For the past year, the Old City designer co-op has sought to expand and strengthen Philly’s fashion community, offering seven of the city’s most talented designers—Lele Designs, Lobo Mau, Mariel Rojo, Heartless Revival, Aso Damisi, Caterine Sanchez and Secret Bohemia—a shared space to showcase/sell their fashions and conserve resources. While enjoying complimentary drinks and light fare, guests are will have a chance to not only see the new designs in store, but hear straight from the designers themselves the various projects they’ve got in the works. 6:30-9:30pm. Free. US*U.S, 323 Arch St.
If your planning to head to the South Street/Fabric Row area tonight to check out the various Fourth Friday art openings and events, be sure to stop Paradigm Gallery, where a second reception will be held for talented young local artist, Dietrich Meyer’s latest show, a series of paintings based on the ideas of melancholy, duality, and mania. Sure, it might be a little depressing, but there’s will be plenty of other happenings going down in the vicinity that’ll cheer you back up if need be. 6-10pm. Free. Paradigm Gallery + Studio, 803 S. Fourth St.
Break out your most Oscar’s-appropriate attire and join local improv comedy vets Kristen Schier and Mike Marbach as they guide you through an evening of movie-based improv games as well as a few video parodies of last year’s nominated films. Rather than the usual $5 admission, the show will be asking folks to contribute what they can to help keep the weekly show going. Keep in mind that the venue is BYOB, but a limited selection of food and drinks will be up for grabs. Immediately following the jam at 10 p.m, there will be a screening of a surprise film, which got snubbed by the Academy this year and is also apparently one of the “best/worst movies of all time.” 8-10pm. $0-$10. The Arts Parlor, 1170 S. Broad St.
After being postponed due to fruitless winter storm hype, finally local crafters will be uniting at the Amtrak station to sell their handmade wares, whether that includes jewelry, knits, apparel, art prints, sculpture or home décor. Presented by VIX Emporium and the University City District, the daylong event has a slew of awesome merchants lined up. I’m personally feeling impartial to Phea Jean’s quirky line of accessories and handbags, the adorable kitchen accents of Dop Dop Designs, joeyfivecents’ one-of-a-kind, salvaged jewelry and the awesome nostalgic tees from The Captain’s Vintage. 11am-5pm. Free. 30th Street Station, North Waiting Room, 30th & Market Sts.
From the star of the Baltimore boylesque scene, Paco Fish to Philly’s own blossoming boylesquer, Mr. Fahrenheit, guests are in for a night of manly mayhem.In fact, host of the evening, Joey Martin of Peek-A-Boo Revue is promising to cover the audience in “hot man sauce.” Though, there are two glamorous gals in the group: local burlesque starlets Miss Rose and Lil’ Steph. Consider arriving early to get some dinner then stay late and party it up with the Bravissimo crew. Saturday, 10pm-1:30am. $10. Wine-O, 447 N. Poplar St.
While The Philadelphia Collection may have ended on Thursday, the local fashion mania continued this weekend as Philly Fashion Week 2012 wrapped up, hosting its final two runway shows at 2424 Studios in Fishtown.
Friday night’s show was devoted to ready-to-wear fashions from a total of ten designers, both local and national. After an hour or so delay, finally Dramtik Fanatic got the party started with their collection of fun, futuristic cocktail dresses.
I started to get a little worried a few minutes later as the featured fashions seemed to quickly go from flashy to trashy (or, as I wrote in my notebook: “Ready-to-wear…to the club…and only the club”). Apparently, genital-revealing apparel is really in this fall. I also couldn’t help but notice that all of the models were wearing the same boring black or nude platforms, some inappropriately hooker-esque.
Fortunately, there were still plenty of great designers in the line up, including the ladies of Aso Damisi. My other local faves: Mah-jing Wong and Pretty Pretty Rebel. I love how the strategically placed stripes and cut outs on Wong’s fashion-forward pieces seem to really highlight a woman’s natural shape. Meanwhile, combining polka dots, frills and bold floral prints, Pretty Pretty Rebel definitely appeals to my unwavering inner 12-year-old.
Anyway, without further adieu, here’s some of the many looks from the evening. Be sure to check back tomorrow as I’ll be sharing photos from Saturday night’s show as well as my overall thoughts of Philly Fashion Week 2012.
For those of you who went straight home after work to catch the season premiere of The Office, boy did you miss out on a lot. So allow me to fill you in…
First up, shoppers and fashion enthusiasts crowded a runway in the middle of Macy’s Center City for the Macy’s Fashion Show. Hosted by season one winner of NBC’s Fashion Star, Kara Laricks, the show marked the official debut of the 2013 collections of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator’s inaugural crew of Designers-In-Residence (Autumn Kietponglert, Melissa D’Agostino, Latifat Obajinmi, Moriamo Johnson, Kaitlyn Doherty). While hardly surprising, their featured garments were quite impressive. More importantly, you got a sense of how unique each of the designers really are.
I was pleasantly surprised what Kietponglert’s line Heartless Revival has in store for 2013 (particularly her crazy cool statement jewelry). Her newest looks seem to have more of a goth-meets-glam feel. Still, I think it was Latifat and Moriamo who ultimately stole the show. Between the impeccably constructed and versatile pieces and vibrant prints, their line Aso Damisi certainly stood out amongst the mostly neutral-colored looks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a good spot in the crowd and then my camera died so you’ll have to bear with these photos.
