Fashion Wins this Political Season

Fashion Wins this Political Season
ESSENCE.COM Oct, 30, 2008

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Politicians, like fashion designers, are always on the hunt for exciting new ways to generate mass appeal. Politicians appeal to us to support their causes and legislative agendas, while designers appeal to our senses and desires for new and innovative fashions. Two very different arenas, current politics and fashion, coincide because they are both fueled by an image for change. In September 2008, IMG presented with “Fashion Wins” as the theme for Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week Spring 2009’s international designer showcase of collections.

By Qianna Smith

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As Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama campaigns across America, he is using his very unique political style and promise for change to persuade American voters that he should be elected to lead and design a new political makeover for our country. The designers presenting their spring 2009 collections during New York Fashion Week used their brand name, reputation and creative ingenuity to suggest what we should wear for the coming season.

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Parsons School of Design alum Tracy Reese is a sophisticated designer with the intelligence to understand what the Tracy Reese woman wants to wear. When you need an amazing dress for a cocktail event or a special occasion, rely on Reese to deliver a frock that is pretty, feminine and chic.

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Reese’s spring 2009 show was presented to a packed crowd at in the main tent at New York’s Bryant Park, a step up from last season’s spot in the Promenade. The collection was colorful and dainty, with lace and silk free flowing on the runway.

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The movement in Reese’s designs was amazing. Each piece moved like a journey of lovers being swept away in the midst of a starry night. This collection had a very romantic vibe. The sound system was even blaring tunes with words like, “Love makes you beautiful.”

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Many of the pervading colors we saw on the runways for Spring 2008 such as purple, green and yellow will be back in full swing next season, as was evident in Reese’s collection. So ladies, do not go overboard by throwing everything out from last spring. One accessory trend that we loved was the cascading earrings that models donned and which gave these girly designs just a bit of edge and confidence.

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A designer worthy of immense recognition is b. michael. His career in fashion spans over a decade. Michael’s designs have appeared in movies, TV shows such as “Ugly Betty,” and have been spotted on the runways in not only New York, but also Beijing and London, and featured on and in fashion editorials for high-profile celebrities such as Halle Berry, Beyoncé and Cate Blanchett. With so many achievements, it is surprising that b. michael is not a household name. But, not to worry, this designer is a man with a plan. His plan for spring 2009 is to have women be seen in crisp, clean lines. The collection showcased a pastel scheme of colors reminiscent of Easter with a splash of polka dots and paisley.

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A flair for the fabulous, b. michael’s collections aren’t complete without a few long, “look at me” evening gowns. The finale gown pictured right was regally elegant with a timeless silhouette. b. michael is a permanent fixture in the world of fashion, so just learn to love him because he is not going anywhere anytime time soon.

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The energy and excitement on the runway at pureberlin was thrilling to watch as everyday people took to the catwalk. Each model was a representation of the streets of Berlin. It was fun fashion, pure fashion for spring 2009. “We concentrate on our few favorite items: Wearable everyday clothing. We create classics that suit any kind of moment… The qualities of our fabrics belong to the best there are on the market, all in 100 percent cotton. The colors are muted, sometimes washed out to create a used look. Piece-dyeing and details show how carefully everything is designed… Plus, all our pieces are biologically certified through the Ökotex Stabdard 100 seal,” confirmed designer Annabelle Mandeng, pictured left, taking a bow after the show with her friend Jesko Klatt.

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The only Black designer who showed in the tent at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring 2009 was Annabelle Mandeng, whose label pureberlin is all about real people and everyday style. Real people have the power to make a difference on the catwalk or on the campaign trail.

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Chris Brown supports Obama and Rihanna lends her celebrity to good causes too. She graced the Dsquared2 runway in Milan to support the designs of the popular duo. The brothers, originally from Canada, left their homeland in 1991 for bella Italia with a dream to become a leading European brand. Three years later, they took Milan Fashion Week by storm, and have enjoyed success ever since.

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The DSquared2 spring 2008 collection started out with a surprise cameo by singing sensation Rihanna, who strutted her stuff down the runway to the sounds of her hit song “Umbrella.”

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With Rihanna setting the mood right at DSquared2, you could only sit back and enjoy the dangerously seductive looks they sent down the runway. The highlight of the collection was the swimwear pieces that made the models look like glamazon’s oozing of confidence. The crystal-encrusted necklines, ruffled accents and dramatic one-piece cutouts stole the show.


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