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Beauty, Fashion, Runway Review

“The Art of Fabric”: African Fashion Week, Chicago (Review)

October 30, 2015

by Dominique Michelle Davis / Photo Credit: @ChicagoFashionDiva

The 2nd African Fashion Week of Chicago hosted at Victor Hall proved to be another great success. For the second year running, founder and CEO, Christianah Ajanaku, has managed to pull talented designers together to create a runway show inspired by the art of fabric. Designers in the show included the brands 828 Collection, Cocushubi, St. Frimpong, Akese Stylelines, Abayadake, Anzhelika Crochet, Binta Sagale, Maryam Garba, Slice by Cake, Simply Cecily and Tiffney Deo Allure.

This was a unique experience in comparison to the standard runway show. What separates this fashion event from others is the way its producers incorporate the arts (visual, music and textiles) in a way that is inclusive to all artists, including the broad and diverse range of the models for the runway show.

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The theme of this year’s event, The Art of Fabric, inspired designers to use a variety of textiles, prints and colors with a range of motifs. The theme also invited designers to challenge the traditional structural design of garments. Vibrant earth tone hues of green, blue, orange and yellow were consistent among all the collections, and what what is currently on trend for the 2015-2016 in fashion generally. Of all the designers, Simply Cecily, Maryam Garba and St. Frimpong were among my favorite collection pieces.

The production of the event was a definite progression from last year’s event, which was held at Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago. However, with a theme this broad, and with the ability to work with other art form incorporated into the show’s production, I would have liked to see the art of fabric imbedded in more than just the designer’s collections. For example, the “art of fabric” as a theme give the opportunity for the interior design of the location to be incorporated into the runway show, as well as the integrating of the theme with the wonderfully venturous hairstyles and accessories could have been amplified to create a cohesive beauty look for the shows that used hairstyle to showcase fabric. This would also exhibit the diversity of hair textures and hairstyles among the broad range of wonderful models for the show, as well as among the event coordinators for African Fashion Week – Chicago.

Despite this minor critique of those very few details, and even in the absence of what my thoughts on what would have been additional compliments to the show, I applaud Christianah Ajanaku for her leadership, creativity, inspiration and ability to be a trailblazer. Ajanaku has created a platform for artists to debut and present their creations in a great way. I look forward to African Fashion Week – Chicago 2016 and to following Christianah Ajanaku and the designers to see their creative visions flourish for what will undoubtedly be many years to come.

Beauty, Fashion, News, WERK!

Jessica Chastain covers November W Magazine!

October 28, 2015

Loving Jessica Chastain’s complete style transformation on the cover of the November W Magazine styled by Edward Enninful and photographed by Steven Klein. The ‪‎fashion editorial‬ inside the magazine is equally stunning and appropriately titled “Transformer,” as clearly evidenced in the beauty look Chastain wears on the cover and in the editorial. I literally had to look multiple times and then check the name on the cover to even recognize her. Fabulous!

Fashion, Runway Review

#MirabellaRomae @ Valentino: Paris Couture, 2015

October 17, 2015

What more do I need to say than “Mirabella Romae ?!” The couture show of Rome based legendary fashion house Valentino was so superb it earned a standing ovation. Everything was glorious, from the set built for the show on the streets of Rome, to the #beautiful gowns with ornate flourishes like an embroidered gryffon on a poncho or gorgeous gold jewelry by Alessandro Gaggio. And the gorgeous hair swept back to the act with a long braid at the end. It was a great achievement!

Some of the other truly exquisite looks at the Valentino show were these:

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Beauty, On the Carpet

SAG Awards Red Carpet Wrap-Up: Favorite Trends

February 21, 2015

Favorite Trends: Hair of the Night

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Viola Davis in a white Max Mara and Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael were divine in their angelic attire. They are both scene stealers here, not for really nice dresses, but for there gorgeous hair last night. Davis’s beautiful ‘do was my favorite of the night. It reminded me of The photo shoot she did a few years back for the LA Times where she skipped the wig and went au naturale I love her with or without magic hair, but thought she looked especially fabulous last night. And Carmichael stood out for me because she was going for the effortless hair look that others do, but she made it work and looked great. I always say people want to go effortless, but even that needs some effort to really work. No shade!