If you missed our last issue of XMAG here’s our Print coverage from FGNYFW.
Print edition still available HERE.

Bracing the brisk morning air of NYC, in the company of my fellow Xposer Magazine photographer, Teddy G, we anxiously await for the venue doors to open for the media, to display our credentials and obtain our precious press passes. We are an hour early, as the first runway show starts at 10am, and that means, it starts at 10am. The doors open, and a friendly face of a production staff greets us and checks our credentials. We are handed the lanyards with official badges, we’re in, time to get situated. Walking through the backstage of Prince George’s Ballroom venue, I watch the slender beautiful models, dressed in robes and comfortable shoes, sitting in the tall chairs, as hair stylists and makeup artists are buzzing around them, making sure each model is a pure mirror reflection of the vision that is set by the designer. This is very familiar to me. I’ve been in the fashion industry for years, it seems, sometimes on the runway side, sometimes in the background, and the familiarity of this scene sends a wave of memories through my mind.

We reach the main hall door, I walk into a beautifully lit room, with walls and ceiling decorated in golden patterns and bright colors, a fireplace looming in the far right wall wall and a row of tall pillars supporting the weight of the ceiling. Neat rows of chairs, topped with goodie bags line the runway, that is shaped like a letter U. The runway is covered with plastic, to avoid any shoe prints or stains on the freshly painted snow white surface. The DJ is playing with the music set, to make sure everything is in order.

We approach the “Media Pit”, a small box with stadium like stairs, each occupied with a variety of people, setting up their tripods, cameras and video equipment. I am overwhelmed at the amount of people there are, the variety of professional backgrounds they come from, the stories they share as we make our round and conduct introductions. In the world of Media and Press, all must play nice, in order for all to achieve the best results and capture the best runway moments on camera.

We claim our spots in the pit, it is crowded, but everyone observes the rules of professional courtesy and now we wait. It is 9:45am, the doors are open to the public and a line of guests is trickling into the venue, with production staff darting from one guest to another, to ensure they find their seats in an organized manner. There’s a sense of controlled flow, no chaos, everything is moving synchronous as though parts of a well-maintained pocket watch. The designer’s name opening up the show, is now displayed on the screen, and as I look at it, a smile crosses my face, I recognize the name. C. R. LEE DESIGNS, Colorado’s very own fashion designer Crystal Lee, is making her debut at the NYFW.

Everyone is seated, the lights dim, the staff lift off the plastic cover to the cheers from the media pit, the runway projector lights are on, and the show begins, on the dot, at 10am.

Crystal’s beautiful collection starts off with waves of metallic silver fabric skirt paired with a heather gray cropped petticoat. Another smile crosses my face, as I recognize a Colorado model moving down the runway. The collection continues with another silvery gown, a risqué side slit instantly captures my attention, which is followed by a number of pieces in rich hues of velvety fuchsia, metallic magenta, suede wine, paired wit lace, leather and fringe. My eyes widen, as a stunning model in a flowing fuchsia silk gown, adorned by an intricate chainmail-like top flows by, I take in the look, what a beautiful design! The colorful creations flutter by and the finale piece is bold and beautiful, compete with a long flowing cape. The models come out for a finale walk, as I hear the noises of multiple shutters behind me, capturing every moment on camera. The designer comes out to collect her much deserved applauds, and the first show is over, as announced by the overhead voice. I am still in a daze, what’s next?


What follows is Designers’ Premier Series, consisting of stunning sheer bridal gowns, skillfully crafted by Designer Lisa Guido of the L. MICHELE BRIDAL INTIMATES, each design no doubt coveted by any future bride.


The HARVARD BRAND brings out the most adorable kids and teens, clad in all of the brand wear, and these kids display such an amount of confidence, energy and sass that they literally light up the runway and the crowd.

The crowd falls back into mused silence as MODISH & SWANK CLOTHING CO takes the runway, with mixed textured fabrics, feather accents and feathered masks, turning models into beautiful colorful birds and the collection’s finale, an emerald sequined gown, glitters and changes colors in the light of projectors.


Designer Jazmine Gates of ROBBIE’S ERA sets the mood of business formal with a flare of color, with pieces ranging from evening dresses to something you could wear to an important business meeting. I cannot describe the excitement I feel as I see the neatly pleated flared suit pants, in the styles reminiscent of 1930s, paired with a bumblebee yellow top, followed by a royal blue pantsuit that is just screaming Red Carpet Event. The collection is rounded off with a beautiful metallic forest green asymmetrical gown, worthy of any royalty.


The next designer, ALLEGRA PRONESTI, embraces the androgyny in designs, with male models boldly walking down the runway in a gender-bending and non-conforming pieces, consisting of leather and mixed fabrics, and adorned with zippers, chains and tulle.


