Stylin’ For a Cure

Fashion enthusiasts gathered at the Kosa Art Center on Saturday February 19, for the fourth annual charity fashion show to raise awareness for lung cancer. The event, Stylin’ for a Cure, organized by the Courtney Napier Foundation featured emerging local designers Lysanne Sabourin, Natasha Thomas, and Kema La Kema. Three different styles graced the runway in one fashion venue as each collection emulated its respective designer. Fashion pieces revealed unique inspirations and perceptions on stage, and diverse opinions of textile shortages and price increases were revealed behind the scene.

The show began with designs from LSD by Lysannesabourinsdesigns. Her pieces reflected her spirit of pushing the limits; blending street and hip-hop wear, revealing inspirations of urban lifestyle and musical perception.  Items worn on the runway were both classy and sporty.  Pieces were mostly black, with a mix of materials and prints. Dresses were short, loose fitting and feminine, complimented with lace and oversized sleeves. Jackets were sporty and short, as different materials were stitched together. Both black and blue jeans and strappy sandals completed the pieces.

Following these designs, Natasha Thomas, winner of the 2010 Montreal Fashion Pop Showcase, presented her Fall/Winter 2011 collection. Colors were dark and neutral, invigorated with oversized collars and exaggerated cuts. Dresses were dark in color and short in length, complimented with dressy medium rise boots, ankle boots and strappy sandals. Jackets were loose fitting, beige and were medium in length.

Kema la Kema’s designs followed. African inspired pieces took the runway. Bright colorful dresses of many different lengths were embraced and enhanced with accessories such as beady necklaces and bracelets as well as scarves and belts. All pieces were complimented with low, black or beige sandals.

After the fashion show, we grabbed designer Natasha Thomas, and designer Kema la Kema, for a quick chat. Both designers shared their unique outlook on fashion and expressed dissimilar opinions about textile shortages and price increases of textile goods, such as cotton and silk.

Speaking on behalf of her fall/winter 2011collection, revealed only a week ago at Montreal’s fashion week, Natasha Thomas expressed that perception of reality is what most recently inspired her. When designing the pieces, she considered society’s perception of reality. She states, “Sometimes we get confused of what is real and what is not.” This concept is revealed in the modified and ordinary idea of the beige trench coat. Oversized collars and exaggerated cuts embellish the piece, and remains one of her favorite creations. It represents transformations and distorted concepts of reality. She stated that this is what initially influenced shapes and colors for subsequent designs.

Thomas shared that she appreciates designers that express different and original insights and concepts, even though she does not design similar clothing. She appreciates timeless pieces that are made from clever designs and are of great quality.

Thomas suggested that retro clothing will be in fashion for this upcoming spring season. Both skinny and wide leg pants will be worn in a variety of colors, including bright reds and yellows.

Only moments after approaching Kema La Kema, the LaSalle College student stated that fashion is her life. She states that the African tribal theme is what most recently inspired her. She said, that with a glimpse of an object, she becomes inspired to design clothing as well as accessories. Going into thrift shops and admiring beady jewelry is what triggered her recent notion of thought.

She suggests that the tribal theme will be trendy in upcoming months and advises that fur should not be put away during the spring season.

When we asked the designers about thoughts regarding the price increase and shortages of textiles, both designers expressed a distinct outlook.

Natasha Thomas affirmatively stated that everyone is affected by these setbacks, but many do not realize it. Customers expect to pay the same price for clothing before the shortages, but it isn’t possible. According to Thomas, bigger companies are mostly affected by these circumstances but she doesn’t deny that every aspect of retail will be affected. Her advice to the consumer is to invest in quality pieces that will remain fashionable for many seasons to come.

Kema La Kema, on the other hand was not too concerned with the setback. She suggested that her clothing and accessories are not vastly produced, that it is not a concern for her at the moment.

Textile shortages and price increases will affect individual designers and consumers.

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