It was a long, long night. The fashion show portion truly did feature a diverse group of designers from around the globe. These designers were Anya Ayoung-Chee, Project Runway season nine winner, Style Butler (Denmark), Amparo Chorda (Spain), Carla Silva (Angola), Naked Ape (South Africa), Soucha Fashion House (Egypt) and David Tlale from South Africa.
The quality of work varied greatly as well. One designer did not seem to have enough clothing items to dress the models. A model walked out with only pants, covering the top half of her body with her arms, while a male model walked out in only a jacket and no pants. Other designers like Naked Ape presented a wonderful menswear collection.
Unfortunately, two out of three honorees did not appear. They were Dionne Warwick and Philip Bloch. America’s Next Top Model personality Nigel Barker did, and spoke very eloquently about the cause and his passion for the organization. Colleague J. Alexander was also on hand to support. Too bad the long lists of other speakers were not nearly as effective (or brief). I have never seen so many speakers at an event that would usually be behind the scenes (and stay there). Was this payment for their volunteer services? I have no explanation otherwise. The photographers next to me were either groaning or fully asleep during the speeches.
Legendary model Pat Cleveland graced the runway during the fashion show portion. Her charisma outshone all of the younger models around her. The lack of experience of certain other models was also painfully obvious. The angry-looking model (okay, there seemed to be many of them) behind her barreled her way up to Ms. Cleveland, not timing herself very well and practically ran her off the side when she pushed passed her. Really? Did you not realize that you, rank amateur are supposed to respect the biggest star in the room? Take an extra turn; hold a pose, walk a little slower (hey it gives you more face time to your audience too!) Anything but that stupid stunt you pulled.
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photos by Mariana Leung