Excitement was in the air for guests that attended the inaugural celebration of black history and cultural style at the Wyndham Hotel in Houston TX on February 23, 2014. The Black History Month Fashion Show was a benefit event sponsored by EZCall-EZTalk Prepaid Calling Solutions and endorsed by The Liberian Association of Greater Houston. The affair was as educational as it was entertaining. The activities included fashion shows, music, cultural dancers, live painting, and influential speakers. The Master of ceremony, Ms. Ajali, a radio personality with local Houston KTSU radio station, entertained the crowd.
The models opened the presentation wearing contemporary fashions with cultural adornments and traditional African fabrics. The opening looks are titled “The Cross Over Collection” by fashion designer, Philetta K. Phillips of Fash Philetta Designs LLC. A Liberian native and Houston resident , Phillips creates custom formal gowns and casual attire inspired by her African heritage. She launched her clothing line to showcase a blend of African inspired clothing with European fit to the community in Houston and abroad. This includes kente ties and vests, short dresses, matching couple attire, and formal ethnic wear made of colorful print and solid fabric.
“Black History Month is an appropriate time to acknowledge diversity within the African-American communities of Houston, Texas.” explains Philetta. “There is a steady demand for trendy African fashions in Texas and beyond. For the twelve plus years that I have resided in Houston, people of all races and ethnicity inquire about my African inspired dresses and culture. I decided to produce the Black History Month Fashion Show to pay homage to my African heritage and promote cultural awareness through fashion. Through a grass roots effort, we extended invitations to various residents of Houston and surrounding areas via flyers, social media, radio and word of mouth.”
The second fashion presentation was a bridal collection by TeKay Designs of Houston, TX. This was a spectacle of glamour that included embroidered and beaded gowns from TeKay’s Modern Bridal, Ethnic Bridal and Queen Of The Brides collection. Each fashion look in the Queen Of The Brides collection is inspired by a woman of royalty and historic significance from various countries around the world.
Keynote speaker Isis Brantley addressed the audience with an insight into the under reported dynamics of ethnic style in America. Isis is known nationwide as Naturally Isis, the style guru of Natural Hair Care. As founder of the Institute of Ancestral Braiding in Dallas Texas, Isis stands for preserving collective economics and cultural identity for African-Americans. Isis set forth a tone for self appreciation and cultural insight that was appropriate for an ethnic fashion celebration.
There were numerous vendors representing local businesses and start-up ventures.
Africans in attendance who may have forgotten their industrious history certainly received an educational finale on what is happening in Houston that is cultural style.