NYFW S/S’14 – Harlem Fashion Row: diverse inspirations from Shanghai to Brooklyn
This year Harlem Fashion Row – a movement engaged with increasing diversity in fashion and presenting emerging designers – presented four very different collections on Friday night at Jazz in Lincoln Center.
The show opened with Deidre Jefferies’ new collection Espion. Luxurious materials such as fur, lambskin, rich double-faced cashmere and fluid silks were encrusted with bold prints and eccentric combinations like horse-tooth with Asian flowers. Her label is strictly luxurious and her clothes earlier in her career were picked up by stylists for Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Angelina Jolie and Jada Pinkett. Deidre wants to create a visual quality with her clothing: “These are heirloom quality so they don’t go away. I expect the wardrobe to go to the next generation and the generation after that,” the designer explained. Deidre Jefferies also revealed to The Upcoming that her first inspiration was a beautiful butterfly she came across online. She found that this butterfly was from Shanghai and she mixed her vision with the smoky casinos, the buildings and the super glamorous and super rich environment. “I want you to feel transported; I want you to feel Shanghai and the paradise in your hands.” Her looks on the catwalk were endorsed by the Asian-influenced hairstyles and black lipstick.
The second collection presented was from Sandro Romans, who lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn and gathers inspiration from his neighbourhood and the elevated grunge on the contemporary Brooklyn fashion. Among the 15 all-male looks he presented, we noticed black and blue cannabis prints, male jumpsuits and one of Sandro’s favourite looks for the season – guys in crop-top shirts, a 70s revival. The designer also believes that men should experiment more with fabrics, so he used a lot of stretched jersey, silk, silk chiffon and organza. His collection will be available online by the end of September here.
After Sandro Romans’ extravagant hipster chic, we were carried to the beautiful Namib Desert in South Africa with MODAHNIK, the brand by Kahindo Mateene – current contender in the Project Runway reality show. Mateene’s new collection includes her signature African-inspired prints in vibrant neon colours and feminine silhouettes. The clothes she creates are for the global nomad who views fashion as a creative expression of her individuality, classically feminine with an edge and dares to be bold.
Harlem Fashion Row’s tour around the world finished in Brooklyn with Kimberly Goldson’s collection. Her urban looks feature a white suit with Brooklyn Bridge prints that we really loved, metallic asymmetrical suits and dresses, and baseball hats with her initials. “I like to take classic shapes and styles and put a slight twist to them so that you can keep them in your closet forever,” Kimberly says. Goldson is widely known for becoming a finalist in Project Runway and she’s definitely an emerging designer to keep an eye on.
Photos: Bogdan Seredyak
For further information about Harlem Fashion Row, visit here.