Five up and coming fashion designer outlets were presented in “STEPPING INTO TOMORROW” – the massive fashion show presented and coordinated by yours truly, that highlighted the 28th Annual Friends of Mustard Seed Benefit Luncheon, held last Sunday at the New York Hilton. Mustard Seed Communities began in Jamaica in 1978, and now has expanded to Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Dominican Republic, and most recently Malawi. The organization provides residential care to children and adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS and teenage mothers, as well as provide outreach and training to impoverished families.



The sold-out audience was treated to a wide variety of original creations from four designers and one high-fashion boutique. The fashion show featured modern styles for men and women, that ran the gamut, from casual and daywear to cocktail ensembles and elaborate evening gowns. Some 25 beautiful male and female models stomped up and down the unusual three prong runway to the beats of DJ Runna.



Opening the misc-en-scene was the fashion line, Catou by designer Berny Martin. Berny is a Haitian born designer who lived in Africa and Paris and is now based in the mid-West who sees himself as a global creator of men’s and women’s clothing. A tailored black sequined pantsuit opened the show on model Lauren Hudson. Bold, tailored men’s casual suits were key elements in this collection, which can be summed up as a modern day `Dandy’ mixed with free-flowing women’s casual wear that fueled the Catou collection.




Next on the runway were the spicy looks from Weezie D Boutique in New York. Proprietor Lousia Mc Turney selected some great looks available at her boutique for the runway. She showcased elegant column gowns, fly pant ensembles and an array of ultra-feminine outfits, alongside some exotic jewelry from the `Intricate Elements’ jewelry collection from Dalia. A practical three-piece ensemble came down the runway on curvy model Taylor Grant while Tiffany Merant modeled the dramatic navy blue catsuit.



The creations of young designer Zwade was next on stage. Zwade Devinish, a young designer with roots in Trinidad & Tobago presented a sophisticated collection of linen dresses, fashioned from grey plaids and solids. A sexy bustier grey dress fitted to the body was modeled by the new face of Cover Girl online, Nefatari Cooper. Oscar Hernandez modeled the dramatic collarless wool blazer. Two pencil slim, body-hugging cocktail dresses came down the runway on fabulous models Dani Scott and India Lopez.



New York designer Ty Scott paid homage to his American Indian (Indigenous) Culture with a powerful runway presentation that was highlighted by fringed apron skirts, feathered duster coats, and Aztek print tunics. Everything shown had a deep cultural reference which resulted in an outstanding authentic collection. His easy dresses and pant ensembles were crowned by huge Indian feathered headpieces and jeweled headbands. Actor/model Hector Lincoln modeled an elaborate duster coat, embroidered and etched in feather motifs over casual suede trousers. Angel Melendez hit the runway wearing a loose feathered vest and contrasting trousers while Dani Scott charmed in a silver feathered two-piece cocktail dress. The tribal music and howls from the appreciative audience added to the allure of the collection.



For the show’s finale’ came Philadelphia, PA, designer Christopher Brown and his line `Closet by Christobal.’ The runway was dominated by Christopher’s edgy, men’s and women’s wear that bore the avant-garde’ label. From his casual prints to his dramatic `entrance maker’ evening gowns, it was excitement from start to finish. A sheer cape comes over a leopard print catsuit on new model Jenna Mackenzie. Naomi Campbell modeled the silver and black peplum skirt suit, while TV travel correspondent Melissa Noel modeled the full skirt with a fitted pique blouse. Flowing chiffon trains and cape coats were attached to gorgeous jeweled gowns. Christopher showcased his signature men’s skirts over sheer, nettops, layered in matching color combinations. Models formed a dramatic tableau at the end of the runway as the designer came out to take his final bow.



No show can run smoothly without a great backstage team of dressers, managers, hair and makeup personnel. For this show, the make-up was facilitated by Theo Faulkner for TYT Beauty, who also launched his TYT Skin Care line. Hairstyles were by Claudette Gyles-White of Essence of Beauty Salon, of Mt Vernon, New York. Backstage management was in the capable hands of Nancy Hunt and Lorna Welchman-Neblett.