AmericasMart Atlanta has VISION

Tarik Ediz VISION Fashion Show Atlanta Apparel

Tarik Ediz at AmericasMart Atlanta

Sherri Hill

(left) Sherri Hill (right) Tony Bowls at AmericasMart Atlanta

Tarik Ediz

Tarik Ediz

It’s April market at AmericasMart Atlanta.  What can I say?  There’s a lot going on.  I was invited to attend the VISION fashion show for social occasion at Atlanta Apparel. AmericasMart is one of my favorite places to visit so I was excited to see the show.

After a brief tour of the facilities, a few introductions and a couple of hors’dourves I managed to position  myself in time to see a parade of models descend the runway.  Their looks  varied from sassy and sexy to red carpet glamour.  One of my favorite designs was a bronze lace silhouette created by Sherri Hill.  When I showed a photograph of her design to a friend, he remarked “That’s soo Atlanta.”  I found his comment to be  intriguing because I am soo New York.  Perhaps his preference was European.  If that was the case, European inspired creations were featured as well.

A dominate trend in the show were designs where the emphasis was placed at the back.  Models walked the runway dressed in gowns with low backs, no backs and lace backs, which made their exits as dramatic as their entrances.  Although basic black was a theme, there was plenty of room for color.  Most popular were creations in gray, green, yellow, navy and purple. It was a fabulous show of 40 looks.

Atlanta’s presence in the highly competitive business of wholesale and retail cannot easily be ignored. Atlanta Apparel hosts the #1 prom market in the nation and is poised to take on social occasion with bridal not far behind. I asked an AmericasMart rep if social occasion is Atlanta’s niche in the fashion industry.  She replied ” Not yet, but we are getting there.”

The VISION fashion show was held at Atlanta Apparel on April 2, 2014 during the social occasion market.  VISION’s top lines include Allure, Casablanca, Faviana, Jovani, Mignon, Mon Cherie, Nicole Bakti, Nicole Miller, Sherri Hill, Terani and many more. What’s more, designs by Badgley

 

 

 

Mischka were featured in a runway show held on April 4.

Sherri Hill dresses Selena Gomez, Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Tamar Braxton, Gabby Douglas, Paris Hilton and Carmen Electra to name a few. Although based in Austin, Ms. Hill maintains a design studio and showroom in Atlanta.

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National Black Arts Festival and Neiman Marcus Host Cocktail Party for 8th Annual Fine Art + Fashion Benefit Runway Show

The National Black Arts Festival and Neiman Marcus hosted a cocktail party for the 8th Annual Fine Art + Fashion Benefit Runway Show that guests won’t soon forget. Equipped with a layout and direction, from the hosts, a building crew transformed Neiman Marcus’ Level One into an exquisite, artistic setting with a touch of whimsy so guests would not take the affair too seriously. Mannequins were replaced by jazz trios and fine jewelry counters were converted into an elegant glass bar with champagne filled flutes that sparkled like diamonds. With creativity abound, workers swapped retail signage for works of art. And believe it or not, the NBAF’s backdrop was covered with foliage.

Attendees chatted, laughed, networked and posed for photographs as they sipped on beverages and nibbled on gourmet appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Patricia Janiot, award-winning journalist and senior anchor, CNN en Español and CNN Latino was on hand to greet guests prior to performing the role of host to the Awards Program and Art of Fashion Show. It was good to see people enjoying each others company and having a great time.

At 7:00 p.m. the cocktail party began to wind down as guests made their way to their seats on the upper level where the program would be held. Soon after, I decided to head to my car. As I was walking I noticed a color photograph of a black Barbie doll displayed in a pedestal sign frame. For some reason, the photo looked a little unsettling but I attributed my perception of it to my brisk pace and a lack of sleep. As I exited the store I waved good-bye to the gentlemen at the media check in. He said that he was glad that I was able to attend. So was I.

Danielle Gordon 2014 NBAF Emerging Talent Award Winner from Clark Atlanta University.

The Fine Art + Fashion cocktail party was held on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm in Neiman Marcus Level One at Lenox Square in Atlanta. Fine Art + Fashion is a runway presentation to benefit the work of the National Black Arts Festival. It is also a platform to honor African Americas who have excelled in the arts.

The art work that I saw displayed in the pedestal sign frame at NM was from a collection called Plastic Bodies by Sheila Pree Bright a Fine Art + Fashion 2014 Honoree. The artist superimposes photographs of black female faces on images of Barbie dolls to express America’s preoccupation with beauty. Other honorees include jewelry designer extraordinaire, Victor Velyan (Fashion Icon Honoree) and acclaimed art photographer and one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography, Deborah Willis (Visual Artist Honoree).

