Few things remain the same in the name of change, but one event that has consistently been going on for the past forty three years in Cleveland, Ohio has been fashion designer Mrs. DeeDee Tufts-Carter's Designer's Palace Pre- Valentine's Day Celebration! I attended last year's show and was razzle dazzled and this year it was no different held on February 11, 2018, at the Ken Ferguson Party Center. You already know it was full of life, glitz, glamour and FASHION!
Designer's Palace Couturier
The dedicated after church audience and fashion loving crowd was in attendance- willing and able to supply the runway with additional models in case any were needed. I saw vibrant red colors, African prints, leathers and touches of all black, some men in suits and others wearing color block sweaters with royal blue and black corduroy slacks. There were women rocking large statement jewelry, some hair was laid and popped and some sported meticulously applied head wraps and other hair pieces placed royally upon their domes, a healthy mix of full faced makeup and fresh natural faces and all topped off with various notes of perfumes sprayed as the finishing touches...
But you know the models came with it and stood out sparkling, glittering and looking expensive AF like they belonged in a Bergdorf Goodman window display. Most of the familiar faces were back, including some models who had started off their careers walking for Mrs. DeeDee in the early '90s- walking for old times sake and looking on as she presented longevity awards and received a beautiful tribute from her current longtime models.
Mr. Patrick Washington emceed the show again, another Designer's Palace staple who has commentated for Mrs. DeeDee's shows for the past twenty years and the show absolutely could not go on until he arrived. And good things come to those who wait, because no one can describe the clothes, the models, tell you where and how to wear the garments while sprinkling good hearted shade throughout like Mr. Washington. He had the audience and some of the models in stitches with his hilarious ad libs!
Models of every shape, size and age range took to that runway and proudly peacocked in unique garments that were made for moments when you need to serve glamour, style, high stakes drama and fabulosity all in one outfit.
This years themes included statement making pieces that moved with and followed after you when you walk- vivid colors like orange crush, space age silver, electric blue, cocaine white, ultra violet purples and hot pinks, lurex gold. Accentuated by fabrics dripping in sequins, glitter, fringe, and embellishments that sparkled blindingly when the models shimmied and shook down the runway adding even more dramatic appeal to the garments. The audience ate it all up of course.
The designs included butterfly armholes, dolman sleeves, snoods, and two pieces in reversible fabrics, capes that turned into scarves with a flick of the wrist, and pieces that you can step into, pull on or over and proved Designer's Palace's signature "no zippers, no buttons" is a win for every body.
Never just about fashion, Mrs. DeeDee's shows are always a community event and have a focus on the Stop the Violence Movement after the loss of her brother to unnecessary gun violence. This year we were treated to two fashion scenes by the Esther's of Tomorrow- a group of young ladies who killed it on the runway, and a runway presentation by Cleveland milliner Dee Hall.
There were live singers to entertain us- Pat Devine , Lady Palmer, and the smooth vocal stylings of Walter Anthony Jr who performed a Barry White tribute (how many fashion shows have you been to with a Barry White tribute? Iconic). There was a beautiful praise dance by Libby Swoope, a rabble rousing speech from Brother Khalid Samad of Peace in the Hood, and of course there was food, vendors, music and as always a great atmosphere and vibe.
My favorite part was witnessing the models transform on stage. Like you could literally see the confidence in the way they moved and showed off not just the clothes, but themselves. All you wanted to do was cheer for them real loud as they hit their marks, made their turns, slayed their poses, spinned, danced, moved and got extra for you, the camera, and most importantly themselves. It translated very well for the sake of the clothes because you will start imagining yourself being draped in Designer's Palace and moving the same way with the same amount of confidence and ease as the models who helped sell you on the aspirational idea. Because that's what a good model does.
You have to do yourself a favor if you live in Cleveland, Ohio, or happen to be in the area during that second Sunday in February and attend one of Mrs. DeeDee's Designer's Palace Pre- Valentine's Day shows before you die. If you can't make it, then I guess you can just look at the rest of the photos and watch the video of the show below! Let me know what you think in the comments...
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