New York Fashion Week (NYFW) was last month and I was so salty that I couldn't recreate my own Fashion Week again, but I ended up doing it anyway by attending my own fashion happenings and events each week in October, which created an actual fashion MONTH! Let me tell you how it all went down...
When my fashion fairy godmother and Styles of Imagination designer Diane Linston (the only Black woman manufacturer here in Cleveland- all the pieces from her collections are handcrafted in her studio) called me to help her film a short promo video I immediately agreed. I stopped by early on a Saturday morning and she had a group of young girls sketching and designing their own custom pieces. The items ranged from an elaborate princess dress to a cape with an optional ribbon and a bedazzled denim pillow case. After the video I helped a few of the girls by consulting their looks and showing one young lady the many different styling options she had to tie up her cape, but I ended up having to leave before I could see all of the finished designs.
I was honored to be a part of two very different fashion shows for great causes this month too. October is not only breast cancer awareness month, but it is also domestic violence awareness month- both traumatizing and affecting women in different ways.
The Death, Jail or Change Play and Fashion Extravaganza addressed the issues of domestic violence in the most creative way with playwright Angela Lane sharing her own personal story of abuse through her play. She intertwined a fashion show in between each act and each scene coincided with relevant music and it was all so dope! My scene was last and my models walked to Eve's "Love is Blind", which I first heard in high school and really opened my eyes to the seriousness of domestic violence through the use of Eve's passionate and heartfelt lyrics and the haunting video to match.
I knew I wanted to play off the idea that domestic violence does not discriminate. The wealthy woman that works in your building, the young girl in college, the stripper that lives down the street from you,- there is no certain demographic of women that DV only affects. I wanted to show that by having all of my models dressed in black, but styled differently to represent every woman, because to be a victim/survivor of domestic violence has nothing to do with how polished or hood you are...
The very next weekend I hosted my first fashion show (that was not my own): the Unite for Pink and White Fashion Event which was dedicated to helping raise awareness about breast cancer in our community and also to introduce the faith based Ja'Celeste 462 Modeling Agency to the industry. I knew months in advance that I had to MC this fashion show but trying to psych myself out, I thought nothing of it until the weekend of. And that's when I got nervous lol.
When I'm hosting my own events I can adlib and talk haute couture shit all day, but for someone else's production you kinda have to stick to the script and feel out and adapt to their audience. And while it was a weird feeling, it was also treat that I got to see the whole show instead of being backstage with the models and designers, I had to keep reminding myself to stay put instead of running out after every scene making sure everything was a go... Old habits I tell ya...
And as a result of me being literally in front of the scenes- I did not get any photos or video of the show, but Sylven Lamar did an excellent job of capturing the models and you can see the photo album here.
I changed outfits twice- would have done it a third time but I got hot and tired and once I put those over the knee boots on my feet, they had to stay on until the show was over and I yanked them off- WITH ASSISTANCE! My feet felt like a can of busted biscuits in that moment lol! But all in all, it was a cool experience and a great show and I'm ready to host another event so please contact me if you have any opportunities coming up!
And finally, this past Saturday I slid through the Fashion Flea and Clothing Swap with tunnel vision: to find Lynsay Spratlen, owner of Lexie Steveinson Accessories and FINALLY meet her in person! We have messaged, emailed, DMed, called and have evencollaborated together, but never met face to face until then and I was so happy we did. I also met the fabulous Victoria T of Vstyle Plus+, an online thrift re-seller that focuses on the stylish plus size woman and jewelry. And on my way out I met Dominique G, the owner of SimplyDluxe an online fashion boutique. It was a really cool event and a great opportunity to network while I was there.