Not all the creativity and fashion is contained within the tents at Bryant Park during New York Fashion Week. There are many independent designers who can, and do, show their collections all over New York City, while the crush of local, national and international press is still in town.
I try to make time for at least some of the action outside of the main tents. Nolcha always puts together a unique and inspired reason to visit them (this season, at BO Concept on 18th Street in Manhattan). Here are a few of the highlights from “Nolcha Presents:” an exhibition of sixteen independent apparel and accessory designers from around the world. Creative Director Lynn Furge thinks “Fall 2010 will bring back the artisan with elements of light (iridescent fabrics, loose weaves, painterly colors and multiple layers of assorted textures).
Part of the exhibition included the debut of “Nolcha Cares,” a 13 piece womenswear collection in collaboration with Care for Kenya. Five female indy fashion designers selected by Nolcha created sketches for a one-of-a-kind collection to be crafted by 20 Kenyan women, who select the textiles and complete the garments with microfinancing supplied by Care for Kenya. I particularly liked this beautiful tote bag with beaded handle. It’s not available for sale just yet, but I believe it will be for sale on http://www.careforkenya.org/ after fashion week. I’m definitely going to try and snag this bag!
Here are a few other indy designers I saw at Nolcha that I really liked:
The jewelry of South American Designer Alberto Parada uses only reclaimed gold (no “dirty gold”) and features beautiful rose and tri-color gold pieces. I loved this rose gold and diamond pendant.
The Dora Abodi collection featured lots of brightly colored handbags, and accessories.
The Advice Sisters just reviewed a lovely, acai necklace from The Andean Collection a few days ago! I was first introduced to The Andean Collection at a holiday gift fair last Fall. Their display of brightly colored jewelry caught my eye. But as I admired the pieces, I also learned that the company strives to create a greener planet,while carving a path out of poverty for artisans, using fair trade principles. In addition to being paid fair wages, the artisans that create lovely jewelry for The Andean Ciollection also share in the profits as partial owners. There’s even a blog that talks about what the company is doing, sharing news and information.
There was much more to see, but I had to go home and download hundreds of photos and videos, so this is all I had time for. I wish Nolcha going to be at Bo Concept another day…I would go back to check out all the designers I missed!