Entering the Cleveland Museum of Art on Friday, May 6th, felt a bit surreal. That evening the art was not framed behind glass, but, rather, walking, talking, and dancing to the music flooding out of the DJ’s booth. That evening was the grand opening of an exhibit that melds photography, art and fashion: The New Black Vanguard.
The exhibit features images from prominent and emerging Black photographers. These photographers often work with Black models, stylists and designers. While this exhibit has been featured in other cities, Cleveland made it special by adding live models. The models gracefully displayed the creations of three stylists from the show: Jermaine Daley, Daniel Obasi, and Arielle Bobb-Willis, each of whom created a unique look to emphasize the importance of stylists in fashion photography.
Many of the guests really stole the show though, in my opinion. Below are just a few of the many amazing people who came out to support this incredible compilation of combined talents that represents The New Black Vanguard.
I picked up this delightful fall hat, crafted from a man’s suit, at the Textile Arts Alliance Wearable Art Market in Cleveland recently. Designer Julie Cognata (email@example.com) repurposes clothing and fabric to create these affordable hats (mine cost $38), some of which are cleverly embellished with a man’s necktie around the brim. Because I’m more of a girly-girl, I chose a hat with a trio of knit flowers and some bling.
It may be funny to imagine this bold plaid pattern as a man’s suit today, but I’m a child of the 60s and I do recall men romping about in lively patterned knit suits. In fact, one of those men was the father of my good friend Lindy (not her real name).
Lindy’s parents were divorced, which, at the time, was unheard of, at least in our circles. Lindy’s mom, whom I rarely saw — I suspect now she was out working three jobs — had sole custody of their seven children. For as long as I knew them, their house was a wreck, the refrigerator bare and the children unruly. Still, I loved spending the weekends there because the experience was so dramatically different from what my home life was like (thank you, Mom and Dad!).
When I saw this curious combination of Burberry-style Scotch plaid tartan and diaphanous Indian-style veil, wedded to create a poncho, I was awestruck, and it got me thinking about perspective. Continue reading →
Is a life captured in photos more memorable and well-lived than one fully experienced and recorded in memory?
I suppose one could convincingly argue that memories fade, but photos, especially digital ones, can last forever. That’s certainly true. One could also argue that looking through stacks of photos from yesteryear can rekindle long-forgotten memories and emotions. I relish looking through my volumes of old photos, laughing at how adorable my late dad looked wearing Mickey Mouse ears at my younger daughter’s first birthday party, and how grateful I am to have a photo of my beloved when we dated “the first time around” more than 20 years ago. (We’re both incredulous that we didn’t take more photos back then.) Continue reading →
Local fashion designer Stephanie Nunn wowed us recently with her exquisite collection of metal-work fashions, some of which will be available for auction at an upcoming fashion fundraising event to benefit the Cleveland Sight Center and Prevent Blindness Ohio.
Born with progressive degenerative myopia, Stephanie has steadily been losing her physical vision — she’s legally blind — but her fashion vision remains innovative and vibrant.
Designer Dress Days: Oct. 23 and 25 through 27, at the Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood
As promised, here’s your sneak preview of some of the fabulous designer clothing — fashions by Armani, St. John, Carlisle, Chanel, Burberry, Ilie Wacs, Escada and more — you can get for a song from the National Council of Jewish Women / Cleveland’s Designer Dress Days.
Designer Dress Days is more than clothing; you’ll find bags, jewelry, hats and scarves. If you’re a fan of furs, you’ll find those, too.