VANESSA FATH brings forward a menswear denim collection, with pieces containing artsy prints on fabric and carefully crafted from various colors of denim, the resulting collage is mesmerizing.


The series end with EMMANUEL ACOSTA, a designer from Puerto Rico, who stuns the runway with his sheer gowns, intricately adorned with beads, lace and sequins. The finale piece reminds me of a beautiful pink cherry blossom, spinning in the breeze before it touches the ground.


After a short recess and a reset, the final show of the day, another designer from Puerto Rico, ELIER AUBRET, whose sheer waves of pink, silver and gold accented gowns glimmer down the runway as if fallen rays of sunshine. The lights are now back on to full capacity, the show series are done and the day of fashion is over. We exit the venue and let it rest in anticipation of next show.


Another chilly morning, but this time there is no wait, we walk right into the venue, greeting the now familiar faces of staff and production crew. It is good to be back to a place where you are recognized. The Media Pit now has a few new faces, but everyone remembers the order of things the day before, therefore, there are no arguments over spots, we all find our places. The lights dim and it’s once again, show time.

The segment is labeled Emerging Designers and is started off with colorful creations by Designer Joy Kimono of EXQUISITELY JOY, a combination of bright colors, mixed fabric and bold prints with a subtle hint at modern kimono designs, each model’s face is adorned with a jeweled chain, like a bottom rim of sunglasses. A favorite piece from collection is instantly spotted in a flowing black gown with a gold chain mail like top, a sheer hooded cape with intricate golden details and a veil of golden chains covering the models face. She looks like an exotic queen who stepped out from a page of a storybook. The designer walks out in a stunning pastel blue ensemble, matching her collection.


Next up is COINTEL, carrying a message of “a brand to empower today’s youth” with its brightly colored outerwear and a few common pieces of leather, military-like vests. A lavender fuzzy one piece suit catches my attention and I almost want to reach out and touch it, as I imagine that it feels just as warm and soft as it looks.

Yellow is my favorite color, it is so bright, happy, empowering and makes any other color paired with it, look phenomenal. You can only imagine my pure excitement as CRISTINA THOMAS overtook the runway with all the yellow accent pieces! The yellow pleated wide leg pants were just to die for, I am most definitely investing in a pair.


Designer Tiena Gwin of TIENA, believes in creating “a high end womenswear brand that inspires timelessness in everyday life,” as she states on her website and such definitely shows on the runway, as models walk out in brightly colored ensembles of emerald greens and carrot oranges, paired with my favorite style of wide leg pleated pants in a bold plaid pattern.

Oh the wide leg pants, it is most definitely a recurring theme on the runway this season, along with bright popping colors and bold floral prints, a theme carried on by the next designer, OONA NICOLE, as she pairs a floral print pantsuit with an asymmetrical wine red tulle dress, another pleated wide leg pants in a rich shade of royal blue and a stunning all-yellow women’s two piece suit. The collections finale is a yellow crop jacket and a puffy tulle skirt in accents of yellow, white and black, that remind me of a beautiful bumblebee, busy with work, perhaps it is a symbolism for the hard work the designer put into this collection.


The male models for DI MODA JESSE J. COLLECTIONS overpower the runway in stylish suits in bold pattern prints, intermingled with a couple of reversible sequin pieces that add the artistic pizzazz to the sharp lines of the suits. Instant favorites are the royal blue two-piece suit with a pattern that looks like a silver lava is breaking through the surface and the finale piece, a mustard yellow fitted pinstripe two-piece suit.


Designer DONNA BROWN finishes off the segment with a collection in a neutral palette of cream, beige, sand, gold, cappuccino and chocolate, with the favorite design being the finale piece, a beautiful chocolate gown with Elven like bell sleeves, flowing skirts and fitted waistline, a dress worthy of an Elven Queen or Mother of Dragons.


A short recess and MADAME ADASSA takes the runway, with a single designer showcase, presenting her latest evening wear gowns and custom couture bridal luxury womenswear. Her collection consists of many mixed patterns and fabrics, adorned with hand appliqués, lace, intricate beading and sequins. A signature bow element is present in a number of pieces at the beginning of the collection, as well as sheer mesh and metallic shimmer fabrics. Towards the end of the collection, the pieces take up a more regal image, with one shoulder dresses, puffy high sleeves reminiscent of Edwardian times, long flowing skirts and shimmering fabrics. A few notable pieces are a sheer royal blue, knee length dress, with intricate velvet flower designs followed by an asymmetrical, one sleeved top, with a sheer skirt adorned with blue sequins, beading and lace, and finished with a cape extending from the sleeved shoulder. It is fair to say that sheer fabric embellished with lace, appliqués, beading and sequins are very much in this season, as well as jewel toned colors.

