Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baltimore Fashion Week

Text, Casi Densmore-Koon
Edited by Vivian G. Kelly

Images, Casi Densmore-Koon

What: Baltimore Fashion Week
When: August 11th – 15th

Where: War Memorial Building, Downtown Baltimore, MD


This was a fashion event we couldn’t miss, and we didn’t have to travel to Milan, Paris, or New York. Instead, we drove 25 minutes for the glam and glitz of Baltimore Fashion Week. The event was defined just as it was advertised: Focused. Poised. Community Driven. It was the first inaugural showcase of not only the city’s local designers but also models that took the runway showcasing the latest fashion trends. The fashion week proceeds went to four non-profit organizations, one of them which is the well known Susan G.Komen Foundation of Maryland - it wasn’t just about fashion, it was fashion for a cause. As for Sharan Nixon, founder/CEO was in tears as the week came to an end - she made it all possible with her love for fashion. She gave many inspirations and hopes to fulfill their dreams, as a second fashion week for next year is already under way. Without her this project wouldn’t have been possible. After all the hard work and five full evenings of not just local designers. One even[ came all the way from Japan to show her collection (Miyoko), while another decided to show in Baltimore rather than in New York (KAS COLLECTIONS].
Here are a few favorites at the top of our list. “the best of Baltimore”.
The first runway event started off with KAS Collection, Inc. who featured model SHEILA DIXON, MAYOR OF BALTIMORE CITY. The KAS Collection is based in both Washington DC and New York. Designer, KENNY FLANNAGAN, is well known in the city for his high-end couture fashions that specialize in evening wear that’s both sophisticated and elegant along with stylish women and men’s business suits and urban apparel. His designs have also been seen on NAIMA MORA, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL WINNER [2005] as well as other red carpet events. We’re sure any businessman would love to go to work in a pinstripe suit by KAS Collection. As for the ladies - It was all about drama as the designs took the runway - dramatic and breathtaking all in one.

Irregular, was a just that with their unique design concepts. Mixing plaid and lace, different fabrics, and styles gave Irregular a bold look on the runway. The Marilyn Monroe style halter in true American colors along with the green and blue plaid trimmed in hot pink dresses stood out in the collection. The shiny fabric, retro prints and bright colors gave it a modern eighties feel.

Madison Walker opened the show on the third day with a trendy brown and white bolero styled jacket – perfect for the fall season. This wasn’t the only trendy jacket to walk the runway- bright colors and stripes were soon to come after – paired with jeans and boots make an all around chic look. The grey long dress with a delicate lavender sash seemed to be the hit in the collection. The best part was any item could be worn right off the runway and would be perfect for the city streets.
Madison Walker showed again on the finale night. The collection was filled with plaid, brocade, tweed – all displayed in rich brown colors. A few to take note of: a quilted skirt and maroon all -about -volume quilted strapless dress. The details and trim made you watch closely. The collection had all the essentials for a fall wardrobe – lace included.

Ying Edge by BISHME CROMARTIE was by far one of our favorites. Ying Edge quotes himself as a “motivational type of person”. He describes his clothing line as “mainly chic with a hint of couture” – described perfectly. As he began sewing at age 9, his clothing line may name him more than just a local Baltimore fashion designer. It was jaw drop after jaw drop; especially we found out that a mere 17-year-old male designed the collection! The feminine dresses, ruffles, beautifully executed denim were among the top designs. Also of note was his mixing of prints and colors and display of unique silhouettes. So what’s up next for Ying Edge clothing? You can catch him showing at Philly’s Fashion Week or on his MySpace page – your radar on – he may be the one you see showing at Bryant Park in the near future.

If you have a formal affair, Formal Den has a gown for you. From a slim silhouette-wedding gown to a short cocktail dress to Cinderella’s dream – one thing you couldn’t miss was the shine and sparkle. Intricate beadwork and beautiful gowns in all colors from bright hues to dark tones were at your fingertips making you feel like you were witnessing a fairytale come true.

END NOTES: Elena Siri was a phenomenal designer as she crocheted her entire collection, quite amazing and something we’ve never seen before. And if you are looking for a glamorous evening gown that is chic and sophisticated – Maria Lepe of Lepe Fashion can make you look classy as she showcased her Fall 2008 “Femininity” collection.