Herriman resident’s gowns featured at New York Fashion WeekMar 07, 2023 04:39PM ● By Peri Kinder
Herriman photographer and designer, Sarah Navarre (center) participated in New York Fashion Week where her gowns were featured at New York City’s Gotham Hall. Her nephew and design assistant, Tiernan Palmer (left), and her partner and logistical manager, Mike Wolf (right), joined her at the event. (Photo courtesy of VanderRose)
Ever since she was little, Sarah Navarre loved to play dress-up. She was constantly getting into her mom’s closet, trying on her high heels and loved the feel of different fabrics. Now, all that practice is paying off.
Navarre, a resident of Herriman, just returned from New York Fashion Week after having her gowns on the runway at New York City's Gotham Hall. The local designer, photographer and owner of VanderRose was featured in a two-day show with 55 designers and 1,000 models. The show was organized by hiTechMODA, a top production company in New York.
“New York Fashion Week was incredible,” Navarre said. “I’m thinking, ‘Did that just happen for real?’ The venue was this incredible old bank converted into an events venue called Gotham Hall. The whole ceiling is this round stained glass with a massive chandelier. It was spectacular.”
As a photographer, Navarre couldn’t find gowns to fit what she was imagining in her photo shoots, so she began creating her own. Her photography is whimsical, playful and features her custom-made gowns that caught the attention of organizers at New York Fashion Week. Her show was a tribute to Persephone, Greek goddess of spring and queen of the underworld.
People who talked to her after the show said it was different compared to other shows because Navarre gave her models permission to walk in a way that was beautiful, strong and powerful, instead of the usual robotic runway walk. She told her models to own the moment and that guidance dramatically resonated with people in the audience.
“It’s all really focused on empowering,” she said. “In photography, what I like to do is tap into the emotion and the beauty and the strength inside of someone. I focus on that and later, when you’re not feeling so powerful or so beautiful, you can look at that photo and think that’s who I am on the inside. It’s confidence building and helps people see themselves in a new way.”
Her business, VanderRose, is inspired by beauty, magic and strength. Whether she’s creating custom wedding or gala gowns, or holding photo shoots for individuals or events, Navarre tries to capture the inner light of each person she works with.
She also has gowns for sale, in sizes ranging from 0-24, and each person who books a photo shoot gets to use one of her gowns and choose from a massive collection of accessories that include wings, headpieces, crowns, jewelry and more.
“I shoot outside because I love that connection with nature, with the gown blowing, the hair blowing, feeling free, feeling powerful and connecting with that authenticity that is hidden so often with all the expectations of the weight of the world we carry around with us.”
Navarre never studied fashion, although she has a degree from BYU-Hawaii in international culture studies and peace building. She also earned an MBA and master’s in public health at Westminster University.
This summer, Navarre will participate in Utah State Fashion Week starting July 8 and she’ll use footage from New York Fashion Week to create a portfolio she hopes will open new doors and opportunities. But, for now, she’s reveling in her success in New York, and still pinching herself.
“I came out after the show and took a bow and all the models came out with me,” she said. “There were so many cameras, I don’t even know how many. Getty Images was there and on the Getty website, there were my photos. It still seems surreal.”