Thursday, February 25, 2010

Who are YOU wearing?

It all starts with an idea or concept that blossoms into a sketch. And that sketch leads me to fabric choices. Fabric sourcing often makes my heart skip a beat as I scour the aisles of some of my favorite emporiums, like the Project Runway famous Mood. But since I am fully committed to changing the perception of how denim can be worn, each dress is rendered in denim, and usually in a crisp, dark blue hue. But for the buyers & consumers who may not be open to the idea of denim for cocktail dressing, I must pick a fabric that has versatility and fluidity with commercial appeal. And each season, that other fabric is different depending on the trends and my whims. This Monday past, Ila was fitted with the red wool gabardine versions of my designs. I love red. It's passionate and fiery and majestic. And I was really pleased with the drape and ease. When Eric Hason photographs the collection on March 6 (God willing), I think it's going to be a moment of bliss. Each season I feel my voice getting stronger and stronger as I carve out an identity for myself. And one of these days, hopefully soon, more will be listening and watching. But until then, I am enjoying the ride. And I am definitely taking note of my progress.
Peace & Fashion!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Work It!

This past Saturday, yours truly was front and center as the inaugural Queens Fashion Week came to an end. It was a long day as Ashanti and I had to select & fit additional models to wear our pieces. Luckily, all the ladies were quite lovely which made for a very pleasant day. And there really was a sense of community backstage from the hair stylists to the make up artists to the dressers, volunteers, and other designers who were showing. No need for behind the scenes drama - it was all about love and purpose. When my hat man, OH, arrived with the last chapeau it was almost time for the show to begin. And his hats really were like the cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae. I cannot express how pleased I was to be a part of the event. It had been more than 5 years since I had shown a collection on the runway. And I say, "It's about time!" We were even able to make a few business connections which could potentially add up to more for the company's future. So you know it's all good. But there is no rest for the weary as I continue to plan the shoot for March 6 and make sure that the dresses are completed in time. After all, it all happens in less than two weeks. So excuse me while I work it!
Peace & Fashion!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Fashion Marathon

This month has been KILLAH! And I am not speaking in a "Oh, these Roger Vivier pumps are killing my feet!" kind of way either. The BlackFashionDude has been whipping the garment district into a tizzy in an effort to have all the dresses from the Fine & Dandy collection completed in time for the photo shoot. After the plantation was kind enough to advance my salary a small fortune, I was able to move forward with the rest of the dresses. In addition, I've had to fit girls for my turn on the runway at Queens Fashion Week this Saturday, February 20. Remember I was supposed to present my denim frocks last Saturday, Feb 13, but because of the snowstorm and with Queens being what it is, the show was postponed. So it's not too late, you can purchase a ticket today at and see yours truly rock the runway. I've been busy sewing up the purses I designed to accessorize the dresses after my handbag artisan bailed on me. They are not perfect because I am nobody's tailor, but they are pretty adorable. . .if I do say so myself. And Otis, my milliner man, has created the MOST fabulous toppers that will adorn the model's heads at Saturday's show.

Last week I outfitted The Mad Fashionista in one of my designs. She is the ubiquitous guest in the tents and an intrepid reporter during New York Fashion Week. I sure hope she was able to get into some of the newspapers wearing my creation because she looked like a dream in the dress.

My partners in fashion crimes and I are looking to revamp our current website which has none of the dresses on it, so we turned to our trusted friend - craigslist where we posted an ad for a web designer. We got lots of responses and we've held preliminary phone interviews with a few applicants to see who really shares a polished web vision with us. I'll keep you posted when the new site goes live, but you can rest assured that it will be HOT!

It appears that I was not able to seal the deal with Gabourey and her stylist to dress her for the Oscars. At times it seemed like the underdog (me) was finally going to have a bonafide feather in its cap. We spoke on a few occasions and I rushed to provide beautiful and appropriate designs, yet now I am only getting the silent treatment. And with the Oscars approaching faster than fast, it doesn't seem like it's going to happen this time. But I'll be watching no matter what because glamor is what I love.

And finally, a very sad farewell to Alexander McQueen who hanged himself last week. He was a design genius and he will surely be missed.

Peace & Fashion!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Queens Fashion Week

Queens gets a bad rap. Sometimes I even do my part to borough bash. I've complained to friends and frenemies alike that Queens is provincial & unsophisticated. But Queens is where I grew up and where I returned once I left Brooklyn. So it's definitely home to me. My fellow fashion designer friend, Delali, was so tired of Manhattan and Brooklyn getting all the glory, that this year she founded Queens Fashion Week. "Wilbur, there is plenty of talent right here and we need to provide a platform for people to see that," she declared. So she asked me if I would stand together with her. How could I say no? So Queens Fashion Week will take place from February 11 to February 13 in tandem with the much publicized Mercedes Benz sponsored New York Fashion Week. And I will have models storming the runway when I open the show on Saturday February 13 at the historic Standard Motor Lofts on Northern Blvd in Long Island City. For those of you who have been completely shackled to Manhattan, that's only a hop and a skip away from Times Square. The event is to begin promptly at 7 p.m. And everybody is welcome to attend, as our event is not an exclusive invitation-only spectacle. So for everyone who secretly has a bit of "Devil Wears Prada" attitude and cannot wait to unleash their version of Miranda Priestly, this is the moment you've been waiting for. But make sure you get your tickets soon because you'll want to be front and center. Today I was even interviewed by phone for an article in one of the local Queens newspapers, The Chronicle. The reporter asked, "What makes Queens so special for fashion?" And I quickly answered that this presentation is going to showcase the individual talents of many home grown designers who may not have the funds to show across the bridge but are just as legitimate as a Carolina Herrera or a Narciso Rodriguez. We've all got to start somewhere. And I am proud to say that Queens is my beginning.

Peace & Fashion!