Fashion designer, retailer and cancer survivor, Mark England brought out some of the most recognized voices in R&B to shine the spotlight on Detroit fashion while raising money for a worthy cause. The 1st Annual “Fashion Fights Cancer” fashion show kicked off on Saturday, September 28th amidst the elegant surroundings of the prestigious Detroit Opera House and featured eye catching designs by established and upcoming designers Mark England, Cedi Johnson (The House of Cedi), Franklin Rowe International, Carolyn Ferrari and Uneek. As models sauntered down double sided staircases, donning everything from custom couture to sportswear, they were serenaded by local R&B sensations K-Jon, Dwele and Elijah Connor to the delight of onlookers.
Fashionistas, Karmanos Cancer Institute supporters and press packed the venue dressed to the tee in an array of stylish and trendy ensembles matched only by the exquisite decor. Drinks flowed, servers floated around with hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction was held in conjunction with the intermingling of local celebrities and Detroit’s fashionable. The night of luxury was a homecoming of sorts for renowned fashion designer Mark England whose experience overcoming lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) served as the inspiration behind partnering with the Karmanos Cancer Institute to bring “Fashion Fights Cancer” to Detroit. His designs, once a staple on the Detroit fashion scene, kicked off the cancer awareness raising fashion show that began promptly at 7:30 p.m. As evident in the elegant draping and body conscious fit of the dresses offset by clean tailoring, it was obvious that England’s time away from fashion had not dulled his sense of quality and style.
Following suit, The House of Cedi (also a Detroit fashion legend) introduced an array of ankle length gowns and fitted pieces boasting bold prints or bold color balanced by neutral tones. In fact the theme for the night across all designers played on either passionate hues such as red and magenta or black paired with white in print or two tone solid pairings. Franklin Rowe International’s show stopping parade of leather embellished jumpsuits, skirts and billowing sleeved blouses and dresses managed to add splashes of regal purple, cool grey and classic earth tones in solid and animal print to the mostly dark monochromatic color palette. The fashion forward apparel line flirted with details such as sparkles, leather, ruching, flounces and lace. Sportswear by emerging apparel brand, Uneek and jewelry designer, Carolyn Ferrari rounded out the evening by adding their own personal touches to graphic heavy tees and unique statement jewelry.
Patrons were encouraged to make donations via a table set up in the foyer offering literature about the Karmanos Cancer Institute along with complimentary goodie bags as parting gifts. The festivities continued well into the night at the "Fashion Fights Cancer Afterglow" hosted by sponsoring downtown hot spot, Club Bleu -- the perfect ending to a fashionable evening of charity.
For more information about Mark England, The House of Cedi, Franklin Rowe International, Uneek Collection, Carolyn Ferrari and Karmanos Cancer Institute, visit http://www.markenglandcollection.com/, https://www.facebook.com/cedi.johnson?fref=ts,http://www.uneekcollection.com/, http://diamonddancer1.wix.com/ddancer#!__home, http://franklinroweinternational.vpweb.com/, https://www.karmanos.org/