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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Harlem Renaissance Fashion Show

Bonne journee!
It's so rainy and cold in NYC...I sincerely hope that Fall isn't here already!?! I still have summer dresses to wear...!
Anyway, as you know, I attended a Harlem Row Fashion Show last week Thursday. The show's purpose was to underline the unique, varied, and exquisite fashion offerings available in Harlem. Just as in the past, uptown is getting a makeover, and fashion is following suit.
Anyway the scene was packed in the River Room at 145th and Riverside...

...full of fashionistas and fashionistos sipping, eating, and networking.
The DJ was spinning hot beats...

And eventually everyone (but me!) took a seat for the show...

First up was B. Oyama Homme...

...a store that specializes in Harlem haberdasherry.
A few looks:

I really enjoyed B. Oyama's modern adaptations of traditional English suits and top hats. Would your man rock that?
Next up was one of my fave Boutiques Pieces...

...where Fashion Bomb Reader Kamilah made her runway debut.
A few looks:

Create Your Own
Pieces always has one of a kind, show stopping garments, and that day was no exception.
A bonus (I guess) was that 106 & Park Honey Rocsi...

...sashayed down the runway wearing a brown satin v-neck tunic, patterned tights, and sandals. Cute?
The third to show was Denim Library...

...a line that had a clear rocker/nerd chic aesthetic.

Create Your Own
Their outkast clothing comprised dookie chains, colored skinny jeans, cardigans, and prepster sweaters. Denim Library is what the cool alternative kids will be rocking to school this season. You typically don't equate 'Harlem' with 'rocker', so Denim Library was a refreshing surprise. Can't wait to see what's next for them!
Last but not least was Montgomery...

...where Bre from ANTM opened...

...looking quite dramatic.
A few looks:

Create Your Own
While the show seemed to open with a mixture of looks --everything from gilded disco frocks to 80's prom dresses and African inspired beadworked garments--I was really struck at the end of Montgomery's use of pickaninny applique's, pins, and dolls as well as 'Mamie' fans...


Her use of slave imagery was shocking, and immediately reminded me of famed 7th Avenue designer Patrick Kelly

…who similarly used pickaninny pins all over his clothes, saying, 'My grandmother was a maid, honey.' My memorabilia means a lot to me." Kelly died of AIDS in 1990, cutting his career short. I've got to interview Ms. Montgomery to see if he was her inspiration.
Anyway the show certainly opened my eyes to all the cool boutiques up in Harlem. I’ll definitely be trekking uptown to sample a bit of Harlem fashion flavor.
Smootches!
For more information:
* Visit B. Oyama on Seventh Avenue between 136th & 137th Street. Visit their website here.
*Visit Pieces' Harlem boutique at 228 West 135th Street bet. 7th & 8th Avenues. Visit their website here.
*Visit Denim Library at 2326 Seventh Avenue. Check out their website here.
*Visit Montgomery at 2312 Seventh Avenue at 136th Street.
PS WWD had a HUGE story on Bad Girls who go chic for the courtroom. Um, do they read the Fashion Bomb???

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Montgomery's had that as her logo for a long time--she used to sell t-shirts with that image.

I wish she had a website!

Furaha said...

umm this post just makes me want to say. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL! I love the African/African-American flare and twist on fashion of these designers.

Yannize said...

I would be interested to know Montgomerys motivation for the reappropriation of mammy imagery in her fashion that has the potential to be consumed by an audience other than Blacks...

Enigmatic1 said...

This post is going down as one of my favorites! I love it!

E.bony said...

This was a great post. I think WWD and Style reads The Fashion Bomb too, lol!!