Bishme Cromartie – Fall 2013
       I’ve never seen a more beautiful transformation than New York City during fashion week. February 13th, 2013 hosted EMERGE!‘s finely picked, up-and-coming fashion designers to display their wearable art in the grand and revered Broad Street Ballroom. Deisgnerberg, Parul AnejaESPION AtelierButterfli Tia and Bishme Cromartie presented fabulous Fall 2013 collections displaying intricate craftsmanship and detailing.
       The art exhibited on this night was not solely that of the clothing: The entire spirit of the place was beautiful. The models were exceptional with their makeup provided by LAMIK, an eco-chic make-up brand. Consciousness and fashion?! Does that really happen? With EMERGE!, it seems that’s the only way things happen.  Mikki Taylor, former beauty director for Essence Magazine and current philanthropist/author, was presented with the Fashion Innovators Award for her 30 years in the industry, representing and encouraging the beauty of brilliant and brown women like myself.
     Goodie bags were provided by Miss Jessie’s (which I love and will certainly fill you all in asap!) My guest pass was courtesy of the wonderful Nikkia McClain of Tené Nicole PR who I only saw once the whole night — busy and beautiful as usual, arm-in-arm with her client, the sweet Carrissa Rosario,  Maxim model and one of the hosts of the evening.  There was nothing but beauty in the place –and I’ve got the pictures to prove it.

   I enjoyed the show, not only because of the fabulousness of the clothing, but of the people as well. A couple of minutes after I arrived I ran into a college friend there for “networking” and if we both pray hard enough, maybe we were saviors for each other. She’d come with a high-school homie of hers who’s been a full-time videographer for the past two years. As she set up shop, I couldn’t help but to notice she was in the exact center of the podium –there wasn’t a better spot other than the runway itself. “They said she needs to be right here,” Aliya informed me. Apparently, the burly male photographers –which most of them were — had been bullied to give up their spot to a chick in fatigues, a brown skully, Timbs and red lipstick that begged her to pucker in every picture. “You think there’s room for me up there,” said the guy with his camera on my head. “Nah, bro. Shoulda got here earlier.” Word, son,  I silently agreed.
        Fashion shows are tough on press. I understood his frustration. There’s nothing worse than being behind a rack of photographers trying and trying and trying to get a good shot. But… what’s right is right. Who’s booked is first and vice versa. It was a pleasure to see this young girl at 5-foot-almost claiming dominance over a spot that was rightfully hers. It was watching her (and considering her skully in my pictures as artistic framing) that showed me the beauty of passion for your art. It doesn’t matter who else is there -on your runway or your podium or your life- you’ve got to claim what’s yours. You stand proud for the work you have put in and when it is time to show your stuff, you do that sh*t, b*tch.  

        Fashion Week is when the somebody’s come out the play. Myself included. The most beautiful part about being in any industry, is just starting out –although it’s also the most difficult. It takes a long time for some people to be noticed, for others it can happen in a milisecond. So, as you walk around the room, you’ve gauge who you are, where you are… and where you want to be. “You’re going to be famous. I see it,” she’d told me. I was the random girl who left all her belongings on a chair in the back. When I went back to my seat, I had lovely ladies seated next to my bags. “This isn’t some strange bag. It’s me,” I said smiling. I’ve determined that the only way to be comfortable with people is to be… comfortable. Inshimah (that’s probably not the right spelling of her name) was my favorite part of the night. Without mentioning the almighty, she surely blessed my existence there. I had forgotten my “real” cards and had to give her my 9-5 card –which is actually the real me. “I’m all one person,” I explained to her. “I’m ELLA cuz I’m every woman. I’m just me like I’m you.” She smiled beautifully. We hugged so many times as she told me “We’ll see each other again on the red carpet!” and I told her to be sure to listen when I yell to her to come take pictures with me. After we wished the best for her younger sister, an aspiring choreographer, we parted ways and I walked out the front doors.

