Local fashion enthusiasts didn’t have to wait for the traditional New York or DC Fashion Weeks to see the latest and be in the know. They merely had to attend activities of the Oct. 27 – Nov. 2 Christian Fashion Week hosted by Designed Life and held at First United Methodist Church in Hyattsville, Md.

Especially on Saturday night when the church’s altar became the top of the runway as The Power Merger: Tasteful Fashion is Limitless finale brought Christian Fashion Week to a close.

The opening titled “The Vintage Voyage” led the show with designs by Primrose Boutique T-Simone Designs, and fashions by Retrocakes.

Tenisha Simone, who began sewing at 13, said her clothing line is “a marriage of color and fabrics.” The designer, fashionably referred to as T-Simone, incorporated warm autumn hues like rust and cognac, earth tones such as mushroom and beige, and bold floral prints to represent her collection, “Fall Into Action: 13 Edition.” T-Simone, a seamstress for seven years now, showcased a collection of mixed fabrics, silk and satin with a floral print, synthesized into an individual garment. Her two-tone, no pocket, waist-high pants were constructed with a cotton floral front panel and a rust-colored back panel made of satin. Those pants, and a printed hunter green and chocolate blousy top tightened with a drawstring, received many ohhs and ahhs from the crowd as it came down the runway.

Thirteen-year-old model Alicia Jones explained backstage how much she enjoys the fashion arena. “I’m excited, but I have been modeling since I was 8 . I just like clothes.”

A personal favorite line of clothing, Retrocakes is a contemporary, yet classic retro brand created by Renica Beery, 32-year-old designer who provides consultations, and creates tailor-made garments.

A youthful model pranced the runway wearing the most adorable, flirty, sleeveless, dress with the newspaper inspired words, “Extra, Extra.” The one-of-a-kind dress retailed for $100. Another jaw-dropping garment, by Retrocakes aficionado Renica Beery, was a custom-made lace gown called “Officer’s Ball.”

The story behind “Officer’s Ball” Beery said, “….was my husband. He is an officer and my inspiration.” That beauty was priced at $180. Retrocakes, the highly favored clothing line, got its name and concept, the owner explained, from the feeling that every day should feel like your birthday, so why not, she said, “Have your cake and eat it, too.”

The night continued with the second half of the fashion show, titled “Gorgeously Global” with collections from Taaru, Zodogi Fashion, and Le’onche’. Le’onche’, an international clothing line, featured modern day western style designs with an African twist of expression. Models strut their stuff in these garments made with an African matte, cotton wax fabric called; Ankara. The vibrant colored, eye-catching casual and cocktail attire is the representation of the Sierra Leone designer.

“You will not see my line in full black. Black is somber. No matter the season, you should always show color,” says Le’onche’, 34 year-old designer. 
Osikani, another fabric used by the designer, is an African cotton wax, lighter, metallic material; while George cloth is a thick, heavy Indian fabric covered with embroidery. These threads, worn by persons of the African and Indian descent, beautifully cascaded down the runway.

The final segment of the show, “Classically Couture,” showed pieces from retail store Ashley Stewart, and Star’s Studio Designs. Local designer Starbrille Cook, 25, of Star’s Studio Designs and also a stylist, worked on this year’s well-known fashion spectacle on BET, Rip the Runway.

Ashley D. Diggs

Special to the AFRO