Fabrics aren’t the only thing you can flex on the runway, and Kheris Rogers showed us best as she showcased her T-shirt line celebrating her melanin at Harlem Fashion Week.
The 11-year-old was inspired to start her empowering fashion line, FLEXIN IN MY COMPLEXION, after being bullied for her darker skin, she said, recalling a time when she was handed a black crayon at school.
Kheris sashayed down the runway with sheer confidence, following three of her teen models who rocked variations of her T-shirt collection.
“I still get teased, but now that I know I’m flexin’ in my complexion, it doesn’t matter what anybody else says about me,” Kheris shared with the audience after her show.
You go, girl! Flexin’ your complexion will never go out of style.
Harlem Fashion Week, known for promoting and showcasing cultural conscious fashion, also showcased a dozen of other designers who fit the bill. The night included an emerging designer competition, cultural icon awards and a tribute to Harlem’s Bill Witherspoon.
Towards the final stretch of New York Fashion Week, Designer Alicia Appleton debuted Amber Poitier, a high-end jewelry collection, during an art gallery style presentation titled Breathe. Pray. Love.
Pieces from the line were displayed in sections throughout the room to represent different parts of the world. With handcrafted pieces constructed of wood, metal, leather, and acrylic shaped in modern yet edgy designs, Appleton’s inspiration was clear.
“I’m a lover of culture. I’m a lover of people coming together and appreciating the differences of everyone’s background,” she said addressing her audience.
First, there was the Baroque wall, which symbolized the European sector of the world. There, the Aurora necklace, which has become a standout for the line, was a focal point.
“The theory behind this is going back to our Roman-esque, feminine lines,” she explained. “So we did a lot of laser cutting with the leather here. Then we have our famous Aurora necklace that’s there.”
The Ivory Coast display was her nod to Africa. “I love mixing the woods and black together. When our fall 2016 line comes out you’ll be able to see it in its entirety, but this is the beginning,” she said.
The modern New York City girl inspired her Urban Bondage section.
“That’s our city slicker, our sleek girl who loves black and white with a touch of gold,” said Appleton.
Her last wall titled, Winter Solstice, was a mix of pink and brown. “This is kind of your Norwegian sector of the world,” said Appleton.
Overall, Appleton has a lot to be proud of with this debut collection, which she says gave her a renewed sense of purpose after working in corporate fashion for years.
“Corporate fashion simultaneously educated and jaded me,” Alicia said. “The creation of the Amber Poitier brand and the new collection has rejuvenated my love for designing again.”
With her design sophistication and great use of leather and color, she’s sure to attract customers who are willing to Breathe. Pray. and Love right along with her.
“You must remember that you’re never going to be sexy for everyone.
You are sexy for someone and for someone else you are not. Being totally nude is not sexy. The art of being sexy is to suggest. To let people have fantasy.”
Those are the famous words of Jacqueline De Ribes, French aristocrat, designer, fashion icon, and businesswoman who has been dubbed the ‘last queen of Paris’ by some. It was that quote and her overall persona that inspired the latest collection by young Brooklyn bred designer, Fe Noel for her eponymous line.
“When I saw her exhibit in The Met and I really read into it I just loved the woman,” said Noel as she prepped for her big event. “She was also a designer but I loved her aesthetic and the way people talked about her and her style and how she rose in social class—just her charm and her style that got her there. So this collection is based on the American, New York, modern version of that.”
Noel presented her beautiful pieces at the famous Laduree Soho bakery, which provided the perfect Parisian feel as a backdrop. The collection boasted beautiful shades of plum and purple. Fe Noel’s signature plunging necklines offered the suggestive sex appeal the brand has become known for. Several outerwear pieces, including a beautiful color blocked wool trench coat, pushed the collection even further into grace.
“I think what people are noticing is really the outerwear,” said Noel. “I have a love for Fall-Winter. I feel like your outerwear can be really special. You can always wear something really fun underneath but everyone gets to see your outerwear.”
Click through the gallery above to see our coverage of Fe Noel’s Fall 2016 presentation. Scroll down to see our backstage coverage of how the models were primped for the show.
“For the hair we’re basically doing a modern wave with a sleek pull back,” said Genevieve Jean Baptiste, the show’s lead hairstylist. “It’s sleeky and sexy. The women are wearing tailored outfits for today so we just wanted the hair to be tailored but also very sultry, so it’s a mixture of both: modern finger waves in the front and a slick back chignon in the front.”
“Today’s look is just very beautiful Hollywood glam,” said Natasha Denis, lead makeup artist for the event. “We’re focusing a lot on skin and highlight with beautiful golds, iridescence on the cheeks. For the lip we went with a matte chestnut with like a dash of pink in the center—a little bit of an ombre.”
Check out the gallery above to see how everything came together during the show.
The lack of diversity on the runways of New York Fashion Week has long been an issue.
