Richmond’s 11th Annual Fashion Week Brings more Inclusivity to the Runway

Story By Aliviah Jones

Photos By Stanley Tran

When people think of Fashion Week they often think of big cities like New York and Milan but Richmond has a very unique way of showing that exquisite style can be found right here in Virginia’s capital. The 11th annual Day to Night fashion show presented the top designers and models in Richmond and surrounding areas, hosted by NBC 12’s morning news anchors Candice Smith and Anthony Antoine. The collections being shown represented a wide variety of people that the fashion industry tends to not shed light on.

The Day to Night runway show took place at Stony Point Fashion Park which sponsors #RVAFW. Each collection was unique in it’s own way but there was a common theme that we don’t often get to see on other runways,  Inclusivity. There were so many women and men in different age groups, heights and not to mention the diversity of race.

In this day and age, inclusivity in fashion has become a hot topic being that in the past the fashion industry only catered to the size 0 demographic but some brands have come to realize that the average size for a woman in the United States is a size 18 and designers need to put that into consideration. The collections being show definitely proved you can look fabulous whether you are a size 2 or a size 16 or if you are 6”0 or 5”5.

Many of the collections shown drew a lot of their inspiration from African-inspired prints with bright colors and designs. The show started with House of Klyde’s ready to wear collection that presented ready to wear day dresses as well as mens wear. There were a lot pieces that had earth-tone colors and bold contrast colors along with silk dresses. The collection by Klyde Wright also had a lot of classic pieces like the LBD, side-cinched tunic, and flared pants.

The ToFREEYOURStyle collection by Charisa George proved that you can incorporate bold African prints into everyday wear all the while being sophisticated. The collection incorporated the use of color block with electric blue and yellow garment pieces and black and yellow and red and black.There were a lot of two-piece cropped sets as well that are perfect for a summer night on the town.

The Abena Aforo collection also used the boldest colors I think the eye could ever see. Some of the pieces also had a very retro- 1970s vibe with wide-leg jumpsuits,  colorful pantsuits. There was also maxi dresses with beautiful prints and frills. This collection is truly for the women who want to make a sophisticated statement when walking into a room.

The Wala Afour collection which translates to “All we need is life” in the Ghanaian language by Bernie Adjei proved that there is a place in fashion for everyone. The collection had a lot of garments that were so rich in color, texture and patterns. Many of the pieces by Adjei had a lot of marble-esque patterns contrasted with teal blue, mustard yellow, and electric blue. The collection made you feel like you had just been transported back to the motherland.

The Stitch by Chanel collection by Chanel Green was truly a 1970s time capsule. There were a lot of garments with bold colors like coral, and a very beautiful purple one shoulder dress. There was a lot of colorful jumpsuits and who can’t go wrong with a nice jumpsuit for the summer right? There was also some belted pant and top pieces that can really take you from work to drinks with the girls.

The High Maintenance collection used a lot of Asian-inspired prints with a bold red and blue jacquard pattern. There were also very rich silk garments from two-piece pants, fuzzy tops and mini silk skirts. This collection sent a message about people often feeling marginalized within the fashion industry. Designer Michaela Bradley was inspired to start High Maintenance because she never felt properly recognized as a woman of color in fashion.

These collections showed that fashion is and always will be for everyone no matter of what race, class or gender one may be. A lot of these collections also made it a point to not limit yourself and be bold with what you wear.

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