One Sunday night in February, I caught an empty metro bus from the French Embassy back to the nearest metro station. The curious bus driver asked me what the occasion was, and I explained to him that I was heading home after attending the 18th International Couture Collections Show, the capstone to DC Fashion Week. “Oh,” he started, “that would explain why I’ve been having some pretty funky dressed people on these buses. It must’ve been Tuesday or Wednesday that I saw a whole crowd of people, models I believe, all posing and standing around. It’s nice to see the city get dressed up.”
How nice indeed! All week, the city was buzzing with designers, models, glam squads, tech crews, directors, and a bounty of show-goers. The week began with the Kickoff Reception and Eco Fashion Show on February 18 at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Raising awareness about environment-friendly fashion and emphasizing the importance of “upcycling” what you already have to build a beautiful new wardrobe, there was no better way for DCFW to kickoff then once again reminding our city that we want it to stay healthy and beautiful (or, dare we say, naturally CHIC!).
As noted by the bus driver, Tuesday was Fashion in the Streets, where the models of DCFW strutted their stuff in glam outfits with strong makeup. This year, Ean Williams (the founder and executive director of DC Fashion Week), lead the way for the models through Union Station of DC.
Williams had an early showing of his collection, Corjor International, on Wednesday evening at Tesla Motors by invitation. It was a preview for his couture show that would be the finale to the International Couture Show on Sunday.
Thursday night at the Dirty Bar on Connecticut Ave NW was the Fashion Industry Networking Party including a special jewelry and accessory fashion show. With open admission for anyone age 18 and older, this event was an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in fashion to come together and connect. Building such a fashion community and establishing these social ties is key to the growth of DCFW as a whole.
The Embassy of Ukraine hosted Friday’s event, the Ukraine Designer’s Showcase. While it was a free event, an RSVP was a smart idea because the seating for this show filled up quickly. The first designer was Irina Levkovich, whose collection had a very natural, organic, and cruelty-free conscious collection. As Krislyn noted, Levkovich used earthy colors and light layers for a rustic yet feminine overall look. The second designer was a complete contrast, as Olga DeNogga’s ‘Brand DeNoGGa’ collection came through in crisp, bright pieces that were reminiscent of younger days. Between her use of primary colors, strong floral prints, soft landscapes, and finally draped gowns that look like they were designed with Disney’s Pocahontas in mind, we were reminded that you can bring back styles with sentimental value in a vibrant, current way.
After such an inspiring series of events, DCFW still wasn’t over and there were two busy nights left of showcasing to be enjoyed. Saturday evening, at the Washington Post Conference Center, was the Emerging Designer Showcase M.E.D.I.A. Showcase. M.E.D.I.A. stands for Metropolitan Emerging Designers & Indie Artists, and this event was full of creative artists who certainly had the energy of emerging designers. And on Sunday, the 18th International Couture Collection was the capstone event, a ticketed event hosted at the Embassy of France. Everything, from the collections of the various designers to the makeup to the music, was of couture standards.
Want to get the full scoop about these two big events? Check back in for the second article in our DC Fashion Week series!
Mz Mahogany Chic Contributors Krislyn, Naté, Hafsa, and Brittany