Want a sneak peek at what fashions New Orleanians will be wearing next season? How about makeup and hair trends? Those things and more will be on display during New Orleans Fashion Week (NOFW) Sept. 22-28.
Tracee Dundas, who founded NOFW in 2011, says the event gives professionals in the region’s fashion industry a chance to show off their talents. The week culminates in three days of runway shows featuring collections from as many as 50 designers, as well as the work of makeup and hair artists, models and stylists. NOFW fills a gap left when Fashion Group International New Orleans Chapter stopped holding its annual Alpha Awards gala to recognize regional fashion trendsetters.
The week starts with Model Moves, a walk-off event for models, and a kick-off party on Sunday. Monday features a trip to the Louisiana State Museum’s Presbytere, which has the “Grand Illusions: The History and Artistry of Gay Carnival in New Orleans” exhibit on display, for a fashion event Dundas says “will showcase the costuming that happens in Carnival not only in the gay and drag communities but also just in general. It’s going to be inclusive.”
NOFW moves to Canal Place on Tuesday for “Shoesday Tuesday,” spotlighting footwear. “We’re going to highlight how all women have shoe fetishes and do some fun things to showcase shoe apparel,” Dundas says. The day includes a Sip and Shop event showcasing ready-to-wear retailers at the shopping center.
Participants will visit Degas House museum Wednesday for a cultural presentation of fashions from two French designers and a performance featuring a choreography collaboration between a classical dancer from France and a local hip-hop artist. The event commemorates the recent acknowledgement of Orleans, France and New Orleans as sister cities.
“I love the idea of bringing in a variety of creatives,” Dundas says, “because fashion speaks to all aspects: dancing, [apparel], makeup, styling and such.”
Thursday, Friday and Saturday will see about 15 runway fashion shows per day — each featuring a collection by a single designer — for a total of 45 to 50 shows over three days.
Dundas says the runway shows are valuable experiences for everyone involved.
“We’ve had designers over the course of time who have been asked to show on the TV show ‘Project Runway’ … and people like Pedram Taheri of Pedram Couture going on to dress many of our reality show celebrities and musical personalities and artists,” she says. “They work really hard and their talent is amazing, but I say it all started with them stepping on New Orleans Fashion Week’s runway. It has been great to see many (of them) revisiting and returning to New Orleans Fashion Week because they recognize it as the home base of where they started or debuted.”
Sources from: The Advocate