On Thursday I attended the networking party at Tabaq Bistro on U Street; accompanied by Brittney Oliver a fashion photographer and her friend Tiffany Banks a fashion blogger. The first challenge of the night was presented to me filling out my name tag with my professional career title. Thinking to myself I didn’t know what to put Yvonne Pearson: Ralph Lauren Shop Manager, Yvonne Pearson: I am still trying to figure this out…which would have been the most honest title I would have chosen. Instead I chose to define myself as a writer, yes a little risqué since I am no Carrie Bradshaw of fashion, but it is true. During the event I had the pleasure to meet Erica Reid a creative designer for Wilhelmina Rose whose vintage dress captured my attention and made me ask the question where did you get that? Erica specializes in taking vintage pieces and recreating them with a modern flair. The dress she had on in particular of pink, green, and black color block style, reminded me of Yves Saint Laurent’s work in the 1960’s, in which he was inspired by Mondrian.
Being able to discuss fashion with fellow lovers was refreshing and might I say fabulous. Ayana Scott fashion stylist and all around mogul in training and I discussed the lack of understanding many have about fashion in this area. We were both in agreement that many look to New York as the only way someone who wants to be in the industry can make a name. I not only agree but feel that fashion in DC is not only black suits and conservative dress. It is however a budding mecca of designers, journalist, stylist, etc who have talent yet to be fully appreciated. Ayana’s goal is to create more awareness about the talent that exist here, by encouraging others to look beyond the skyline of New York and focus toward the Monument.
Friday after work I and Kayon Williams, found ourselves at Mood Lounge to partake in cocktails and fashion. We had the pleasure of meeting Greg, the PR chair for DC Fashion Week events. He gave us early admission into the show to secure our spot and a chance to mingle with some of DC’s local talent. While waiting for the show to start I had a chance to become acquainted with Carlos Fenwick, male model here in DC. His charm, style, and gorgeous bone structure made it obvious that he was made to walk the runway. Which I had a chance to see sitting front row at the Menswear show on Saturday at the Washington Post.
The Ean Williams show did not disappoint, you could feel the excitement in the room as one look after another graced the runway. Keeping the audience curious as to what we were to see next. Couture dresses with beautiful earth tones, surrounded by yards of fabric with every attention to detail paid, down to the last stich. Williams show was nothing less than art with the needle and thread as his brush, and his vision as his canvas. After the show Greg introduced me to Williams and I had the opportunity to ask him what inspired his collection. Williams informed me that his recent trip to Europe, more specifically Paris was the source behind Williams’s full skirts and dramatic cocooned headdresses. His pieces made me envision the city of lights, Paris herself and remember our need for beauty and timelessness.
On Saturday I and Alisha Shears entered the doors of the Washington Post to gear up for the Menswear show. Nine different designers from around the DC area showcased their lines to a room filled with fashion experts, news publications, and local fashion lovers. Out of the nine collections I saw, honestly I loved only two. Top Rank and Mason Sylvester were the most cohesive of the nine designers that presented. Top Rank military and aviator inspiration was a classic, clean, detailed and not overdone.
Mason Sylvester reminded me of lines like Burberry Prorsum and Ralph Lauren Black Label. His use of color with clean lines, different textures and prints was simple, yet kept me interested. Other collections, like Durkl, felt forced as if they were trying too hard to be different and so far outside the box they were nowhere near it. Will Styles showing made me feel as if I was looking at two different collections during different time periods of his career. Obviously his theme was inspired by the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but does that mean putting buttons in places that weren’t really thought out?..no.
As far as the models were concerned some of the models like my new acquaintance Carlos Fenwick felt comfortable rocking the runway, and understood their purpose was to sell the clothes, not to sell themselves. One male model in particular forgot the cardinal rule, to have a clean palette, meaning shaving the legs and the back hair. Yes he did walk down the runway rocking a bit of the caveman look. I didn’t know whether or not to feel slightly disgusted or offer him a razor. Other models walk too hard as if they had a sad limp, while some I didn’t know if they wanted to walk for the menswear show or wear a dress down the runway.
Overall attending the events and having a chance to meet budding designers an fashion professionals reminded me that this world can be a reality if you are willing to work for it. I may not have been sitting front row at a fashion show in NYC, but for one week I got a chance to experience what my life could be like. What did I see? A world of flashing lights, fashion, and front row seating that is nothing less than wonderful.