D.C. Fashion Week Heats Up the Nation’s Capital Despite Winter Storms

By Alex Theriot

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A few inches of snow was no match for the power of style on Feb. 21 as fashion designers from the D.C. Metro area and around the world presented their collections at D.C. Fashion Week’s Emerging Designers Showcase.

Feb. 18 through Feb. 22 marked D.C. Fashion Week’s 22nd spring showcase and tenth year of hosting the Capital’s fashion scene. Seven designers debuted their collection’s runway style at the Liaison Capitol Hill DC hotel in front of an equally fashionable audience.

“We’re a non-profit, our mission is to establish Washington as the center of international fashion and that’s why the show must go on,” said D.C. Fashion Week creator and Executive Director Ean Williams.

Fashion week takes place in the D.C. area biannually, once in the spring and later in the fall, continually drawing talented designers and models from around the world to the nation’s capital.

As is customary in the fashion industry, designers showcased their fall collections in the spring in order to give buyers, stylists and media outlets ample time to place custom orders and report the season’s upcoming trends.

Ranging from swimsuits to derby-esque hats to office wear, designers sent their models down the runway in a multitude of looks featuring dark colors, perforated faux-leather, chic silhouettes and peek-a-boo cutouts – all of which are on trend for fall 2015.

“I cut and sew,” said designer Brittany Benton of B. Benton by Brittany. “I’m all about classy chic, going straight from your 9-to-5 to happy hour, while still looking classy and sexy,” she said. The Maryland-based designer created a total of 19 looks spanning from office wear to elegant eveningwear.

After the intermission, Ivan Ellis, an actor and singer on FOX’s new show Empire, serenaded the audience.

“I’m in fashion week doing a lot of performances, different interviews, I’m so honored and happy to be apart of it,” he said. The Chicago native will appear in season one of the music-based family drama as character “Royale-T.”

The second half of the show featured the international element D.C. Fashion Week is known for.

The last designer to showcase their collection was Peruvian native Luis Medina, of the label LaMesa, who utilized earthly materials in his collection.

“I work in raw cotton, cotton that hasn’t been dyed yet, and I used alpaca hair in natural colors,” he said backstage before the show.

Ivan Ellis serenaded the crowed one more time before the evening closed out with a final walk from all of the models and designers followed by a special tribute to those who had made the show a success.

What’s the best part of fashion week?

“Getting to see all the cool designs and then being able to embrace that as your personality and just walk and work it,” Sommer Singshinsuk said, a D.C. Fashion Week veteran and University of Maryland senior triple majoring in accounting, supply chain management, and fashion merchandising.

With the accumulating snow reaching higher than the model’s stilettos, D.C. Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Showcase certainly prevailed in the name of style.

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