I retired from fashion last year. Such a bold and dramatic statement to make- I know, but it's the truth and the main reason why I have been MIA from events around the city and abandoned my blog. Ms. DeeDee Tufts is the only person that could push me out of retirement, forcing me to shed my daily hip hop tee and jogger uniform and demand that I show up in a sequined gown across town to for her black tie fashion affair.
I've been covering Tufts' Designer's Palace fashion shows for years and if you know like I know, it is one of the premier fashion happenings in the city that gets bigger and better and this year was no exception. Here are a few reasons why Designer's Palace Annual Fashion Showcase is one of the most fire fashion events in the city...
Ms. Dee Dee is Legendary
First of all, if you don't know Ms. DeeDee, Cleveland based fashion designer and the owner of Designer's Palace Couturier then you are LATE and I need to catch you up to speed. She has been consistently producing fashion shows in Cleveland for almost 50 years and proves that she can draw a loyal and dedicated crowd each time. The 49th Annual Designer's Palace Show took place on February 12, 2023, at the Mediterranean Party Center in Bedford, Ohio, hours before superstar Rihanna performed a medley of her greatest hits and announced the arrival of Baby ASAP Fenty #2 at some live sporting event.
Ms. DeeDee was as cool and calm as ever, moving from back stage directing models, her guest designer and stage hands while stopping to engage with vendors, helping to put out small fires and effortlessly coordinating the show from both behind and in front of the scenes. And she did all this while finding time to do several costume changes, speak on the mic and sashay down the runway with her models. Ms. DeeDee ain't new to it, she is true to it!
The Models Are LIT
You can watch every single designer show at NYFW from now until the end of time and will never see a runway as diverse as one with the Designer's Palace (DP) models. Over twenty five male and female models ranging in ages from 6 to don't ask, don't tell, walked, danced, shimmied and showed out on the runway after training for months in Ms. DeeDee's home.
They all came to slay, not play- the chemistry, confidence and choreography on the catwalk can only come from spending time being mentored by someone who knows how to choose the models that make the clothes sing and dance on the body. Ms. DeeDee was an early advocate in the body positivity movement and is proof that ageism is making us miss out on fabulous runway moments. The queen of fashion was crowned and given her flowers by her daughter and several long time models in a beautiful moment during the show.
The Styling Is Everything
Sitting front row at a DP show is so live because unlike most fashion presentations, the viewer can get lost in their own aspirational imagination when they see those glamorous pieces coming down the runway. It's so easy to picture yourself in some extraordinary scenario rocking glitzy, slinky, boldly printed fabrics in fuchsia, candy apple red and electric blue...
Hold on tightly to that bejeweled cane that matches the cream and gold shawl that you will wear to the Captain's dinner on your upcoming cruise vacation. You might find ideas on ways to utilize a cocaine white sleeveless faux fur duster- layering it over a sheer rhinestone encrusted tea length dress as you waltz down the aisle of your nearest grocery store the next time you run out of toilet paper. Or you may discover how to use a hi low newspaper print top to make a pair of black leggings look anything but basic when you have some hot tea to spill at your monthly book club meeting.
A one armed jumpsuit worn with a large faux diamond collar and an African print headpiece does its part to bring together cultures and generations in the name of fashion, style and the right to be seen and applauded. There were just as many body hugging gowns and mini dresses, leather pants and skirts as there were loose fitting capes and caftans and designs made for a women to feel good in her skin and body. And don't sleep on the men cause they were also giving- stepping out in three piece suites, casual sweaters and jackets. They served everyday looks from the trendy and classic side of the spectrum proving that swag is ageless.
See, you thought you knew how to dress until you attended your first DP show and was shown how to stunt in head to toe sequins, rhinestones, feathers and other over the top embellishments after checking out your fellow seatmates. Cleveland's glitteratti understands that this is a #FashionEvent and that it is absolutely your moment to shine at any time the models aren't on the stage. This is an event where it is understood that you come to see AND be seen and there were several times when you couldn’t tell the audience members from the models as they strutted to their seats, line danced and stood in line for the food.
After losing her brother to a senseless act of violence, Ms. DeeDee uses her annual shows as fundraisers to bring awareness to violence prevention. This year she enlisted the help of community activist Delores Gray who spoke on the ironies of celebrating Black History Month in this era of high crime and police brutality and murder in our community. It was a sobering shot of our current reality that caused attendees to reflect and react enthusiastically to Gray's short speech.
The Wrap Up
Ms. DeeDee's Designer Palace Fashion Shows are top notch affairs not just because of the beautiful clothes, the glamourous full bodied models or the fact that she uses her platform to bring about awareness on preventing community violence. It's all of those things- but it is also due to the fact that she has been providing a safe place for local fashionistas to dress up beyond our Sunday's best for years. It’s a fun affair that includes fashion, live music, dancing, food and fellowship giving us the permission we need and a place to go when it's time to step out in our finest wigs and hats, tipping around in our highest heels, dipping ourselves in glitter and getting draped up in gold and silver metallics.
There is so much going on in our world right now but when you choose to attend a DP show you are engulfed in a fast paced energetic environment with high fashion, eye candy galore, vendors, good food, music, vibes and a celebration of Blackness during one of the most important months of the year. And if your old duds won't have you out here shinin bright like a diamond, don't worry, hit Ms. DeeDee up for something special!
Check out the video I took of all the action below… What was your favorite look? Your favorite model? Where can you see yourself wearing a look from Designer’s Palace? When you are ready to jump sharp, contact Ms. DeeDee and tell her Silk sent you!
2/21/2023 08:24:31 pm
I attended this show and it was packed. The Vendors from the front door to the DJ. A LIVE Band and Models Models Models. What I loved was the models “performed”! Not a bland or boring moment. Can’t wait till next year, this recap really told the story.
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About the Blog
The main goal of this blog is to connect my readers to everything dope, fresh and stylish- All the Fly Things.
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