Hundreds of eager fashion enthusiasts crammed into the Bryant Park Tents on Friday night to view the This Day/Arise: African Fashion Collective :
Arise is a global magazine dedicated to highlighting achievements in African fashion, music, and culture, and its Spring 2010 fashion show aptly reflected its mission.
Four designers: Jewel by Lisa, Tiffany Amber, Eric Raisina, and David Tlale showcased their skills before a crowd that included fashion notables June Ambrose, Bethann Hardison, Harriete Cole, and Claude Grunitzky as well as celebrities Damon Dash, Amerie, and Keri Hilson.
The first line to show, Jewel by Lisa, stuck to traditional African prints, offering interesting silhouettes like jumpsuits, glitter adorned tops with flouncy skirts, and paillette laced shifts with cut out backs.
Though adequately executed, I think this line could have pushed the envelope just a bit more by making its signature looks more singular and distinct. Many pieces reminded me of other lines–a mix of an African print top and polka dot shorts smacked of Duro Olowu, and short jumpers seemed reminiscent of Boxing Kitten. Is it just me?
Up next was Tiffany Amber, a Nigerian line designed by Folake Folarin-Coker:
Endlessly pretty, this crown jewel of the show comprised long, flowing dresses in yellow, floral, and metallic fabrics. I loved the vibrant colors, the effortless movement of key pieces, and that the dresses were ravishing without the aid of sequins, embellishments, or rosettes.
The cut was king, and Folarin-Coker shut it down. Can’t wait to see more from her.
Eric Raisina stunned the crowd with his shirred, fringed, tassled frocks in statement making reds, blues, and metallics:
While I appreciated his chic singularity, I thought that some of the pieces were a bit overdone.
Sometimes less is more.
David Tale closed out the show in a big way with simple items that flaunted large details like tassled capes, shoulder applique’s, and beaded extended shoulder boleros:
Tlale made a grand effort for his finale spot, but unfortunately everything seemed over the top and overdone. An appearance by Tyson was the succession’s only saving grace:
What do you think?