Another short recess and the runway is ready for the Prét A Porter Series, showcasing 6 Designers, starting with Designer Jack Manson of GRVL (From The Ground Up) who opens up with colorful street fashion designs that look both comfortable and stylish. And no wonder, as the brand’s description states: “handmade in Italy, GRVL™ is [a] refined American style with a modern edge.”


SISS VISS takes a more dramatic approach with edgy colors and fabric combinations adorned with leather and feathers. Overall, I got a feel of something Native American from the dyed fabric that looked like brushed wool and from the eye-catching feathers and leather fringe necklaces. To my surprise, I later found out that the leather looking jewelry necklaces were actually made using an inner bicycle tubing, as the designer supports recycled fashion.


Bermuda based resortwear designer, AQUA DESIGNS, displayed a colorful collection with a recurring theme of a ‘sunset over the sand beach’ fabric print, engulfed in soft hues of coral, aqua marine, periwinkle, pink and seaweed green. A favorite piece was a flowing seaweed green skirt and a bell-shaped sleeves crop-top, displaying a beautiful sunset print on sheer fabric.


Don’t let the name CHRISTIAN COLORADO confuse you of his origins. This menswear designer is from Colombia, and he incorporates a variety of fabrics and patterns into his looks. Favorite items were the shiny golden pants, the textured prints, added touch of suspenders and the open toed sandals that looked very comfortable.


ANGEL DESIGNER warms up the crowd with another wave of adorable kiddos in fluffy Cinderella like dresses, lighting up the runway like little tiny stars. The child model in a sky blue dress is a Tyra Banks in the making, she is so fierce that I cannot help but marvel at her. Teen models finish up the collection, with stunning prom like dresses. The finale red tulle gown is a marvel to observe, floating down the runway like a red sun.


What can be expected to be seen from a designer with a catchy name like EX MERMAID? I wasn’t quiet sure what the expect, except perhaps something inspired by the creatures of the ocean. Imagine my surprise as the runway becomes alive with colorful short dresses in mixed patterns, with the word “Paris” displayed on at least one piece of each design. A joint theme of intricately adorned floor length sleeves remind me of Pierrot, a pantomime character from one of my favorite storybooks. The finale piece of bell shaped sky blue silk dress with fluffy petticoat ruffles, complete with the model holding a big white balloon, is just marvelous, it looks like the design is literally floating down the runway.

Once the last model floats backstage, the segment is over and the venue becomes abuzz in preparations for the big finale designer, Season 6 Project Runway All Star winner, Georgian Designer, IRINA SHABAYEVA.


The demographic in the crowd has slightly shifted towards sharp men in suits and beautiful women in fur coats, I enjoy this. The crowd is seated, the lights are dimmed and I await the first design to hit the runway and from the start, I catch myself holding my breath as I watch the first model in an asymmetrical royal purple dress with fine sequin embellishments and fringes, stop in front of me. I watch her turn, but my attention is already caught by the next piece, a deep v-neck, high-low cut dress in a color reverse sequins fabric, sparkling in the lights from projectors. A wide brimmed hat makes the look both elegant and edgy. The next piece is a hooded coat with feather trim, folded pleats add an extra touch of elegance.

The next two pieces catch my attention with the beaded fringe on each garment, that reminds me of the flapper dress embellishments of the 1920s. I note the combination of flowing dresses and wide brimmed hats and how sharp but elegant it looks. A note to implement the look in my closet, perhaps. The golden dress steals my attention next, something about the way it looks with a hat just screams Oscars at me and I can’t stop staring, lucky for me, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

The next piece is bright red and has a super daring side slit, rising all the way up the model’s thigh as she’s rocking it down the runway. It reminds me of a Greek Goddess dress, probably something Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, would wear. I am caught up in the cascade of shimmering gold and black and forest green dresses, each look complemented with that signature wide brimmed hat. The flowing fabrics and the colorful beaded fringes come to a halt when the finale piece comes out in a blood red long overcoat, with a number of pleated ruffles all throughout the design, the hat and the beaded fringe, two staples of the collection, are also present.

I marvel at the wonderful finale of the segment and the runway shows. Saying my goodbyes to the Media members that now have become more than passerby acquaintances, I am making my way through the crowd. Models posing for photographers and designers giving interviews to the media, my heart is full of the excitement of experiences I have had in a weekend spent at NYFW. I hope to come back to this shimmering bright light and experience a new wave of emotions, and I take in new fashion trends and discover amazing talent that fills the fashion industry, until next time, dear readers, I trust you’ve enjoyed my account of this wonderful event and continue to stay fashionable.

Masha P


Thank you for FGNYFW and all the designers and models for such a wonderful show see you in September.


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