There is nothing I love as much as attending fashion shows; the energy and the atmosphere, the glamour and the exquisite works of art that most would merely refer to as “clothing.”
This past weekend was no different. I had the pleasure of attending the Atoms of Fashion event, a night devoted to fashion and art, which was held at the Japanese Canadian Culture Center on September 9th.
The doors opened at 6p.m. and while I tend to arrive fashionably late for everything and anything, I walked through the doors immediately after opening.
Just beyond the doors there was a blocked off area where pictures could be taken on a red carpet with a hedge wall as a backdrop. It screamed Hollywood glamour and all the guests loved it.
I was disappointed that the main events took as long as they did to start as I was eager for the festivities to begin and the collections to be shown. However, I know better than anyone that sometimes things come up and start times must be delayed, so I tried to make the best of it and used the time to network with those around me.
I was more than ready for the show to begin when the lovely MC, Nina Hallie Dixon, walked onstage and set the night in motion.
While I knew the event was promoted as being “a night devoted to fashion and art”, I was still surprised by the variety of artists in attendance. The show presented such a range of talented young people: singers, musicians, painters, and, of course, fashion designers.
The room in which the runway stood was filled with beautiful paintings created by young artists.
One artist whose work stood out to me was that of Nana Bediako (@nanabediako). His paintings were incredibly moving; I fell in love with the fluidity and movement he depicted, as well as, the obvious influence culture had on Nana’s work. Other artists showcasing their work included: Benny Bing, Forstel Art, and Katrina Canedo.
The live music, presented by David Sax, AO, and Silla Styles, brought a unique energy to the event.
While I did enjoy each of their performances I felt like the musical acts could have been incorporated into the night differently, perhaps when people were entering the venue and waiting for the MC to take the stage or during the intermission. I loved that AOF incorporated musicians into the event I just would have liked to see the performance slot times differently arranged.
Lastly, the designers! I was in awe of each and every collection. The runway showcased the works of both male and female designers, men’s wear and women’s wear.
I loved the fact that so many designers were African and incorporated the African culture into their clothing line.
Culture is important, it’s something to be proud of and shared with others. Despite the fact that it’s 2017, so many people are still trying to hide their roots in order to assimilate, which I find incredibly sad. So it was wonderful to see so many designers presenting their culture through their clothing lines with pride.
The designers showcasing included: Adepa, Ambition by Ashley Marie, House of Wannie, Rhonique Ballantyne, Sebastian Styles, Styled by Mr. Adomako, Survival & Revival, The Wifey Collection, and Yaser and Mayasa.
There was such a range of clothing being displayed.
Sebastian Styles, a male designer, created a men’s line which showcased crisp, tailored ensembles, sharp suits and jackets that screamed luxury. The collection was definitely marketed to the elite male, however, all of the garments were extremely wearable, perfect for a business meeting, a romantic dinner, or a night on the town. The opportunities for wear are limitless, and I loved that range of versatility within his collection.
Ambition by Ashley Marie was also varied. She presented a clothing line that consisted of a party dress complete with a tulle skirt, a club ensemble made up of a fitted short patterned skirt, t-shirt and a jacket. However, she also showcased clothing for the working women a black fitted ensemble and long flowing skirts perfect for the world of business.
And then there were designers like Rhonique Ballantyne whose collection must have been made with the runway in mind; her collection was fabric art. Rhonique’s designs were abstract, being made up of wide skirts, and structured shirts complete with squared off shoulders and asymmetrical hemlines. While it wasn’t the most wearable collection on display it definitely served as a reminder that fashion is art; fashion is about creating something new, out of the ordinary. And those types of clothes aren’t necessarily wearable or comfortable but they assist in the composition of a vision. Those types of designs have the ability to move us, and I loved seeing them walk across the runway at Atoms of Fashion.