Next, I was off to The Comcast Center for the Rittenhouse Row Fall Gathering. The array of delicious food and cocktails was insane. Practically every Rittenhouse bar and restaurant was in attendance serving up samples. Just in case that wasn’t enough stimulation for one evening, there was also a fashion show featuring fall styles from a slew of local shops and boutiques (Knit Wit, Intermix, Joan Shepp, Duke & Winston, Boyds, Arcadia Boutique, LOFT, South Moon Under, Kembrel, Adornia, LAGOS, ect.). The fashions were modeled by locals, including some of the neighborhood’s most familiar faces (not familiar to me, but to others). Honestly, there were too many great looks to mention, especially since each ensemble featured several amazing pieces from several different retailers/designers. Plus, I couldn’t show them to you even if I wanted. The huge spotlights surrounding the makeshift runway rendered my iPhone useless. Not to mention I had a plate of food and at least two cocktails in hand at all times.
Finally, my friends and I head up JFK Blvd to catch the spectacular light show better known as Open Air (which you can read more about here). We didn’t make it all the way to Eakins Oval for the opening festivities, but neither did a lot of people. A pretty decent crowd gathered near The Franklin Institute to check out the powerful spotlights (as well as the production crew filming an episode of the upcoming new NBC drama, Do No Harm). Not sure if the overcast had anything to do with it, but the lights didn’t appear to be shinning as brightly as I would have expected. I also couldn’t hear any of the recorded messages because the Open Air Philly app wasn’t available in the iPhone app store yet (it is now though). Still, there’s really no way around it—the shits cool.
**Photos by James Ewing
As mentioned yesterday, all this week leading up to their awesome “Sample Sale” next Wednesday, PW Style will be featuring interviews with the five Designers-In-Residence at the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City.
First up, Latifat Obajinmi and Moriamo Johnson, two Nigerian sisters who are infusing a little bit of culture and couture to the local fashion scene with their line Aso Damisi (which translates as “cloth prosperity” in the Yoruba language).
Born in Nigeria, West Africa and raised in New Jersey, the two have been designing their own clothing together since they were children and have the unique distinction of being the only PFI designers without any formal design training.
In fact, both attended Rutgers with an entirely different career path in mind—Latifat majored in Human Resource Management while Moriamo studied Chemistry.
Sporting their own designs around town, the ladies constantly received positive feedback from people and so, in 2010, they finally decided it was time to launch their own brand.
Using bold, African-inspired textiles to create sophisticated, feminine silhouettes, Aso Damisi celebrates their love of both the American and African cultures equally and is meant for modern women who dare to stand out. As for their necklaces, well, they’re just flat-out badass.
Anyway, we decided we wanted to get to know Latifat (“Tifa”) and Moriamo (“Mo”) on a more personal level. Here’s what they had to say about all things style-related…
So how would each of you describe your own personal style?
Tifa: I love to pair different things together. I like to take risks with what I wear. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Mo: My style is more simple and chic. I’m not as daring as Tifa.
What are some of your fashion goals?
Mo: We aspire to be among the major fashion companies in the world. We want to be forefront in introducing modern African inspired fashion to the masses.
First thought when you were accepted for the Philly Fashion Incubator?
Mo: We were ecstatic to find out that we were chosen. We knew it was time to put in more work and that this opportunity would be extremely beneficial to our business.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Tifa: We take inspiration from our daily lives and try to think of styles of clothing that would fit into any woman’s closet.
What celebrity would you love to see sporting one of your outfits?
Mo: Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna.
If you had to stuff a duffle bag and suddenly skip town, what would you bring?
Tifa: Blazer, Pants, sunglasses, my iPod, and some cash!
Mo: Sundresses, hats, wedges, and my one-way ticket to Fiji!
What would you say has been your proudest moment in your career as a designer?
Tifa: Our proudest moment so far has been the very first time we saw our names on the wall of the Incubator studio provided by Macy’s.
What’s one item you think every girl absolutely must have in her wardrobe?
Tifa: One of Aso Damisi’s garments, of course.
Who would you say are your favorite designers?
Tifa: I love Zac Posen.
Mo: I love Michael Kors.
What’s on your iPod playlist right now?
Tifa: I have a little bit of everything on my playlist, from indie to hip-hop.
Mo: I have D’Banj (a popular African artist), Rihanna, Beyonce, and Maroon 5 on constant replay.
What advice do you have for fashion-obsessed women in this crappy economy?
Tifa: She should only buy something she is in love with.
Mo: She should invest in high quality garments that will last longer.
Local talent, Sap Sounds, accompanied by his guitarist and saxophone player opened up Philly Fashion Week’s Ready to Wear Fashion Show Friday night at the Crane Arts building. Before guests filled into their seats, they were able to mingle with the designers and various vendors—one of the most popular being the mobile nail salon Philly Minx, which was offering free manis right there on the spot.
The show featured an eclectic mix of everyday pieces to flowing evening gowns—all ready to be worn right off the runway…
This classy line from Paula Hian included pieces that could be worn in the office or after work at a sleek cocktail party. http://www.paulahian.com/
Adore was bold in its presentation of colors and funky pattern creations. The designers used their personal vacations and love of accessories to create this line.
There was even a line for the fellas—the distinguished, yet casual gentleman’s apparel from Osrick Ingredients Cricket.
The show ended on an international note with designer, Jaya Misra from India whose beautiful gowns she says were inspired completely from nature. “Philly fashion is booming and I’m happy to be a part of it,” she stated during the event.
Anyone in attendance was sure to agree.