On Saturday October 27, 2018, a suspect opened fire by gun in Pittsburgh killing 11 and injuring 6 innocent lives. The scene was a synagogue, a holy place of worship for Jews. Many lost their grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters. The world lost souls who were innocent in pursuit of happiness and long life. As the investigation continues and families mourn, every community mourns with the families for the victims of this horrific shooting.
Coping with trauma is not easy but finding support and ways to cope is essential. Expressing our views as we move forward while trying to heal and inspiring others to do so through fashion is something I love. For example, I was affected and traumatized with the nation too when Trayvon Martin was shot wrongfully. Also, when Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel on one knee during the national anthem, it also positively affected me. I love fashion and it gave me the strength to utilize this creative platform to cope. I knew I had to support by doing or saying something because it just seemed right and fulfilling. I utilized my resources and produced a fashion show(See HERE) that helped me to cope and raise my voice while moving forward. I was able to tell a story like current beauty standards; such as natural hair on the runway and other cultural awareness among others. Many of my supporters, like fashion designers, models and photographers, also shared my views to utilize this creative platform to cope while inspiring others to do the same. During this process I was also able to cope with current issues that surround us and support new talent as well, who also wanted to lend a hand.
Pyer Moss is also a current designer who comes to mind when I think of someone who utilizes storytelling to create new fashion designs while inspiring. His latest SS19 collection in September 2018, was shown in Brooklyn at Weeksville Heritage Center, a Historic Black Heritage Site. His art inspired garments in his collection reflected what our country is thinking and experiencing via fabric graphic slogans among others.
I understand that this coping option may never relieve the pain and trauma that has affected family members and loved ones of this tragedy. Choosing to move forward in unity while showing strength during difficult times is necessary. Showing strength and courage also exemplifies our values to inspire others who may also need it to move on. In unity lies strength and together as a nation with the rest of the world, one by one we can make a change.
Pittsburgh needs our support during this time and here are some fashion designers who presented their collections during Pittsburgh Fashion Week. Our support of these designers may perhaps help them to move forward as a community symbolically, to create and inspire. Fashion is very powerful visually and since designers often take cues from our culture for their latest creations, we’re showing our support to the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh Synagogue massacre too.
Anna Lemley is a contemporary ready-to-wear designer for the independent woman on the cutting edge of fashion. She contrasts tailored garments with simple silhouettes that complement each other to create pieces that suit all styles. She provides pieces that are essential to any wardrobe. The garments are simplistic, but far from basic. Visit Anna Lemley online.
Elaine Healy is a Pittsburgh-based luxury designer focused on the intersection of personal style and the avant-garde. Fascinated by the man-versus-machine aesthetic, her collections embody a merging of technical processes and hand-rendered techniques. Visit Elaine Healy online.
Sarah Jane Sindler, owner and designer of King Reld explores how fashion affects our self image through beauty gluttony, cravings of luxury, and the over-exaggeration of our features. She is an avant-garde designer of custom jewelry, grillz, and fashion wearables. Visit King Reld online.
Oona Natesan designs modern and minimal focusing on interpreting contemporary cuts and styles with Indian textile and fabrics. Visit Oona Natesan online.
Mad Recital is an avant-garde fashion label based in Pennsylvania. The label is designed by Richard Ramirez and Sean E. Matzus. Their aesthetics are recycling/deconstruction, hand sewing, irregular stitching, exaggerated shapes/volumes, hand painted fabrics, abstract silhouettes, and one-of-a-kind pieces. Visit Mad Recital online