Last year was no exception. During the Fall 2015 shows over 70% of the 618 models were white. Black models only accounted for 8.7%. Latina models only made up 3.5%.
But for Michelle Breyer, Founder of Texture Media, the lack of diversity isn’t merely about race—it’s also about hair. To counter that issue, she called on major hair care brands including Au Natural Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Design Essentials, Garnier Fructise, and Cream of Nature to host a runway show centered around curly, kinky, wavy, and textured tresses. Each brand chose a theme for their portion of the event.
“The idea for it came after covering fashion week over and over again and being frustrated by the lack of texture on the runway,” said Breyer who co-hosted the show with Patrice Grell Yursik, founder of Afrobella.com. “There were lots of straight ponytails and straight hair parted down the middle but not a lot of any kind of diversity, and I mean diversity in a lot of different ways. These people didn’t look like me and they didn’t look like most of the people in the world. So we thought why don’t we create our own fashion show where, rather than the hair being dictated by fashion the fashion was dictated by the hair and where we could have a counter point over what was going on.”
The Target sponsored event, which was held last Saturday, was an undeniable success.
We were there to capture the runway show and some of the fabulous attendees who flaunted their gorgeous tresses off the runway. (Check out the photos in the gallery above.)
We also got the backstage pass to cover the beauty preparation before the event. Scroll on…
“The look that I’m doing right now is finger coiling,” said Cantu Stylist, Maria Antoinette. “I’m basically taking her hair and I’m bringing all her curls together to elongate her hair so we can keep her natural curl and really bring length to her hair. It’s a great way if you have shorter hair to elongate your curl but not over manipulate them with a twist out or something like that.”
“Cantu’s theme was titled, “Essence Of Me.” “It’s all about all the roles we play in our lives as women, So we have the jet setter, we have the socialite, we have the boss, we have the multi tasker, we have the fit chick,” said Maria Antoinette.
“This look is a reversible braid,” said Michelle Swiny, Stylist for Design Essentials. “We crimped it and I divided the back into three sections. The front will have a ponytail and a French bang with a twisted knot at the top.”
For makeup, Design Essentials went for a soft cut crease using greens and purples. “The cut crease is strong to give off that military look to flow with the theme of, “War On Dryness,” said Christina Torian, Makeup Artist for Design Essentials. “The cut crease is the harsh part but it’s pretty because we’re using softer colors instead of black that’s usually used.”
“Today’s look it regal royal,” said Derick Monroe of the Dark and Lovely Style Squad. “Some of our styles are going to be ode to Coming To America. We’re just really glamorizing and enjoying and loving our textures. We’ve been using Twice as Nice, Curl Refresher. When you mix it up it has oils and the leave in conditioner in it, so it just gives your curls a little extra bounce and refreshes them without having to do the whole co-wash, shampoo, and conditioner all over.”
“We’re doing two combating textures,” said Tommy Buckett of Garnier Fructis. “Something super easy. It’s super sleek. It’s very architectural, it’s very done. We’re giving it a modern fresh touch to it by adding this crazy texture. It’s not curly, it’s not perfect. We’re just going with it.”
See photos of the runway show and attendees in the gallery above.
Pamela and Lamarr Nanton have a lot to celebrate after hosting their very first runway show during New York Fashion Week 2016.
Not only did they showcase the Fall collection of their PLY Apparel line to a packed house last Friday, they also made history as the only brand on the official New York Fashion Week calendar to feature plus size designs. With this collection their goal was to celebrate full figured women in a more daring way.
“The inspiration is just kind of focusing on those things they usually call flaws,” said Pamela. “We were inspired by Diana Vreelands concept about enhancing what society may call a flaw, so we did lace crop tops to show the stomach that may not be so flat, and sleeveless items to show a not so toned bicep.”
Pamela and Lamarr, a Philadelphia based husband-wife team are the Founders of the high end plus size brand. PLY, an acronym for Pamela, Lamarr, and ‘You,’ offers pieces ranging from $200 to $2000.
Before the show, we used our backstage pass to get a look at the beauty process. Check out photos below. (Click through the gallery above for our coverage of the show).
For makeup, the Nantons chose looks on separate ends of the spectrum.
“I think what they were trying to create was as blank a canvas as possible, to really showcase the pieces,” said the event’s makeup artist, Cristina Romeo of Polaris Cosmetics. The other half of the models wore vamp lip colors. “Some have lashes, some don’t,” Romeo added.
The direction for hair was also varied. “We actually went really fun,” said Lead Stylist Aubrey Loots, of Augment and Studio DNA, a Tokyo and LA based team. “There are 12 models. Some of them are going to have their hair up, and some of them are going to have their hair down. We have a hint of a 70s Farrah Faucet for the models who are going to have their hair down. And just a beautiful classic soft chignon for the girls who’re going to have their hair up. A nice variety.”
Click through the gallery above to see the collection on the runway and backstage!