I am the girl who has jumped off the deep end and fallen in love with fashion. I love prancing around town in an outfit that fits my body and personality. You can find me on the clearance racks of H&M and Express (two of my fav stores) and at your local thrift store. I love fashion but not breaking my pockets, so I’m always on the hunt for deals and steals!
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I am a lover of all things fabulous and fashionable (but affordable). In my former life I was either a major diva or sensational drag queen. Not quite sure of which one, but my love of MAC make-up, accessories, music, hair and need to overly exaggerate has followed me to this life. I am a chameleon, so my style and hair is always changing to fit my multiple personalities. I am a reality/sitcom TV and celebrity gossip junkie as well.
Follow my twitter to see why they call me: @MissKandidK
Follow my instagram to see my ever changing hair: MissKandidK
Those are just a few words to describe the inspiring looks at the 3rd Annual Trend*Setting Fashion Show presented by Avance Enterprise and The Session Magazine. Spirited enthusiasm fills the air as seven fresh faced designers compete for a once in a lifetime opportunity to display their collection in the esteemed New York Fashion Week. The evening presented garments of drastic hem lines, architectural grace and a surplus of prints amplifying why these particular designers were chosen.
“I search for the best designers in North Carolina. I personally seek them out or reach out to them from a referral” said LaTrisha Rushing, the events founder and fashion professional. With 17 years experience in the fashion industry and the owner/founder of Avance Enterprise, a consulting and Production Company, Rushing is in constant pursuit of putting North Carolina on the fashion radar. “When they think of Raleigh I want them to think of fashion as well…. I want Raleigh to shine.”
LeNeva designer, Candace Organ, brought all the essentials of a budding, trendy fashionista. Organ’s western inspired collection opened with crop tops, fringe, high waist bottoms, statement pieces and thigh high slits (pictured below). It was hard to believe Organ is a self-taught designer with no formal training. She owes the inspiration behind her line to no other than a Disney classic.
“I know this sounds funny, but I actually got a lot of my ideas from Pocahontas” said Organ a bright eyed 21-year-old.“The colors, the storyline, basically the whole movie inspired me.”
Following was the well-polished distinguished men’s wear collection Stanford Brand from designer Stanford E. Moore. Custom top of the line bow ties paced down the runway with class and style suitable for the sophisticated geek or eminent executive.
House of Van Miller designer, Vanessa Henderson, channeled old Hollywood glamour. The collection exhibited exaggeration with poise. Hooded dresses and form fitting gowns to an extravagant shoulder one piece and a show stopping crimson jumpsuit with a detachable train gave touches of Joan Crawford circa 1940s (pictured below).
The cohesive collection of Sarah Johnson Designs gave way to an assortment of rejuvenating hues. Bright greens, soft blues, bold yellows; paisley and large floral prints burst with the feeling of spring. The solid tailored jumpsuit and floor length high-low skirt paired with a bandeau top are foreseeable hits for 2014 (pictured below).
Standing as the lone plus size collection, Unique Sisters by designers Nikia and Tamikia Bell, provided a solid start to the second half of the show. The collection offered radiantly colored ready to wear ensembles sure to flatter any plus size women. Patterned Bermuda shorts, belly concealing tops, pencil skirts and halters all succeeded in emitting youthfulness of today’s voluptuous woman. Commendable considering the plus size industry to often caters to matronly donned apparel.
A well versed Cori Spade introduced her self-titled collection of vastly detailed, dramatic eye-catching designs. From a stunning jewel toned thigh high front slit dress to a collared irregular pleated hemline white dress with blue trim (pictured below), Spade managed to set a new bar for the competition.
“Being as though I just graduated my clothing kind of represented going into the abyss. The not knowing of what is next” said Spade who had the opportunity to intern with fashion designer Elie Saab. “If you notice my designs go from dark to light. Kind of like bringing light to your situation you know?”
Finishing strong was New Orleans native Maria Allen who’s also self-titled collection furnished edge, structure and unconventional designs. Laced with burlap sack accessories, Allen played along gender lines with tomboy girly and stimulating feminine styles. The audience gushed as Allen impressively constructed a raised neckline on a black leather accented skater dress (pictured below). Maria Allen’s intense necklines, leg emphasizing bottoms and racy profiles made an unforgettable mark in this year’s competition.
After a considerable amount of deliberation, Judges Alva Page and last years winner, designer Lee Blackwell, announced Cori Spade was deemed this year’s winner with a guaranteed spot in New York’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014. Maria Allen, runner up, will be featured in a spread for The Session Magazine in the September/October issue.
Top (L to R: Shavar Hayes from The Session Magazine, winner Cori Spade, LaTrisha Rushing)
Bottom (L to R: winner Cori Spade, runner-up Maria Allen)
“It was a really close race. I did not want to be in their [the judges] shoes” said Rushing who has absolutely no worries for Cori Spade moving on to fashion week. “Her designs, her finish, the look, everything was phenomenal. She’ll definitely be ready for fashion week and what’s to come after. Cori’s internship with Elie Saab has prepared her well.”
left to right: (winner Cori Spade and model)
Congratulations to both Cori Spade and Maria Allen. Wonderful job to the other competing designers, LaTrisha Rushing and The Session magazine. Can’t wait for what next year brings.
Follow me! @MissKandidK
To see the complete gallery of all the designer looks: Brown Boy Photography
For more information on the designers:
Cori Spade- CoriSpadeDesigns.com
Maria Allen- MadeBy_Maria
Candace Organ- LeNeva
Stanford E Moore- Stanford Brown
Vanessa Henderson-House of Van Miller
Nikia and Tamika Bell- Unique Sisters
For information on LaTrisha Rushing: LR Avance Enterprise LLC
For information on The Session Magazine: The Session Magazine