Harlem Fashion Row’s presentations for Fashion Week were spectacular. Some of HFR’s Fashion Week events ran from the La Marina on Dyckman Street, in Inwood, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue. Among this year’s honorees were Spike Lee, Andra Day, Claire Sulmers and Antoinette Smith. At all of the shows, attendees were reminded of HFR’s role in introducing exceptional designers and talented people and HFR’s accomplishments over the past 10 years. Founder Brandice Daniels prides herself on being the voice of her Harlem community and a fighter for unsung fashion designers to be seen, appreciated and valued.
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Shakirah Gittens of SimplyShakirah.com was the red carpet host. Amber Pickens of “Kickback & Chat” hosted the runway fashion show. Backstage, we spoke with three designers from the 7:30 show while they were fitting their models and accessorizing their garments. Models were lined up for hair and makeup. Greta Wallace, a veteran designer of 20 years, worked with the Brownstone in Harlem, and Simply Greta is her brand’s name. For fall 2017, Wallace focuses on techno fabrics that are combinations of washable/dryable, polyester and Lycra. Her colors were extraordinary in bold reds, yellow, blue, white and black. Some of her pieces were hand-painted or splash painted in vibrant colors in digital designs. Wallace has stepped-it-up with a wearable, functional and fashionable line for now. Her futuristic silhouettes were often in asymmetrical cuts. There were short and long coats, and pants in couture shapes. Her collection was inspired by the way of life right now. She believes in modernism. “How we present ourselves is how we are remembered,” she explained. Her clothes were accessorized by fabulous hats, designed by John Fourth, and jewelry by various artists.
Laidiecloth, designed by Jasmine Terry-Ankobil, showed vintage pieces. She was influenced by the Parisian designer greats such as Balenciaga and Dior. Her silhouettes are feminine. Colors are bold. In details, there were hand-beaded coats, print inserts on dresses, skirts. Her specialty is custom designs for a private clientele. It takes her six to eight weeks to complete a garment. Terry-Ankobil can be reached at www.Laidiecloth.com.
The label called Klume comes from Brooklyn, NY. It is a collection of ready-to-wear for special occasions. The floral prints were exceptionally pretty. The brand cleverly mixes leather and cotton for black dresses and sportswear. There were abstract print turbans to match every outfit. There were also jumpsuits and clothes to wear for fall 2017.
A.K. Designs by Anisa Karim is new to the market. This brand features clothes for Eastern cultures, especially for women who wear the hijab. It’s an elegant collection for the Muslim woman. Their modest line included jumpsuits, embellished dresses, jackets, sheer long coats and a sequined suit. Their fabrics were rich, and the collection was opulent. Her clothes are available at MyAKdesigns@gmail.com.
The media partners for the Harlem Fashion Row events were Macy’s, Coca Cola, Nissan North America, Motions and Essence Communications.