New Designers & Intl. Couture Showcased
In a week of nonstop runway shows, networking events and after-parties, the most popular D.C. Fashion Week event this year was the annual Emerging Designers Showcase. Eleven up-and-coming talents were given the chance to show their designs to a large audience, some for the first time ever. Hundreds of fashion lovers layered up in the cold weather and flocked to the Washington Post Conference Center for a dynamic evening of fashion and music.
Underground Market Clothing Co., Svelte by Sharon Brown, Neo District and House of Le’la’Mone were among those who showed their Fall/Winter 2014 collections. Luxury street wear brand Underground Market showed bold t-shirt designs with unique and intricate religious imagery. (Rumor has it the shirts will be in Urban Outfitters across the country soon!) Sharon Brown said she was inspired to work with fur, leather and lace to make a truly glamorous collection.
We saw lots of leather this year, also a staple in Neo District’s edgy and sleek designs. Le’la’Mone’s Lakisha Green was influenced by Asian designs, as seen in the colors and patterns of her pieces. Green’s elegant black and red silk streamlined cocktail dresses, gowns and separates were some of the most sophisticated and wearable pieces of the night.
Richmond’s Runway Couture was there with body-hugging red velour. Somehow their models made velour bodysuits look flattering! I was happy to see that the comeback of velour (one of my favorite 90s trends) is still going strong. If you’re bold enough to try it, the Nikki Bodysuit is available on the Runway Couture website for $95. Other highlights included their low-back velour midi dress, the jacquard hooded coatdress (Little Red Riding Hood inspired?), and the Plaid Me pants set.
With gala-appropriate gowns, chunky knits for winter weather and sexy club attire in the mix, the Emerging Designers Showcase really had something for everyone.
D.C. Fashion Week closed out the week’s festivities with an international couture show. Designers from Peru, Algeria and Ukraine (to name a few places) presented their Spring/Summer 2014 couture collections at the Historical Society of D.C. I loved Reston designer Ashraf Valliani’s Heritage Collection. The bright colors, breathable fabrics and intricate embroidery show the influence of her Pakistani heritage made wearable for every woman; as she puts it, “fashion forward fusion wear for the woman of today.”
After viewing these collections, I can see why D.C. is home to the fastest growing fashion week in North America. I can’t wait to see what September has in store.
Erica Moody is a Louisiana-born writer who’s called D.C. home since 2010. In addition to fashion writing, she covers social events, edits The Citron Review literary journal and is working on a novel. Erica holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University.