Okay. Okay. I know I said I would update this blog more regularly, but so much has happened over the last few weeks (including a computer that is on its deathbed). I’ve been lucky enough to be a witness to everything from the truly outrageous to the truly momentous. Who would have known that the last quarter of 2008 would be so thrilling? So let’s recap what’s happened so far…
Bryant Park was all a buzz with the chatter about next season’s latest creations in the world of fashion. Models, designers, socialites, celebutantes and others who are fashionably inclined packed the tents to see what would be gracing the racks of our favorite department stores in the Spring. As I do each season, I am backstage at some of the most sought after shows working with the Ground Crew.
This year, I booked shows a total of 16 shows this season including Jill Haus, Rag & Bone, Charlotte Ronson (where Sam Ronson and Lindsay Lohan caused a stir backstage when they came to congratulate Charlotte on her show), newcomers Andy & Deb, DKNY (whose celebration of 20 years in the game was interrupted by PETA storming the stage), Y-3, Diesel, Z Zegna, Gottex, Iodice, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta (where Jennifer Lopez came back stage for an up-close-and-personal view of the collection), Vera Wang, Donna Karan Collection and perennial favorite, American couture designer Chado Ralph Rucci (where I was pleasantly shocked to find out one of my favorite models, Coco, was no longer strutting her stuff for Ralph but rather singing about his amazing work as a member of his PR team)—definitely a very packed week that had me running all over the island of Manhattan. To see pics of the collections from Fashion Week, go here.
Despite my busy schedule, I was able to catch a few shows as an attendee including Pamella Roland, Custo Barcelona and one of my favorite designers, Naeem Kahn. The paparazzi had their hands full with all the celebrities and socialites filing in and out of the various shows. I caught glimpses of photographer Nigel Barker and his wife, America’s Next Top Model duo Jay Manuel and Jay Alexander, songstress Brandy and socialite Nicole Richie.
I capped off Fashion Week at Escape on Manhattan’s west side where Ground Crew teamed with celebrity stylist June Ambrose on BET Film Meets Fashion. A show inspired by five of the most fashion forward films (Shaft, Bonnie & Clyde, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Mahogany and Blow). Some of the models included Bianca and Eugenia of America’s Next Top Model and Stacey McKenzie of the Canadian version of Top Model.
Last year many noted the lack of faces of color on the runways. This year, there was some improvement including models-of-the-moment Chanel Iman gracing the cover of Time Magazine’s Fall Fashion issue and Sessilee Lopez capturing a lucrative cover for Vogue Italia. I am so proud of both of them.
I was exhausted after Fashion Week and so I headed down to South Beach for some much needed rest and relaxation (and celebrated a big birthday) with friends Amaris Acosta (Miss New York United States/Miss Caribbean Hibiscus America) and Joanne Joo. I came back to New York with a tan and jumped right back into the thick of things in October.
October found me back at work creating and revamping the wardrobes of new clients and reconnecting with some of the interesting people I met during Fashion Week. While at the tents, I met fashion newcomer Leslie Monique. Leslie describes her collection as one that “focuses on the lady who loves being a lady, and relishes in her femininity.” She draws her inspiration from style icons of old including Diana Ross, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O. and Katherine Hepburn. This self-taught designer has had her creations featured on the pages of WWD and in the movie The Perfect Holiday. She’s also dressed Hollywood starlets Gabrielle Union and Zoë Saldana. I was so impressed by her work that I coaxed her into participating in Henri Bendel’s open call. Lining up at the crack of dawn just for a few minutes before the buyers, she definitely made a great impression. She is definitely one to watch.
October also saw me working the annual Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund Front Row Fashion Show event at Roseland Ballroom. Hosted by Law & Order’s Tamara Tunie, this year’s event paid homage to fashion’s elite including models Beverly Johnson and Tyson Beckford and Ground Crew founder and former Fashion Fair model Audrey Smaltz. Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) was a presenter. The show featured the collections of Trophy Husband (a men’s lingerie line), Tracey Reese, Sean John, Steve Cutting, Six Foota, Stephen Burrowes, Douglas Says and many more. I ended October on a high note and geared up for a busy November.
November so far has been extremely busy and exciting. I got to witness history with the election of Barack Obama to the White House, making the hopes and dreams of Black people, immigrants, the middle class and so many others come true. Honestly, I never thought I would see a president of color during my lifetime (and for that matter even a president of the fairer sex in this country either—but I’ve been proven wrong so far).
I also headed down to Miami again this month for a few days to work the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with Aminah Benjamin and Ground Crew, which took place at the famed Fountainebleu Hotel. But VS and Fountainebleu shenanigans will be left for my next update. Don’t forget to tune in on December 3rd on CBS to see the show.