Story by Estelle Avbuere
Photos by Trysten Evans
If there was ever a question of whether high-quality style and creativity can be found in Richmond, the RVA Fashion Week Runway Show gave us confirmation as each model walked the runways in incredible designs and left us all in awe. Consider that question answered.
The City Hall Observation Deck lent a beautiful background for the stylish event, with a stunning view of the sunset over the city. Even before the show began, the room was a hub of style. Everyone was dressed for the occasion, eating, drinking, posing for pictures, chatting with old friends, and eagerly meeting new people – all under the glow of the Deck’s soft red lights. This was the perfect time to check out the vendors – local brands and designers with unique creations, ranging from handmade jewelry to Ankara-fabric-covered earmuffs. By the time we were done gushing over the vendor’s designs and taking selfies, it was time for the show to begin.
With each line, model, and look, Richmond proved itself home to creatives who aren’t afraid to translate their personal experiences through their designs, challenge societal standards, and pave their own way in the world of fashion. So let’s break it down, shall we?
This brand kicked off the show with a sleek, red mens’ tracksuit, with the brand name on the back, that perfectly embodies street style today. The rest of the line includes pieces in bold colors and prints, like a pink camouflage t-shirt and neon tie-dye hoodies and tees. Trust Creation Lords to help you stand out in relaxed, sleek, street style.
With looks described as “vintage” and military”, this brand has a unique, African flavor. The models walked confidently in structured two-piece sets, pants with exaggerated hips, and bright yellows. The military inspiration was clear in the army green colors and black military berets, and one confident model saluting at the end of the runway. This brand did not come to play; they came to Reign.
This line included women in various sizes and ages and reflected a mod 60’s feel. The collection has a unity to it, made clear as the models walked to Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” at the end and the rich royal blues, greens, lilacs, and whites flooded the stage. The pieces themselves, complete with unique, asymmetrical necklines, slitted hems, and color-blocking, are modern, bold, and classic.
Wolf embraced his first time debuting his collection by highlighting the fact that his work is still in process as each look had a piece with “Prototype” written on it. The pieces were are chic, casual, and neutral-toned with long, open sweaters and sweatshirts. These pieces would make easy, street-style outfits work well for the fall. For the man who is relaxed and stylish – and still in process – Andrew Wolf is the brand to watch.
“Ethereal Madness“ is a collection full of flowy fabrics, rich purples and pinks, and classic black and white pieces. The elegant looks were often completed with gold sequin detailing or silver necklaces. The models walked smoothly, their dresses flowing along with them, drawing you into Destiny Howard’s truly elegant and ethereal style story.
Able by Amanda Campbell
“Destroy Discomfort” takes old pieces that reflect the designer’s past struggle with an eating disorder and reconstructs them into inspiring clothes. The collection represents this contrast of strength and vulnerability in dark denim contrasted with wine and pink fabrics. This is for the woman who knows she is able to overcome and dresses like it too.
Victim 15 by Shareef
“Time Will Tell” is, in the words of the designer himself, “avante-garde, futuristic style”. This menswear line reflected that with its clean silhouettes and unique touches like fur, sheer sleeves, and silver pieces that added the futuristic feel. This brand is designing the streetwear of the future that is now, and we don’t need time to tell us that we already love it!
India Laposh’s line is inspired by her late father, whose love for Nascar models clearly influenced the collection. The line is elegant, sleek, and feels slightly “upscale New York”. In every way, from the bold colors, lacey accents, and unique silhouettes to the upbeat EDM music, this line is for the classy, daring, and hopeful.
Loy, the Ugandan creative behind this brand, wanted her collection to embody one aspect central to humanity: love. The line features romantic, feminine silhouettes, silky fabrics, and polka dotted and floral prints. The pieces were both easy to move in and easy to fall in love with.
This collection, inspired by the theme of an “alien invasion”, features iridescent and sheer fabrics, psychedelic colors, silver sequins, and pops of neon. There is also a theme of royalty, highlighted by capes and extravagant headpieces. All this made for a truly other-worldly fashion experience.
Iconic 7’s motto is that “every woman is their own icon.” The looks, simple, yet featuring dramatic flares and frills in distinctively quality fabrics, are indeed iconic. The brand showcased women of various body types, as they supply clothing for a wide range of sizes. Any woman can wear this brand and is bound to be remembered!
VII O VII “707” Menswear
This classic line of clean suits, muted tones, and chic plaid prints call to mind an elegant, British-influenced look. And just when we thought the collection was perfect for the classic gentleman, a stunning woman in a well-tailored suit stepped out on the runway for an unexpected ending. And the crowd loved it! VII O VII Menswear proved itself classic and modern all at once.
As “S & M” by Rihanna played in the background, models hit the runway in pieces with contrasting textures and pieces: leather and tulle, fishnets and frills. This brand is the perfect fit for the daring and multi-dimensional woman. Inspired by @badgirlriri? Perhaps. We love it either way!
And that concluded the RVA Fashion Week Runway Show! This was the perfect setting for gaining new looks and ideas to empower us, especially going into a new season. This season, we saw collections actively challenge society’s standards on body image, race, and age in the world of beauty and fashion. We saw women be everything from powerful to vulnerable, sometimes, both. We saw women be real. These themes are what we carry from this show. These themes are what we take with us into our personal style, the future of fashion, and the world.
And we’ll look good doing it.
Story by Estelle Avbuere