Fern Mallis and Pat Cleveland at UCOF 3rd Annual Gala and International Fashion Benefit
This year’s United Colors of Fashion 3rd Annual Gala and International Fashion Benefit went off without a hitch at the Lexington Avenue Armory, an impressive vast space perfect for the gala’s extensive runway show. We were greeted by a delightful boys’ choir singing along the steps of the armory, and the entrance into the armory was overwhelmed by a giant display upstage of the runway, announcing the evening’s theme: FAITH, HOPE, LOVE – Fitting for an organization like like UCOF, which has a mission to “empower youth through fashion.”
Guests intermingled among an open bar of wines and liquors along with tables with cheese plates and crudité for noshing. Excitement built as guests were asked to take their seats for the event – such a large room never went so still so quickly, pregnant with the excitement of the event at hand.
Honorary Chair – the legendary Fern Mallis, described her devotion to the organization – she could not resist participating in such an important event.
Legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland, who was introduced bemusingly by Bethann Hardison, was honored with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“She walked, she twirled, she really just lost her mind on the runway.” –Bethann Hardison
We were delightfully surprised by the appearance of a gaggle of ‘80’s supermodels Carla Hall, Coco Mitchell, Patricia Tracey, Jamie Foster, and Linda Morand, among others – each and every one of them fierce as ever!
Following, Achiever of the Year Sade Solomon’s Spring 2014 collection was showcased in a riveting runway show that included pieces inspired by the ocean. Immediately following the show, she was greeted onstage by UCOF President Ciano Clerjuste, who tearfully echoed the mission of the organization.
“You are of my greatest accomplishments — helping you launch your first collection after college.”
The final runway show consisted of seven, yes, SEVEN established fashion designers from around the world, all of whom mentor young fashion designers through UCOF.
Marc Brouwer (USA) showcased a collection of pieces that beautifully and gracefully accentuated the female figure. Accents of sequins peppered this exquisite collection
David Tlale’s (South Africa) collection consisted of decadent gowns with accents such as detailed beading, all of which involved graceful movement.
Koshibah’s (United Kingdom) collection of society wedding gowns displayed a gorgeous range of elegance in white with touches of black.
Ron & Ron (Haiti) delivered a remarkable collection of tailored men’s designs, and boy did they leave us with an impression! Classic pieces peppered with bright, vibrant ones were both dapper and sleek.
Naked Ape by Shaldon Kopman (South Africa) delivered an edgy collection of street wear for the fashion forward globe-trotting man.
Sukeinia (USA) showcased a mastery of geometric structure – a powerful collection.
Carmen Marc Valvo’s (USA) elegant designs lengthened the female form, making her appear both sleek and chic.
We have never attended a more diverse and decadent fashion show – it was truly impressive and certainly a treat to an audience that never seemed to tire during the lengthy but exciting run.
Check out more on this fantastic organization and show your support at www.UnitedColorsOfFashion.org!