Let It Reign: Metallics & Bold Colors

New York is a world in itself. During fashion week, it becomes the epicenter of all things fashion, style and innovation. This fashion week was all about color, metallics, amazing artistry and DIVERSITY!

My first day of shows began with the Fashion Hong Kong show. The collection that stood out to me most was the 112 Mountainyam because of its use of textures, colors and prints. We know that neon and fringe will be a major trend for 2019, so seeing these two trends being incorporated in this collection had me sitting on the edge of my seat taking notes.

Facebook: @112mountainyam  Instagram: @112mountainyam  Website: www.112mountainyam.com

Facebook: @112mountainyam

Instagram: @112mountainyam

Website: www.112mountainyam.com

We saw inclusiveness with the 11honore presentation with Laverne Cox closing the show in a bold red tulle dress

Picture courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

Picture courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

The Chromat show should have been renamed “Curvy Chromat” because it was a study in body positivity, diversity and celebration of all things color and WOMAN. I felt proud to be a woman of color as I sat through this beautiful collection.

Pictures courtesy of stylishcurves.com

Pictures courtesy of stylishcurves.com

Picture Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Picture Courtesy of Teen Vogue

Again, we see the neon trend all over the Chromat show. Another Trend that literally went viral was the slogan gowns and slogan clothing all over the runway. Viktor and Rolf had the internet laughing and sharing the ingenious designs he debuted during Paris Couture Week.

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Pictures courtesy of Getty Images

Pictures courtesy of Getty Images

I attended the Global Fashion Collective I show and saw this global trend first-hand with the collection by Canadian brand M.E. The collection by Michelle Elizabeth was hyper feminine with a distinct color palette of black and white. She opted to put slogans that made a statement and were thought-provoking

Photos courtesy of Giovanni Giannoni

Photos courtesy of Giovanni Giannoni

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Metallics is another popular trend that revives every season. We saw it heavily in the Balmain 2019 show.

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Pictures courtesy of Vogue Magazine

Pictures courtesy of Vogue Magazine

Street Trends was a study in bold colors, outlandish accessories and innovative layering due to the frigid NYC weather.

Photo courtesy of Imaxtre

Photo courtesy of Imaxtre

Photo courtesy of Nylon Mag

Photo courtesy of Nylon Mag

Photo: MATTHEW SPERZEL/GETTY IMAGES

Photo: MATTHEW SPERZEL/GETTY IMAGES

Every show was a wonderment in fashion, style and happily more diversity than I’ve seen in most NYFW shows. So, make sure to keep an eye out for vibrant colors, fringe, metallics and a little slogan here and there as you shop for your 2019 wardrobe staples.


Funmi Ford www.houseofodara.com

Instagram: @funmiford

Facebook: www.facebook.com/houseofodara

Black Face Is Not A Trend: High Fashion's Struggle With Cultural Awareness

It isn’t breaking news that there is a blatant lack of diversity in the fashion industry. But this fact becomes even more painfully apparent every time a designer releases yet another problematic design featuring inappropriate, culturally insensitive imagery. Gucci is among one of the most recent brands to face a firestorm of criticism after they released an $890 ‘balaclava’ black-knit women’s sweater featuring a pull up turtleneck with a design that closely resembles black face. The offensive design was only heightened by its horribly timed release during Black History Month, alongside the simultaneous leak of photos showing Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in black face in his medical school yearbook.

Photo cred: Gucci

Photo cred: Gucci

In response to the controversy, Gucci removed the sweater from shelves. President and CEO Marco Bizzarri explained the misstep to be the result of “ignorance.” In reality, this ignorance is part of a much deeper-rooted problem in the fashion industry, which is its blatant lack of inclusion and a stubborn unwillingness to create seats at the table for a more diverse range of designers and creatives. When everyone in the boardroom and design studio looks the same, there’s a limited scope of cultural awareness that allows seemingly harmless ignorance to spiral into acts of hate that are allowed to pass as a fashion statement.

Gucci isn’t the only fashion house to recently be under fire for using black face in their designs. Just a few days after the Gucci controversy took wind, Katy Perry Collections made the decision to discontinue a pair of shoes that were released last Summer featuring large red lips, a wide triangular nose and blue eyes which came in nine different colorways, including black. In 2016, Moncler has to pull their “Malfi” jacket and shirt from shelves, which featured a similar black-face design.

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Last December, Prada also faced extreme backlash for their ‘Pradamalia’ line, which featured characters depicting monkey-like figures with black faces and large red lips resembling black face. They immediately halted circulation of the line, which included branded keychains, cell phone cases, clothing, jewelry, and various leather goods. Just days after the Gucci controversy made headlines, Prada announced the launch of their new diversity council aiming to "elevate voices of color within the company and fashion industry at large” with Ava Duvernay and Theaster Gates appointed as chairs.

Prada’s appointment of a diversity council is the most extreme response thus far to the black face controversy, with most other brands simply opting to discontinue the products and issue an apology. Although it's a step in the right direction, it wreaks of a publicity stunt rather than a genuine desire to better understand how to properly navigate culture sensitivity. Ava Duvernay has no connection to fashion, however she is a highly revered film director with enough respect in the black community to immediately capture our attention and make headlines. There are plenty of black designers and creatives within the fashion industry who may not have Duvernay’s platform, but possess the talent to contribute great ideas beyond just ensuring that the brand makes socially responsible decisions (*calls up Brandice Daniels*). The internal structure of these companies is what needs to change, rather than them simply implementing a separate entity that sounds like its only purpose is to create the illusion of politically correctness.

This impenetrable glass ceiling for creatives of color in fashion has long existed, as a vast majority of heritage fashion houses are of European heritage. Generations later, few of them have branched out to diversify their internal teams. In fact, it was only a year ago that Virgil Abloh made history by becoming Louis Vuitton’s first African-American creative director and one of the only black designers to ever be appointed to lead a heritage fashion house. Just last year, Gucci regained the good graces of the black community by releasing a capsule collection in collaboration with style icon Dapper Dan. But these slow steps towards progress aren’t enough to combat the cultural gap that needs to be bridged in the fashion community. With black people being among the biggest consumers and possessing the largest buying power in the U.S., it’s simply unacceptable that we are still fighting to break this long-existing glass ceiling in the fashion industry that leads to such poor, culturally insensitive decision making. Intentional or not, it’s a form of profitable exploitation that validates ignorance and intolerance in pop culture.