This past Saturday, over 150 people gathered for the 2nd Annual Fashion Competition hosted by LYPSTICK Ladies at the Crane Arts Center nestled in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. The competition featured designs from Bilaya Jackson, Danielle Lewis, Serena Saunders, Janell Johnson, and Me’Lisa Matthews. Judging the designs where Felipe G., celebrity hair stylists and manager, Jared Michael Lowe, fashion blogger at lowefactor, Tuesday Gordon-Gaines, a stylist settled in the Olde City and Society Hill sections of Philadelphia, and Emil DeJohn, renowned Philadelphia fashion designer and professor of design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Music was provided by DJ AYE-Boogie and performance by Beano, while CDiddy and Sledge Girl served as engaging hosts.
The first designer, Bilaya Jackson, found inspiration in African and Indian tribal prints while her style is a mixture of bohemian-chic and a dab of hippie-rocker. Stylist Danielle Lewis premiered her Fall/Winter 2011 line, Lizzi Kay Lew at the competition and premiered strikingly fun and vibrant pieces stemming from all aspects of her life as her muse for design. Designers Serena Saunders and Janell Johnson created pieces with a unique flare that embodied their personalities as designers and provided the fashion show competition with true variance.
The final stylist and winner of the competition, Me’Lisa Matthews of Syracuse, NY, premiered her collection J.E.M.A (Jenuine Exclusive Modern Authentic) Her pieces represented individuality yet each article of clothing complimented the other on the runway. She chose models that wore her creations well and models that veered away traditional runway walk with a distinct entrance translated well for Matthews’ designs. J.E.M.A was inspired by all eras of fashion, life, and culture.
LYPSTICK Ladies is a women’s organization founded in 2008 by Christine Sullivan, Aliyah Ali, and Brittany Smith (all president and founder). Sullivan says, “the purpose of LYPSTICK Ladies is to transform the traditional image people have of women as passive individuals to an image where woman are empowered through their own desire for success.” Last year, LYPSTICK Ladies held their first Fashion Show Competition and since then, hosted social mixers and community discussions centered around controversial topics to encourage debate. In January of 2012, they plan to visit high schools in the Philadelphia area to speak to students about entrepreneurship and business while encouraging them to explore and create whatever makes them passionate. I definitely look forward to other empowering events from LYPSTICK Ladies!
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