D.C. Fashion Week ended with a grand finale as 10 designers from all around the world showcased their work at the Carnegie Library on Sunday.
The library was transformed for one evening into a center for fashion, complete with a red carpet runway, three separate backdrops for photos, a screen playing videos of previous shows and, of course, the classic
Countless photographers were standing on a raised platform and poised at every corner of the rectangular red carpet, snapping shots of each model as they strutted around the room.
The global theme of D.C. Fashion Week’s International Couture Collection meant the designers were inspired by talent outside of the U.S., and created fashion according to their roots and culture.
Styles by Hakeema
Styles by Hakeema were, in one word, modest. Each flowing skirt was paired with a staid long sleeved shirt, a high neck, or a headscarf that was swirled on the model’s head.
“I wanted to do lovely work with covered designs,” Hakeema May Ade, the head designer, said.
Her Egyptian-inspired dress was complete with a gold collar, a thin, column-esque bottom and a gold round fan. A gold toga was lent a distinctly Grecian air by the flowing black accent border that fell lightly from the model’s shoulder. The Carnivale was expressed in fabric through a black mermaid that was covered from knee down in a riot of ruffles, almost like a flamenco dress gone wild.
Sera Vero Nik
Wild patterns ran helter-skelter with this fearless designer, especially on her trenches and coats.
Paisley, cubes, aztec patterns and geometric shapes in different primary colors all played for dominance on a loud orange backdrop. Just to jazz things up a little more, the coat was trimmed with brown fur on the sleeves and around the neck, in true Macklemore style.
Sera Vero Nik’s daring reached further, and her signature dresses almost seemed to meld into the skin of the models, as if the fabric was a part of them rather than an article of clothing. This effect was achieved by stitching dots onto a nude backdrop, giving off the illusion that dots had simply fallen into the shape of a dress.
When asked why she chose the colors she did, Sera Vero Nik replied that she “wanted to go with D.C. metro colors.”
Covered Bliss was similar to Styles by Hakeema in its emphasis on the modest – hence the “covered” in Covered Bliss. Unlike Styles by Hakeema, however, Covered Bliss was clearly inspired by the Middle East in her kaftans (tunics) and abaya (cloak) designs and patterns.
While half of Covered Bliss’s showcase could have been mistaken for elaborate prom dresses, complete with high waists, long, flowy skirts, and sheer fabrics, the other half of Covered Bliss’s works were focused on her tunics that harkened back to her roots.
Her signature, however, was her regal peacock gold collars. Whether the dress was Western or Middle Eastern, a majority of them bore curling, flowing golden threads from the chest to the neck.
One of the most modern and severe designers at the International Couture Collection, the first half of Anca Designs’ showcase was filled with brown and white, brassy gold on beige business-like or respectable outfits. Buttons, rounded collars, tweed jackets and pencil skirts dominated the start of her collection.
Then the mesh came in. Suddenly black and red clashed on evening wear and tighter ensembles to create a sensual noir look with a very modern twist.
The severity and sharp lines of Anca Design can be explained by her unusual inspiration for her collection – architecture.
“I looked hard at buildings,” she said. “Architects made castles and churches all kinds of beautiful.”