahearn Fund’s hospitality staff.

Metzler has been working on his L’Inverno collection since December. He said his inspiration is making people feel confident, leading him to create women’s clothing for all shapes and sizes.

“I feel like if you can wear something you feel confident in, you can go out and just be a total boss and win,” Metzler said. “I think that’s a fundamental key of just life, is to be confident in yourself so you can be successful in life.”

L’Inverno includes 10 looks inspired by Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” specifically the “Winter” concerto.

“Jaxson has the ability to go through the design thinking process in a way that starts with an inspiration, and then he can turn it into something abstract that fits his vision.” said Genna Reeves, assistant professor of apparel and textiles. “He has a really great way of finding inspiration and then making it his own, and that’s one of the things we’ll see in this collection.”

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Jaxson W. Metzler, sophomore in apparel and textiles, works in the design studio at Justin Hall on Nov. 28, 2019.
(Alanud Alanazi | Collegian Media Group)

Metzler’s collection will debut at Kansas City Fashion Week at the Grand Hall in the Power and Light District.

“I think that Jaxson is a perfect candidate for this opportunity because he has such a positive attitude about the design process and he adds so much cheer and joy to the process … I’m really excited to see what he is going to do because you can always see the passion come through in his work,” Reeves said.

“When you finish your project and you see someone wearing it, it’s just so inspiring … That someone’s wearing your work, and that’s what I like about fashion,” Metzler said.

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My name is Rebecca Vrbas. I’m the culture editor at the Collegian and a junior in journalism and mass communications. My hobbies include obsessing over an ever-expanding pool of musicals and cats (not the musical). I love writing because of the infinite intricacy of language, as well as its power to cultivate a sense of community through sharing experiences.