(First, I’d like to apologize for the lateness of this posting. But new jobs and a new apartment have given me little free time. Secondly, the title, Vines of the Mind, was taken from a poem by a member of GEMS (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services) which is where most proceeds from the show were being given to.)

I got to know two of the three producers of this fashion show about a month ago thanks to The Fashion Potential and they invited me to come out to La Maison D’Art in Harlem for their event. I arrived very early and was greeted with the usual flurry of activitiy that surrounds these shows. But I was also greeted by Jocelyn Pizarro who immediately remembered me. Jocelyn was the co-producer/dresser and stylist for the models behind executive producer and jewelry designer Dana Shirley. These ladies did a wonderful job for first timers showing their own skills/collection and producing their first show. Ah, I remember my first show… We only had one line, these girls had 8, plus two entertainers and some surprises on their end… I’d give the show a 2.5/4 star rating.

La Maison D’Art is a tiny gallery on West 132nd street with less than a handful of pieces in about a handful of space, but I love the love and effort put into art. My only concern is that there seemed to have been a garden, a spacious garden, that the show could have taken place in because we were hot without proper AC, and the production space upstairs was even hotter, we were told. The runway was minimal, with some silk flowers lining the sides of it on the floor and a rather low garden archway, with silk flower vines weaving in and out of it. I admired that they kept overhead to a minimum so as much as possible could go back to the charity!

While waiting for the show to begin I spoke to a couple of girls I hadn’t met before. One was Ms. Simone S. who works at an American Apparel in the city. Her particular store just celebrated its ninth year in business! Woot-woot! I love American Apparel on multiple levels for their designs and their no sweatshop practices and of course that they try to make everything in America. The second lady I spoke to was one of the designers showing her collection, Vinniece Dufresne of NYBC (Not Your Boyfriend’s Closet). We bonded over TV shows like Game of Thrones and Orange is the New Black and she told me that her collection is all about the tom girl who likes wearing her guy’s things, but making it more feminine. I really liked that idea and immediately checked out her online boutique. It was definitely clothing I would wear. [You mean if you were a girl?] Yeah, we’ll go with that.

So on to the main events! The catwalk…

Desi Amour

A Jewelry designer who made everything herself and preferred the airy look of tulle with her earrings and necklaces.

Define Me Designs

This brand was projecting for Summer 2014. They saw cinched waists, lots of black, sequins and knits! Very eclectic… even the swimwear presented used the sequins and knits!

Kash Kow

An established brand with clothes being worn by people in the entertainment industry already, Kash Kow focused on the classic American sportswear, the T-shirt and graphics. Although they do cut the Ts to be airable, probably for dancing in. The most interesting design were denim vests with accents I would have liked to study more closely but alas the models were rather rapid and the runway short.

NYBC

Fresh, flirty girls (models) in classic flowing summer white bounced down the runway with energy and seeming to enjoy the clothes they were wearing. Models today are usually treated as mannequins. This designer gave her clothes an interesting life allowing the model to be a bit of herself.

Shaine Errington Collections

A Carribean/Jamaican designer with an interesting silhouette: she tightened the torso, but allowed the rest of the garments to blossom out. Whether this was to allow for movement or whether she had some ulterior motive I cannot say, but with the juxtaposition of Jackson Pollock-esque prints I feel the clothes were more urban than regal, not so bourgeois as to mirror the power styles of the 80s dresses.

6XII

An autobiographical romp in yellow and blue cocktail dresses and swimwear.

Dollhouse

As a boutique drawing from its own shelves it provided more of a stylist’s eye to the runway than the designers could give showing only their own creations. I saw summer-y bustiers, floral overalls and hot pants unite for some sweet-sexy modern day girl on the street. If they had only had lollipops or ice cream it would have completed the looks.

Human Element Squared

Seemingly the youngest designer, he had many ideas and put them all on the runway. Such design choices as contrasting zipper colors, halter tops, plaid vests, and deconstruction reigned over the final show.

Once again, I must thank these ladies for letting me attend their show and apologize for getting this posting out so late.