Additionally, student designers Danielle Gordon of Clark Atlanta University, Kendra Pickney and Jessica Fulks both of Savannah College of Art + Design, were recognized at the Awards Program as the 2014 NBAF Emerging Talent Awards honorees. Established in 2010, this award recognizes individuals of African descent who have distinguished themselves as cutting edge and innovative fashion design students.

Neiman Marcus is title sponsor of Fine Art + Fashion. Beverages were donated by The Coca-Cola Company, Vixen Vodka and Casa Defra.

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NBAF + Neiman Marcus Present the 8th Annual Fine Art + Fashion Benefit Runway Show – March 20th in Atlanta

The National Black Arts Festival and Neiman Marcus announce the 8th Annual Fine Art + Fashion Benefit Runway Show to be held on March 20, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at Neiman Marcus in Lenox Square Atlanta.

Fine Art + Fashion, a much anticipated event, is attended by Atlanta’s socialites who gather to celebrate exquisite works of art and fashion while raising funds for the National Black Arts Festival’s various programs and endeavors. Flowing champagne, hors d’oeuvres, petite fours and live music set the stage, at the reception, for everyone to have a great time. Neiman Marcus is the title sponsor of Fine Art + Fashion.

A major highlight of the evening is the Art of Fashion runway show that features European designs curated by Ken Downing Senior Vice President and Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus. Mr. Downing sets the fashion pace for the Neiman Marcus brand.

Fine Art + Fashion is also a platform to acknowledge artists who have a positive impact on global fashion, as well as a strong connection to the arts and culture of the African Diasporas. 2014 honorees include jewelry designer extraordinaire, Victor Velyan (Fashion Icon Honoree), acclaimed art photographer and one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography, Deborah Willis (Visual Artist Honoree) and Atlanta-based fine arts photographer Sheila Pree Bright (Visual Artist Honoree).

Additionally, student designers Danielle Gordon of Clark Atlanta University, Kendra Pickney and Jessica Fulks both of Savannah College of Art + Design, will be recognized as the 2014 NBAF Emerging Talent Awards honorees. Established in 2010, this award recognizes individuals of African descent who have distinguished themselves as cutting edge and innovative fashion design students.

Honorary chairs Billye and Henry “Hank” Aaron will be attendance. Co-chairs Brooke Edmond and Jack Sawyer will be present as well. Senior Anchor for CNN en Espanol Patricia Janiot will host the program. Event sponsors include Neiman Marcus, Wilmington Trust, The Coca Cola Company and PNC.

For ticket information, visit nbaf.org

The Barjon Group for NBAF

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Tracy Reese Creates Machine Washable Looks for Fall 2014

One of My Favorite Looks from the Tracy Reese Fall 2014 Collection

Tracy Reese is a designer who does not seek the limelight. And yet, she always manages to shake things up. She takes us out of our comfort zone by breaking all of the rules of fashion. White shoes for fall/winter 2014? Why not? Tracy Reese is also known for combining colors that we would not think to pair, mixing patterns without trepidation, and interpreting “art is fashion” by creating landscape prints for her designs. It all works — beautifully. And now, Tracy Reese has become one of the first designers to create machine washable looks. Who would have thought? I’ve heard of hand washable silk, but imagine having the confidence to throw a designer piece into the washing machine, with Tide Pods of course, knowing the garment will come out fine.

The idea of creating machine washable designer pieces stems from a growing demand for easy care high-end fashions. No doubt, this initiative will also make available a wider variety of attainable signature items (designer accessories and now designer sweaters and blouses) for aspiring consumers who would not have to incur the additional cost of dry cleaning throughout the life of a garment. In partnership with P&G, the Council of Fashion Designers of America launched a campaign to educate designers on the use of washable fabrics in their creations. After being convinced that Tide Pods could sustain the quality of her pieces, Tracy Reese, a member of CFDA, created two washable looks that went undetected on her fall 2014 runway. The two washable designs along with Tracy Reese fall 2014 collection will be available, later this year, at upscale stores and online.

At this time, the only designer fashion that I deem machine washable is the pink sweater, shown at the top, created by Tracy Reese. According to reports, a sample of Tide Pods is a gift with purchase of the sweater.

