Monday, July 5, 2010

Sex in New Jersey?

Before Sunday when the heatwave came crashing into the tri-state area like an uninvited barbecue guest, I visited the quaint resort town of Asbury Park, NJ for the opening of the eclectic art exhibit "Made Out Of Beautiful" at the Parlor Gallery.  I'd never been to the Jersey Shore despite the current rage in reality tv land and so my boyfriend and I piled into my friend Gillian's SUV along with my very dear model friend, Marcia and hit the GW Bridge.  I didn't really care if I saw any of those reality celebrities like The Situation or Snooki, I was going for purely personal reasons.  You see, my photographer friend Miles Ladin whom I've known for more years than I care to count was showing a batch of his vintage black & white prints at the gallery.  Miles has worked for The New York Times and turned his lens on everyone from Rihanna to Steven Spielberg.  He has also turned his lens on some of my career's biggest moments.  When I staged the unsanctioned renegade sidewalk fashion show using masks of the characters from Sex and the City during New York Fashion Week almost a decade ago, Miles was there documenting my watershed moment.  One of the photos that was on display was the image from that hot day in September 2000 that was published in Women's Wear Daily.  It was also the image used to promote the exhibit and I felt extremely honored.  Marcia is featured prominently in the foreground and was equally excited to join me on my trip down memory lane.  Sometimes I forget how important some of these moments have been to me and how they've validated my decision to pursue a career in fashion design.  And it was just a pleasant experience to recall how I skyrocketed from obscurity to become an ALMOST celebrity myself for just a little while.  Thank you Miles for showing the fashion world that a black man from humble beginnings has a voice.

Peace & Fashion!

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