This Day/Arise Magazine featured four designers in their African Fashion Collective 2009 show in the Bryant Park tents. Tyson Beckford, Alex Wek, and many other African-American super models walked the runway. Xuly.Bët, Funkin’ Fashion Factory was first up in the evening’s lineup. The models proudly strutted down the runway in form fitting sportswear constructed from corduroy, velour, denim, and pleather. A patent-leather head to toe look and denim jumpsuits rounded out the ensemble. The androgynous face of Grace Jones stretching and morphing on a screen behind the models was the real crowd pleaser of this portion of the show.
The second designer, Tiffany Amber, followed with pretty shantung dresses edged with intricate beading. Her attention to detail was evident in the colorful flower embroidery and wooden beadwork of her garments. Stoned Cherrie’s collection consisted of swing jackets and high-waisted cigarette pants, pretty cap sleeve dresses and blouson-sleeved shirts. The teardrop cut outs rimming the neckline of a dress had images of little purple women dancing inside- a beautiful, intricate detail. Momo’s collection was composed of animal printed silk knits and cashmeres which would be apropos in Palm Beach. The flapper-style hats provided a nice cohesive element to her line-up.
The show was extremely entertaining and festive and the exuberant crowd was one of the most supportive audiences I’ve ever encountered at a runway show. The presentation closed with looks from all four designers along with long white cotton dresses printed with President Obama’s likeness, which made for a perfect ending to an optimistic, upbeat show.
– Lyndsay Skeegan
Photos By Sandra Rosales