      I’d seen someone else taking the decorative flowers from the front earlier and cheered her on saying, “Take two, boo!” So, when it was my turn, I said “excuse my ghetto”  and took three. “Don’t take my flowers!” the doorman joked. “I’ll be back for more!” I yelled back as I skipped to the train.

Everything was perfect.

EMERGE! & Co., as well as  Miss Nikkia McClain , thank you all for sharing with me.

❤ ELLA


 

Carissa Rosario and Co-Host


Kim Roxie of LAMIK

Mikki Taylor receiving the Fashion innovators Award
Mikki Taylor receiving the Fashion innovators Award  from friend & stylist Philip Bloch

 Bishme’s line was amazing. The structure of the clothing was impressive. With every snap, I was taken aback by the unconventional detail. The masks reminded me of one of my favorite Moncler designs and Bishme’s collection looks like exactly what would be under it.  The models looked like the prettiest army in the world. Most of the clothing moved on the runway as if light an airy despite looking like it may have been heavy. The tan/beige was soothing as it masked the intricacy of the stitching and complimented the black fur and leather also used in the collection with stark opposition. There were also full-length gowns in a rich hunter green. The fabric swayed under the model’s feet with a life of its own.  There was a natural air of tender strength to this collection I enjoyed thoroughly. 
Bravo, Bishme.

 





 
 Parul was not as bright and shining as her models –she was even more brilliant. The cheerful designer brings beauty to, from and for every color. Watching her collection come down the runway was like watching a rainbow form.  With this much color, it would be easy to have a clash somewhere along the line, but from India to Indianapolois, Parul is a master of blending on both sides. 
Hopefully we never escape the Indian influence in her work, infused with a sense of celebration and royalty. It is always a pleasure to see an artist embrace their culture with such pride. The intricacy of these designs, though, was on an entirely different level. With each dress that came down the runway, the viewers biggest mistake would be to ignore the model as she walked off. Front-to-back, Parul’s designs displayed an great amount of attention to each piece, granted each a personality of it’s own.








Fierce. That’s really the only word to describe Deisgnerberg   by Bernice Morgan. With patterns reminiscent of the motherland and jewels fit to gift her, the models stepped onto the runway with zero hesitation. Stone-face and beautiful, they were walking art. They posed at the top of the runway demanding solemn reverence. The clothing could have been worn right off the the runway and to… anywhere. There was such a grand variety, one could easily pick an outfit to wear to work, to dinner, to a party, or just to the park to read a book –shouldn’t we be beautiful all of the time, anyhow?  




 Bikinis are hard… the bodies just have to be harder. Tia, Brazilian, has a natural affection for swimsuits and demonstrated that on the runway. He executions were simply and classy. These suits could have definitely been worn to a pool/beach party. Sometimes you need a bathing suit just to dance in. Tia’s color section was fabulous and I enjoyed the cuts of the strapless tops. Her addition of chains makes the bathing suit the entire accessory, allowing you to be free of any other jewelry, but still looking dressed up. There is certainly a variety to choose from. As a normal girl, I’d definitely  mix-and-match these. Not to mention, the tops could stand alone with some jeans or a skirt. Under a dress, the pieces would still make a statement. I think this was a impressive collection of bathing suits many would love.

 

 ESPION certainly had a European feel. Cold and classy, the models would have dared you that they didn’t invent style. They walked up the runway with an untouchable air fitting of their name’s translation – spy. Designer, Diedre Jeffries, played with silhouettes, giving us sexy, then strong, then both — in the clothing as well as the make up. The use of leather stiffened the feel of the collection, but the patent leather gave us life.  The collection gave me a feeling of androgyny as all of the models hair was pulled back in low ponytails. Mostly an all-black collection, hints of yellow warmed the collection and –I anticipate — will be fabulous in Fall 2013’s cold air.  There was an amazing balance in this collection. It also felt very “superhero”. I mean, if I were a superhero, I’d require patent leather pants, wouldn’t you?