Last month marked the 35th anniversary of DC Fashion Week, with three presentations featuring more than 40 designers debuting styles ranging from modest patchwork denim dresses to ornate headpieces and gowns.
The week began on Friday (24th September) with the Washington Menswear Collection, followed by the Emerging Designers Showcase on Saturday, and concluded on Sunday with the International Couture Collections Showcase. Each event was co-hosted by Ean Williams, executive director and originator of DC Fashion Week, and Sasha Perea, Miss D.C. USA 2021.
According to Williams, the event’s 120 models covered a varied spectrum of nationalities, body kinds, and sizes. He stated that the participating designers ranged in age from 9 to 80 years old, with everyone representing a unique and entirely personal universe of design.
“We’re all about diversity, all about love, all about recognizing D.C.’s creativity,” Williams added.
From simple denim streetwear to ornate 80s-inspired ensembles, here’s a sneak peek at what designers wore on the runway.
Phoebe Jacqueline’s collection dazzled the audience with elegant, chic designs inspired by Swedish and Greek architecture and culture. From dresses to kimonos, these feminine pieces combine soft neutral solid hues with light floral motifs to create a fairytale-esque atmosphere throughout the collection. Jacqueline’s items are all made from recycled or dead stock materials, making her range totally eco-friendly.
This casual streetwear collection, designed by Doncel Brown, combines social commentary with fashion. Each piece in the Generation Typo collection incorporates a red line in some fashion, such as across a sweatshirt or as an accent lining on jogging trousers, as a homage to the red line associated with spelling mistakes. The reference is intended to build up a discourse between generations about conflicting ideas without attaching negative significance to each other’s opinions.
Kayla Davis, the designer behind Kash Kouture, displayed form-fitting and stylish items. The clothes were more fascinating than your ordinary going-out outfit, with vivid patterns and intricate decorations, but they were far less adventurous and far more informal than the other collections on the night.
Hiari Strong, the designer and curator of Love Allie, presented a collection that screamed high fashion, with abstract silhouettes that seemed to swallow the models in styles you wouldn’t see on the streets. A basket of grains was even put onto the front of a dress in one piece.
This collection combines monotone fabrics like satin with dramatic jewelry pieces and ruffles to create an 80s-inspired aesthetic. Que Johna Jones began designing in 2016 after the death of her grandmother, whom she described as her fashion icon. Jones inherited her grandmother’s sewing machine, taught herself to sew, and began making pieces such as the ones featured in her Blueprint Effect collection.
Rack Duco Chanel Hendrickson, the designer behind Rack Duco, displayed a range of piece-work denim styles fashioned from discarded jean material. Each piece was stacked with different jean wash colors in multi-chromatic and geometrically pleasing motifs.
The COVID-19 epidemic, according to Hendrickson, “slowed” her clothing line and “encouraged” her to take her time crafting the items.
Rosa Mara Rodriguez’s Rossemary’s Creations collection was one of the most varied of the night, thanks to her Latin-inspired creations. Her designs used a variety of patterns, including houndstooth and animal print, as well as materials such as lace and velvet. Rodriguez began her career as a fashion designer in Argentina and then expanded her business to include teaching people how to sew.
EJE International Designs
Erika Evans began her career as a hairstylist, and she found inspiration for her current fashion items while working as a hairstylist in cities such as Tokyo, Paris, and Amsterdam. Her EJE INTl. Designs collection, which drew design inspiration from the “youth of the 90s and early 2000s,” featured outlandishly trendy gas masks, glasses, and head pieces paired with colorful coats and sweatshirts.
Evans’ line’s tagline is “never be scared to stand alone,” which represents the avant-garde spirit of her daring creations.
The 1988 Berlin Limited Edition Collection, a collaboration fashion endeavor by designers Orlando Ortiz and Derrick J. Sellers, finished the night’s exhibition with a bold and cohesive theme that showcased 80s fashion. Metallic textiles, ski goggles, huge purses, and cowboy hats were used to create outfits that resembled camp versions of costumes from the original Star Wars films.