Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fashion Shifts Spotlight from Runway to Charity

Forget about September and February as the designated months for fashion shows, in D.C. almost every month there are two to three to choose from. This month alone, there are four shows that My Signature Look is thrilled to be part of in some capacity whether coordinating and dressing models, doing a little PR, and/or simply being in the audience.

So, I must take a moment from these duties to draw your attention to two of them.

When Evelyn Brooks, a local Peruvian jewelry designer, asked if I would coordinate her fashion show, I was honored. To know Evelyn is to witness a master storyteller communicate in precious stones, metal, and indigenous seeds. Her connection to the past, informed by a family of jewelers, dictates her vision for the future – hope and beauty. Her latest collection, aptly named Moschik after the Mosche culture whose craftsmanship included complex geometric designs in pottery and metal work, will accessorize designer suits and casual wear.

The show is an example of a growing trend in uniting fashion with charitable giving. Evelyn pays tribute to the “men in our lives” (perfect timing for Father’s Day, I may add) through the recognition of a program that instills values in our young adults. Proceeds from the silent auction will go to the Sew-N-Know Program. I had the pleasure of interviewing Janice Rankins, the creator and director of the program, for the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce’s newsletter a few months ago. Her career as a costume designer landed her in D.C. several years ago where she traded in dressing celebrities for teaching our inner-city youth fashion design. Twelve years later, the program has produced college-bound students and entrepreneurs who learned how to invest in themselves and in others.

Evelyn’s commitment to social change evolved after discovering her purpose in life, she says. She found her answer through her jewelry making and the life form it took. Her mission is simple: to bring light and beauty into the world and help others do the same.

Margo Schlossberg is on mission of her own. She is taking her success as a handbag designer (KuraDesign) to draw attention to human rights issues. Of greatest concern is human trafficking. As a witness to this issue that affects 1.2 million children worldwide, she was stunned to learn that victims of trafficking reside in the greater Washington area. On June 25th, Margo and four other local designers in collaboration with local business leaders and activists have staged a fashion event called Stop Traffick with Fashion to raise awareness. Sharing the spotlight will be the event’s benefactor, Charity Networks, Inc., a humanitarian initiative that works to prevent the trafficking of children. According to CNI, human trafficking crosses all borders, the United States being no exception. “For example, Latvian girls trafficked into sexual slavery in Chicago, or Ukrainian girls trafficked in Los Angeles, and Maryland, or Thai, Korean, Malaysian and Vietnamese girls trafficked in Georgia, or and Mexican girls trafficked in California, New Jersey and Florida,” the organization reports.

As noted in previous blogs, fashion is more than what you wear - it inspires change and recognizes the beauty in everyone.

And come Tuesday, June 17th, I will honor one of the most important individuals in my life: my dad.

For more information and to RSVP:

Art in Fashion – Saturday, June 14th
Moschik Men’s Jewelry Fashion Show – Tuesday, June 17th
Stop Traffick with Fashion – Wednesday, June 25th
Fashion Fusion – Saturday, June 28th