The beauty of dreams, hard work and dedication was exhibited on Thursday night at St. John’s University Fashion Club’s Ninth Annual Dimensions: Fashion, Art, Identity event.
During the 2015 Spring Week, the event’s focus was to celebrate black excellence through high fashion and art with a variety of designers, collaborating organizations, vendors, and displays.
Carnesecca Arena’s doors opened at 7p.m. kicking off with a networking hour for the guests to mingle, observe and enjoy what Dimensions had to offer. There was white draping hanging from the top railings of the arena, three wooden platforms covered in white cloths lined up for the models to position themselves on and tables for the various displays.
The guests were able to shop at different vendors’ stations, such as from a vintage apparel clothing line called “Pearls x Demons,” an eye wear display by “Eye Hunee,” a refreshments station with plastic martini glasses of pink lemonade or lemon cucumber water operated by SJU’s Commuter Connection Committee, a display of jewelry from SJU’s Fair Trade organization as well as a mini art gallery.
With the SJU basketball team’s official DJ, DJ Young Prodigy, spinning on the 1’s and 2’s, the guests were basking in the ambiance as cupcakes, cake pops and cookies were passed around by a waiting staff.
International Academy of Design alum, Staci Sherri, was the first designer to hit the runway. She’s worked with fashion icons: Beyoncé and Tina Knowles, and has interned at “Beckerman” and “RocaWear.”
She started the show by sharing the first of her two clothing lines, which was a colorful, Spring-like collection called “Dream Catcher.”
“‘Dream Catcher’ was inspired by dreams,” said the young designer while being interviewed by Sulmers. “We all have different dreams, but this is me dreaming with my eyes open and this is my message to the world with my fashion.”
While Sherri, the other designers and models were getting prepared for their debut, the Fashion Club had a segment where they did a tribute for well-known fashion designers who have contributed tremendously to the fashion industry, such as Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu and Coco Chanel.
After the segment, the Fashion Bomb Daily blogger, Claire Sulmer, and the new voice and face of the Moviefone brand, Kevin Thompson, introduced themselves as the hosts for the evening and Sherri’s second collection. With both collections from her online store, StaciSherri.com, were filled with dresses, shorts and jumpers, this collection had a different approach.
“This collection is called ‘Mental Seduction’ because you could be mentally somewhere in one place and physically be in another place,” said the Maryland native. “The mind controls the body, so if you could train the mind, you can train the body.”
With the seductive line, Sherri used a lot of silk and, the daring, velvet fabrications, which she explained as one of those fabrics that many designers are “afraid to play with.”
“Velvet is a luxury fabric that a lot of mature women like to wear; but, if it’s used incorrectly, it can be tasteless to the young generation.”
In between each of the designer’s collection presentation, Sulmers and Thompson interviewed the different artists, who were SJU students as well as local artists, and former Fashion Club member, Hiwote Swaan of “Pearl x Demons.”
Next to shine was 20-year-old Candace Cooper, a Fashion Marketing and Communications major from LIM College. Her elegant collection called “Cande” is filled with contemporary designs that cater to personal clientele and celebrities such as singer and songwriter, Teairra Mari, America’s next Top Model, Bianca Golden, and many others.
“I would love to see Beyoncé wearing my clothing because she’s my idol and I love her,” Cooper said. “I’d like to style for a lot of other well-known celebrities as well.
With designer Michael Costello as her inspiration, “Cande” has glitz and glamour pieces for the red carpet such as elegant gowns, cocktail dresses and two-piece ensembles in the collection.
“I have a lot of spandex and a lot of knits because I like to show off the women curve. I like a lot of clothing that fits the body.”
When jokingly, yet seriously, asked by Sulmers which dress could a “curvy girl” wear in the collection, she replied, “The kimono-style dress. It’s a very flowy and long dress where we cinch the waist to give the hourglass look to show off the curves. I think that that’s the ideal dress in the collection for a curvy girl.”
Before the last designer’s introduction, the Fashion Club’s E-board, President Joy Copeland, Vice President Brittney Spell, Secretary Delanique Millwood and Treasurer Dante Johnson, took the center platform.
“Well I just want to thank EVERYBODY for coming out to Dimensions: Fashion, Art, Identity,” said Copeland to the crowd. “This show has been in the plan since the summer time and, honestly, I can say that I’m really just living in the moment. This is really beautiful to have all of you guys out here to share our passion for fashion.”
She thanked all the organizations and vendors that sponsored the event and gave recognition to the club’s alumni, their advisor, E.J. Calvin, and SJU’s Administration and Economics professor, Dr. Andrea Licari, for their support and help in making the event possible.
Copeland also announced with excitement that SJU finally has a Fashion minor, which will be starting this Fall 2015 semester.
“As everybody in Fashion Club knows, I always say that ‘fashion is a lifestyle’ and we wanted to make sure that we brought that to you guys tonight for our ninth annual fashion production. Fashion club means so much to me and this show really made my four years as a student complete. Thank you guys for joining us and I really hope that you all have taken in everything tonight.”
Last, but certainly not least, designer Yaw Boateng closed the show with his luxury collection called “Midnight Dream” from his clothing line called “Le Rêver,” which, in French, means dream.
Even though his dream to start designing became a reality only one year ago, the 22-year-old created clothing for both men and women from dresses, blazers for the tuxedos pants and jumpsuits. Each female model was positioned on a platform, dressed in a certain print or color dress and were paired with a male model with a matching blazer along with a bowtie. The fabrics and prints specifically consisted of floral in black and white, burgundy and white and all black.
After the crowd witnessed the mind-blowing display, another model hit the scene dressed in a white, hi-lo wedding dress covered in lace, blue heels and an elegant diamond-like hairpiece to pull it all together. She stood on the front platform and was accompanied by a male model in an all black tuxedo with a black bowtie.
“I like how my favorite designers tell a story in their designs and incorporate their environment in something beautiful like a gown or a princess gown,” said Boateng. “My collection was inspired by the moon. The black represents the eclipse of the moon, the white represents the way the moon and stars shine and the sparkles represent the stars.
In five years, he wants to see his clothing like “on the map” and “to continue to inspire people to follow their dreams.”
All in all, SJU Fashion Club’s Ninth Annual Dimensions: Fashion, Art, Identity event was organized very eloquently and beautifully. Every designer and artist’s dreams came true that night.