San Diego Community News Group

San Diego Community News Group


The glowing bridal dress by designer Kelly Leanne. (Photo by Howard Max Photography, model by Ariana Vansalas)

The glowing bridal dress by designer Kelly Leanne. (Photo by Howard Max Photography, model by Ariana Vansalas)


Fashion Week San Diego is gearing up for a virtual runway show on Oct. 17. Leading up to this event will be an additional virtual fashion show on Sept. 18 with Kelly Leanne who is one of the eight designers showing this year. She will be presenting three pieces that were in her first launch collection called Moonlight Lace.

They consist of two wedding dresses and one evening dress that was all made with fiber optics. One garment even has lace made with fiber optics. Two other individual pieces will be shown. One is a knitwear dress and the other is a metal corset. The corset is an upcycled piece, welded together from an aluminum shed and a water heater.

Look for these on the virtual fashion show on Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. by tuning in to @fashionweeksd IGTV, Fashion Week San Diego Youtube, or

Previously, Leanne was part of a project with FWSD that partnered with the Art Renewal Center and Sotheby’s and was called “Art and Beauty Behind Fashion.” Eight emerging designers were given a choice of eight fine art paintings that were part of the 14th ARC Salon Competition to inspire them to create an original couture outfit that would be one of their 10 looks for the FWSD Runway Show.

Originally, all eight designers were to fly out to New York for the exhibition where their designs would be on display next to their inspirational painting throughout July. They ended up doing a photoshoot here because of the pandemic. There was online voting and the winner will be revealed during the FWSD Runway Show. Leanne chose the painting “Moonlight Muse” by the Haitian artist, Philippe Attie and constructed the cape from a parachute.

Leanne is a graduate of San Diego Mesa College with an AA in fashion design. She went on to receive a bachelor’s in business from SDSU. She launched her first collection in 2018 and began a business named Kelly Leanne Apparel Designs.

Look for her spring-summer 2021 collection with 10 looks on the FWSD Runway. The designs will have clean lines featuring her signature look incorporating the princess line which consists of long panels in the place of darts to shape the body. Each piece will be unique, upcycled, or incorporate fiber optics. The theme will embrace diversity.

I asked Leanne what was in the future for her and she said that she plans to design two collections a year. For more information, visit

To purchase tickets for the FWSD Runway collection on Oct. 17, visit



Sept. 26 – 16th annual “Strut for Sobriety!” The event will have an award ceremony and fashion show to be held by A New PATH. The event celebrates recovery from drug addiction. Fashion show produced by Gretchen Productions. For info: 619-670-1184.

Oct. 17 – Fashion Week San Diego 2020 now has passes on sale for their virtual

runway show with nine designers. Purchase your virtual front-row pass at


Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in San Diego. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher, and blogger at


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