Well, Well...Well Family!!
The reviews are in and word on the street is that designer Douglas Says absolutely ROCKED Escuelita last night with the debut of his new "Plus-U" full figured collection!!
Of course I was IN the show so I am not able to accurately describe what the show LOOKED like (lol) but judging from the response of the audience and the fact that we had to run the show twice (because when the show began the line to get inside was still wrapped around the block - Fierce!) I would say that it was an overwhelming success.
Douglas showcased his Fall/Winter collection and showed 34 pieces, he also brought some legendary plus sized divas back to the runway! Along with the familiar faces of Mia Amber, Theresa Randolph & Liris Crosse and several faces that were new to me (Adrianne Washington, Brittany, Catrinah Williams, Khadiyah Melton & Marcia Fingal (who I had the pleasure of meeting at the AAWIC Festival last year), I saw plus sized divas (and a few little ones too!) that I haven't seen in many years...This show marked a return to the catwalk for Kim Baker (she rocked the Lane Bryant campaign back in my Willy days), Andrea Moore (My homie for the LONGEST and she won the Model of the Year competion a year before me in 1994 - I'm a long time fan!), Jackie Cumberlander (who just had a baby 2 months ago and is STILL gorgeous!), Casting Director Wendy McKenzie (whom I just worked with at The Links Show at Chelsea Piers in April) and Sajadga (I am sure I am spelling it wrong) Gordon, who I have not seen in at LEAST 10 years but I remember her clearly - Back then Miss Sajadga had one of the FIERCEST runway struts that I had ever seen - she was a big girl who moved like a ballerina (and that was unheard of back then!) and I always loved to watch her do her thing! I got excited as soon as I arrived and saw the lineup!
The collection was a beautiful vibrant mix of colors, fabrics and varying hem lines. Audrey Smaltz's legendary Ground Crew was on hand to make sure that the production flowed effortlessly, make up artists Andre Jones, Kevin McQueen, Alexander Saamin, Quietfire and William Marshall did some of their best works delivering the smoky eye/red lip that Douglas requested for each of his models and the hairstylists - Florence Wilson, James Harris & Johnny Gentry simply WORKED it!!! Baby!! the hair was absolutely to die for!!!
Model/Actress Liris Crosse opened the show in an Olive Mohair Coat with a Mint Green hooded dress. I was 12th in the lineup and Douglas dressed me in printed bodysuit that was a rich color block print in beautiful hues of browns, oranges and bronzes with matching chocolate slacks - Yummy!! Lol...Johnny Gentry even managed to glue a cute lil black bob with green highlights for the Runway Diva! (Thank U baby...I LOVED it!)
My second outfit was a beautiful bright red v-neck dress with brown inserts, the dress hugged my lol...limited curves and was simply gorgeous.
Douglas gave me the honor of closing his show in a sparkly gold hooded "wedding" dress complete with an exotic headpiece - I felt like a total Goddess in this dress - Thank you Douglas!
But it (the excitement) didn't stop there for me because AFTER the show I worked the room and saw that there were some legendary faces in the audience on hand to support as well...Models Roz, LuCiera (dressed in a fabulous lime green Douglas Says signature wrap dress!), Hakeema, Audrey Smaltz, Runway Coach Alva Page, Gwen DeVoe and her DSE TV Crew, Tonya Giddens, Rosie Fife, Linwood Allen & Duane Fish (who also helped to keep it together backstage), show producer Terrence Taitt, Designer Just Raymona (working the short shorts & bustier!), Kier Walker of Plus Size in the City and Florette Vassal (who I first met when I was a young newbie in the 80's working with Maria's Big Beauties and we did a fashion show on a TWA flight to Barbados!) - I swear I felt like I was at a class reunion! My only disappointment was that Peggy Dillard was unable to get back to NYC in time to make the show (you were missed mama!).
Photos of the actual show courtesy of Tonya Giddens - thanks Boogie!
And I would personally like to send some special love to the wonderful self proclaimed "Queen of Comedy" Harmonica Sunbeam (http://www.harmonicasunbeam.com/)
who so graciously donated her time and space to Douglas to put on his show - you have a new legion of big girl fans starting NOW Chica! Thank you. Continued success!
Thank you Douglas for an extraordinary effort! I look forward to working with you again real soon!
By Appointment Only
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Newark, NJ 07102
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