After a day of work at ESSENCE, I headed to Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall for the Arise show. It was a madhouse! If there is ever a place to peoplewatch, it is the lobby before an Arise show. Black people sure know how to wear color and prints. I spotted so many style inspirations, I lost count! Soon we took our seats in the grand concert hall and the show began with a few words from the fabulous Lola Ogunnaike and Saran Kaba Jones.
The designers participating in this season's Arise "Made in Africa" Collective were Kluk CGTD, Bumni Koko, Pierre- Antoine Vettorello, Asibelua, Jewel by Lisa, Tsemaye Binitie and Lanre Da Silva. My favorite of the group was Jewel by Lisa, who showcased gorgeous Ankara fabric dripping with Swarovski crystals. It was amazing! The talented Leona Lewis closed the show with a spectacular performance. But the fun was not over yet -- it was time to head to the infamous Arise after-party at Essex House. If the Arise show was the hottest ticket of the week, then the after party was a close second!
I attended the soiree with my boyfriend, Obi Okere, and one of my best friends, entertainment publicist J Dot! With great ambiance, well-dressed attendees and tasty hors d'oeuvres, the party was off to a fabulous start! What happened next couldn't have been better planned: a surprise performance by R. Kelly! He performed several songs spanning his almost two-decade music career, including "Happy People," "Bump n' Grind" and one of my all-time favorites, "Ignition"!
What a great ending to the madness we call fashion week! See you next season!