|Photo credit: Tyrone Farley for True Fashionista Now|
Stephen Burrows, one of the last fashion masters of our time, mesmerized fashion goers yesterday with his Fall/Winter 2011 collection. Some may call it support from the best in the industry, or simply curious fashionistas craving for style of an era long gone by. I knew I was among the cream of the crop, when Andre Leon Tally (former editor at large for “Vogue”), and Pat Cleveland (one of the first African American Supermodels) was in attendance. We are talking about a designer and their collection that represents the best in class and one that has left a mark in fashion history.
Stephen Burrows is one the first successful African American fashion designers of our time. His phenomenal talent, is attributed to placing American designers on the forefront of the global fashion space, in the ‘Battle of Versailles’ in 1973. The ‘Battle of Versailles’ is a landmark fashion show that featured five American designers against five French designers. It was a privilege and honor to be invited to this show, because I could only read and dream about a show with a legend like Burrows, in fashion magazines as a little boy. Headlines of wild drug parties of the Studio 54 party scene, when the likes of Andy Warhol, Halston, Cher, Elizabeth Taylor and even Stephen Burrows and Pat Cleveland themselves were socialite fixtures. Stepping out of a freight elevator into an enormous open loft space, with red brick walls filled with fashion leaders, critics and influencers, evoked a sense in my mind, of what it must have been like in the eighties.
As the show began and models strutted with poses and smiles of when Iman first walked for Yves Saint Laurent, or Pat Cleveland for Burrows and Halston, was a moment of fashion history and pride I will cherish forever. With the latest Stephen Burrows F/W11 collection, we are not stuck in a time zone of the past because his designs are new and exciting. Some of the looks include a classic gorgeous gold open back halter gown cinched with a black belt, and a striped figure hugging stretched gown and his signature look that utilizes stretch fabrics. His inspiration for Fall 2011 are egg shapes, stripes, plaids and prints. All the models walked in red-soled Christian Louboutin shoes, and exhibited a pride in showcasing the Stephen Burrows collection. I felt blessed and inspired to witness and be in the presence of such a great, creative and critically acclaimed CFDA winner, of African American descent. Fashion is freedom and fashion lives.
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