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Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) Will Host an Exhibit on Ebony Fashion Fair

“Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair” an exhibit to be held at Museum of Design Atlanta MODA beginning October 19, 2014. The exhibit, organized by the Chicago History Museum, will showcase couture collections featured in various Ebony Fashion Fair benefit runway shows. For additional information, please visit www.museumofdesign.org. Below please find a clip on the documentary “Ebony Fashion Fair: 50 Years of Style.” We honor the late Eunice Johnson of Johnson Publishing for bringing European designs to African American audiences.

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Trumpet Award Creator Xernona Clayton and 2014 Trumpet Award Hosts Laz Alonso and Melissa De Sousa on Stage at Awards Ceremony

(from left to right) Actress Mellissa De Sousa, Trumpet Award Creator Xernona Clayton and Actor Laz Alonso on Stage at the 2014 Trumpet Awards to be aired on TV One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the closing ceremony, Trumpet Awards creator Xernona Clayton and 2014 Trumpet Award hosts Laz Alonso and Melissa De Sousa exchange tokens of appreciation for jobs well done.

Xernona Clayton is Chair, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation and Creator and Executive Producer of the Trumpet Awards. I know, that’s a long title but one well deserved. As reported on the Trumpet Awards Foundation’s site, in 1965 Xernona Clayton accepted a position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is also the first southern African American to have her own television show on WAGA-TV, CBS affiliate in Atlanta. This is a synopsis of her civil rights activism and esteemed career in television. She worked for Turner Broadcasting for almost 30 years. Ms. Clayton has also received several acknowledgements in her own right. One that is dear to my heart is the one in which a street is named in her honor. Being directionally challenged, I am reassured when I see the sign that reads Xernona Clayton Way, because I know where I am in Atlanta or where I want to be.

Laz Alonso and Melissa De Sousa as previously stated co-hosted the 22nd Annual Trumpet Awards. Laz Alonso, a NAACP Image Award Winning Actor, starred in Stomp the Yard, Avator, Fast and Furious and Jumping the Broom. His television credits are Bones, CSI-Miami, the Practice and more. Melissa De Sousa, a NAACP Image Award Nominated Actress, played major roles in The Ron Howard Story, Best Man and Best Man Holiday.

The Trumpet Awards honor African Americans who excel in their chosen field.

The 2014 Trumpet Award Honorees, who all have compelling personal stories to share, are Alfre Woodard, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Bronner Bros., Devon Franklin, The Honorable Kamala Harris, Cheryl McKissack, Deryl McKissack, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Steve Pemberton, and the Williams Sisters from the Bahamas.

Presenters included Palmer Williams, Roland Martin, and Robby Montgomery. Amber Riley, Carl Thomas, Jaheim, Raheem DeVaugh, SWV and Kurtis Blow are among those who gave outstanding performances.

The 22nd Annual Trumpet Awards ceremony was taped on January 25, 2014 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta.  The program will air on TV One this spring.

Photo Courtesy of First Class Inc.
www.trumpetfoundation.org

Please see report on Red Carpet arrivals posted below.

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2014 Trumpet Award Arrivals – Atlanta

Actress Meagan Good Franklin with husband Trumpet Award Honoree Devon Franklin Senior Vice President Columbia Tristar Pictures

Actress Bresha Webb from Learning Town on the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

Lyfe Jennings and Family Arrive at the 2014 Red Carpet Event

Judge Mablean Ephriam of "Justice with Judge Mablean" on the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

Brenda Cornelius, President and CEO of The Cornelius Group Inc a Consulting Firm based in Atlanta

Bobby Jones at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

2014 Trumpet Award Red Carpet Arrivals

Please see posted write up on the 2014 Trumpet Award Arrivals.

 

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What’s Black, White and Red All Over? On the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

(left) The Honorable Kamala Harris, Trumpet Award Honoree (right photo) Recording Artist Stephanie Mills

(left) R&B Group SWV (right) Trumpet Award Guests

(left) Executive from Cadillac, Trumpet Awards Sponsor (right) Trumpet Award Attendees

2014 Trumpet Award Hosts Laz Alonso and Melissa DeSousa

2014 Trumpet Award Attendee

On the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards (right photo) Recording Artist D Woods

(left) Ambassador Andrew Young and wife Carolyn (right) Trumpet Award Attendees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2014 Trumpet Awards Arrivals – Men Who Rock

(left photo) R&B Recording Artist Raheem DeVaughn (L) Actor Chris Tucker (right photo) Recording Artist Jaheim

(left photo) Lyfe Jennings and Family (right photo) R&B Recording Artist Joe

On the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

 

 

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Trumpet Award Honoree Alfre Woodard Graces a Star Studded Red Carpet at the 2014 Awards Ceremony in Atlanta

