If you have ever seen photos from the over-the-top annual spectacle of fashion that is the Met Gala, you understand the extraordinary level of creativity and craftsmanship put into every annual themed affair. It has a legendary red carpet entrance, where celebrities model their chosen designer with theatrical flair, a performance in itself that captures a global attention and raises necessary funding for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute.
In Baltimore, we have a number of highly talented fashion designers (and many have been featured in past print journals at BmoreArt), but most of them are not yet household names, although they probably should be. There’s a unique flair and style to the fashion scene in Baltimore. It’s bold and flashy, truly innovative in its display of classic influences and contemporary materials.
Last Saturday, July 30, Baltimore hosted its own “Met Gala” event at the Baltimore Museum of Art and it was a red carpet affair not to be missed! As the following photos show, this event was a glorious spectacle of fashion that showed off the talents–and big hearts–of local designers.
The evening event included a runway show featuring cohesive lines of five designers, and combined this with performance, culinary art, and philanthropy in support of Just Our Youth (JOY) Baltimore, a non-profit organization that works with homeless, displaced, and runaway LGBTQ African-American and Latino between the ages of 13-24 in Baltimore City.
The Fashion Team Led by Lana Rae (creative director and fashion show producer) truly delivered an experience to remember through the amazing talents of just a few of Baltimore’s most remarkable designers. Earle Bannister’s power suit looks featured edgy embellished leather gloves, capes galore, pleated scarves, black rabbit masks and all the herringbone you could ask for! Garments from Syeko Design House were jaw dropping: ultra embellished blazers dripped and splattered with colorful paints featuring signature red lipped smooches.
The works of Jody Davis were an elegant intersection of classic and contemporary, with dresses and pants suits balanced with edgy square glasses to make each wearer stand out. Her bold prints, layered tulle, and plaid patterns allured the eye, powerful but feminine. The line by Different Regard featured sustainable, zero-waste ready-to-wear bespoke pieces, for weddings and special occasions. Their garments displayed abstract pastel fabrics, maroon leather, asymmetrical necklines, black and white patterned block sets, truly a look for every occasion. And Evette Monique Couture’s models wore golden radiant sculptural pieces with black lace, puff sleeves, and feather detail with crowning headpieces, appearing like goddesses, both regal and modern. These designers understood the assignment!
The event was organized by LaRian Finney, director of the Finn Group, and we spoke with the organizer a few days prior to the event, which was photographed for BmoreArt by Jeff Butler and Kyle Pompey. The following interview is edited for clarity and we hope you enjoy these gorgeous photos as much as we did.