Kadra Evans, 30, has only recently lifted the shovel to begin construction on her path to creative expression. Her sly smile speaks volumes; this is just the tip of the iceberg. “I plan on getting much more elaborate and detailed with my designs.”
In the past, Evans has worked in restaurants and as a paraeducator. About five years ago, she started painting a bit on canvas. “My boyfriend at the time had taken me to my first concert and the music and the scene inspired me, so I started painting album covers on canvas of the bands we had seen. Then my friends started buying them from me and referring their friends. The fashion part, well honestly, Ronnie forced me into it.”
Ronnie is her cousin Ronnie Ryno, a local clothing designer and boutique owner. Two years ago, Ryno, recognizing Evans’ creative spirit, told Evans that she needed another designer for a fashion show. Evans got to work hand-painting shoes and clothing from thrift stores and consignment stores. In three months, she had 10 outfits done.
Since then, Evans has done well, selling out of Ryno’s Glamarita boutique in the Garland District and online. Her most recent show took place at the A Club through the Baroque Network. The show included 11 outfits by Evans exhibited on a runway. It was a choreographed fashion show, the highlight being a ballerina dancing around in a “lyric dress,” a dress with lyrics to some of Evans’ favorite songs painted on it.
She sold three dresses including a gown covered in lyrics from Alkaline Trio’s song “Jaked on Green Beers.” When asked why she chose that song, she answered, “it’s dark with a ‘pop-y’ beat.” The song is a bit of a contradiction, like her clothes: seriously lovely, almost happy styles with unexpected images and words randomly decorating them, including a strange figure asking “If I promise not to kill you, can I have a hug?” and a classic dress and matching shoes painted with chalkboard paint on which the wearer can invite others to partake in a rousing game of tic-tac-toe.
Evans and Ryno are combining their talents, altering a bra for a charity event (Beyond Pink) on Fridayand working on a mini-collection for a November event in support of the Miracle Network and the Miss Spokane Scholarship Fund.
Each event serves opportunities for Evans to network with the community and share her view of the society; a mix of the past and the future, of light and of dark.
“I really just love taking parts of my life, things that inspire and move me, and representing them on shoes, clothes and whatever,” she said.