Award Winning Actress and 2014 Trumpet Award Honoree Alfre Woodard

Ms. Xernona Clayton - Founder, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Creator and Executive Producer of the Foundation's Trumpet Awards

Ambassador Andrew Young with his wife Carolyn on the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards in Atlanta

Actress Meagan Good Franklin with husband and 2014 Trumpet Award Honoree DeVon Franklin Senior Vice President Columbia Tristar Pictures

Actor Chris on the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

Actress Demetria McKinney from House of Payne on the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

2014 Trumpet Award Recipient Steve Pemberton with Family on the Red Carpet at the Trumpet Awards Ceremony

2014 Trumpet Award Winning Bronner Bros. Family on the Red Carpet

Carl Thomas on the Red Carpet at the 2014 Trumpet Awards

2014 Trumpet Award Guest

It was a chilly afternoon in Atlanta, the production crew had difficulty rolling out the red carpet because the tape would not stick.  So there we were, the media, in the lobby of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre waiting to be positioned for the arrivals while hoping  the red carpet event would be moved indoors.

We were there to cover the 2014 Trumpet Awards Red Carpet.  The Trumpet Awards, created by Xernona Clayton, honors African Americans who have excelled in their chosen field.  This is  evidenced by the 2014 honorees  who come from public service, business and entertainment industries.

As luck would have it, the sun peeked through the clouds as the red carpet positions were announced. Our hopes for indoor coverage vanished as we made our way to designated spots. Shortly after, the red carpet event began. While waiting for the first arrival, a group of photographers pondered whether Alfre Woodard would brave the cold and walk the red carpet.  She did not disappoint us.  William Packer, producer of the hit movie Ride Along led the procession of notiables. Actress Meagan Good Franklin dressed in a stunning black designer gown was there to support her husband Trumpet Award Honoree DeVon Franklin senior vice president Columbia Tristar Pictures.

Also on the red carpet were Trumpet Award hosts Laz Alonso a NAACP Image Award Winning Actor who starred in Stomp the Yard, Avator, Fast and Furious, Jumping the Broom and Melissa De Sousa a NAACP Image Award Nominated Actress whose credits include The Ron Howard Story, Best Man and Best Man Holiday.  Melissa De Sousa was a trooper.  Dressed in a beautiful, off-white gown, the actress stopped for photos before making her way inside.  Laz Alonzo, who was called for a brief interview, expressed to the press a desire to direct and produce films.

I was delighted to see actor Chris Tucker who also expressed an interest in producing and actress Demetria McKinney from House of Payne who announced the release of a new single. Ms. McKinney is always on my best dressed list. Also on the red carpet were members of Bronner Bros., a Trumpet Award Honoree. They are a beautiful family, but trying to fit everyone in one frame proved to be a challenge for photographers. When asked how she keeps a large family in tow, Ms. Bronner replied ”by setting a good example.” Bronner Bros., an Atlanta-based company, manufactures hair care products, sponsors lavish hair shows and publishes Upscale magazine.

Trumpet Award Honorees Cheryl McKissack and Deryl McKissack also stopped by to greet the press.  The sisters own McKissack and McKissack a construction company that lists the Martin Luther King Memorial in its portfolio.  As one can see, all of the honorees have great testimonials to share.  However, Steve Pemberton’s personal story is most inspiring.  The Trumpet Award Honoree rose from being an abused foster child to Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer at Walgreens. Mr. Pemberton also authored a book to explain to his children why his parents never come to visit.

 

The Red Carpet Event was a blast in spite of the cool climate. As I made my way to my car, I did so with heart-warming stories, funny tales and great photos to share.

The 2014 Trumpet Awards ceremony was taped on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta.  The program will air on TV One this spring. The Trumpet Awards was created by Xernona Clayton Founder, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc. and Executive Producer of the Foundation’s Trumpet Awards. Sponsors of the 2014 Trumpet Awards include: The Coca-Cola Company, Cadillac, Wells Fargo, Delta Air Lines, Nordstrom, Newell Rubbermain, Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, The Home Depot, Southwest Airlines and Georgia Power.

 

2014 Trumpet Award hosts Laz Alonso and Melissa De Sousa on the red carpet. See video below.

 

The 2014 Trumpet Awards Honorees are Alfre Woodard, Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, Bronner Bros., Devon Franklin, The Honorable Kamala Harris, Cheryl McKissack, Deryl McKissack, Charles J. Ogletree Jr., Steve Pemberton, and the Williams Sisters from the Bahamas.

2014 Trumpet Awardees

Awardee Photo is Courtesy of First Class Inc.

 

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