Talk about getting back to nature! Eco Fashion in the park took place in the middle of High Bridge Park in Northern Manhattan. While we were walking down Amsterdam Ave. and 174th street, I was wondering if we were in the right place. Amsterdam Avenue was buzzing with excitement and littered with Bodegas, not really a gentrified area, this seemed an unlikely place for a fashion show of this magnitude. As we entered the park, we knew where we were, and exactly where to go, thanks to a sidewalk chalk mural/map beautifully drawn by the very talented Martha Licia and son.
Latin music heated up the already charged atmosphere. We were greeted by a beautiful model at the entrance and were introduced to some of the eco-friendly garments and accessories that were about to rock the runway. After visiting some eco-friendly vendors, and stopping to swap some clothing at the clothing swap station (ladies, such a great idea), we decided to see what was going on backstage. Organized chaos, as the models and designers were prepping for the show. We of course stopped some of them for some photo ops. We had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Trudy Miller, whose career started out surprisingly in architecture. She constructed a fashion masterpiece entitled “The Kimono Dragon”. It is one garment that you can use to make over 20 different styles.
Architecture and fashion?? Who would have thought? But that relationship has a chemistry all its own. Makes total sense….a woman that can construct an eco-friendly space is more than capable of constructing an eco-friendly garment. Genius!
We also met the very talented Karina Fernandez. At the tender age of 10, I had just learned to thread a needle, much less, design pieces that would grace a runway. She uses a lot of bright colors in her designs and infuses elements of nature such as trees, flowers, and starfish! A lover of animals and the planet, she considers herself to be eco-friendly due to her support of the environment.
Prior to the fashion show starting we were introduced to the woman behind it all. Gina Costanza, Stylist & Founder of House of Glam. We spoke to her briefly about what she wanted to come out of all of this. She humbly stood before us and told us that she waited 2 years for this dream to come true. She wanted to bring fashion and awareness to this community and give back. Gina told us, “Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez believed in me, and kept telling me to not give up. ” During the show, and with tears in her eyes, Gina received a certificate and congratulations from the councilman. It was a very touching moment. It truly captured the emotions and efforts that went into planning this incredible event.
The beautiful and very personable Mari Twins hosted the event and kept the audience engaged and entertained. They had the crowd chanting “eco moda” giving us all a Spanish lesson in eco-fashion. As the DJ pumped out the Reggeaton, and other Latin infused beats, we watched the talents and their works hit the eco-friendly runway. The line-up included designers Tom Sohung, Miriam Guerrero, Illiana Quander, Lisa P., and Lizzy Gomez. All displaying how they are able to make fashion eco-friendly and efficient.
Marlissa Macario displayed an adorable line of children’s accessories made out of unworn and unwanted clothing. The colors were bright, trendy and fun. I was thrilled to find one in my VIP gift box when I got home. My 4-year-old is being fashion forward and eco-friendly as we speak! Bridgett Artise’s designs also hit the runway showing us that vintage garments and fabrics can certainly be re-designed to create modern works of art!
The band Aliens played for the crowd, and displayed a pleasant mix of rock and pop, with a twist of R&B, that had the crowd tapping their feet. Wendel Johnston showed his line of blazers and jackets created from old and vintage clothing. Lajuanda Moody also flaunted her collection (Dazeke Designs), which were full of bold African influence and heritage. Sandra Baquero’s designs were gorgeous! Using fabric that contours to the shape of a woman’s body, I can certainly say that the styles that came down that runway were hot and they looked really comfy! And speaking of hot, Ana Segura showed off her beautiful line of intimates.
I can honestly say that this was an “eco-experience”. Informative, classy, and very well put together. Gina along with the House of Glam educated us, and I can probably speak for most people when I say this, left us with an awareness of our environment and how we too can support our planet in even the smallest of ways.