As the New York Fashion Events writer for Examiner.com, I have covered many events in the City. This summer my company, Urban Gypsy Productions, celebrated its two year anniversary with a multitude of fashion shows and a huge "I Love NY" party at the Sky Room Rooftop Lounge in Times Square. The name Urban Gypsy has become synonymous with fashion and nightlife so I have decided to take this opportunity to highlight the last three shows that took place this summer and to showcase the young, talented designers I have had the pleasure of working with recently.
-- Barbara Koning, freelance writer for Examiner.com and founder of Urban Gypsy Productions.
Caramente Line. On July 30, Caramente Clothing showcased its Fall 2014 collection for the first time in New York at Toshi’s Living Room in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. Fashion designer and CEO Brianna Prescott, a Philadelphia native, is only 21 years old and has been designing since she was 16. Caramente, which on one hand means "sweet faced" and in Italian means "expensively," was a name given to Brianna by her Italian grandfather and was the inspiration for the naming of her brand. Brianna Prescott and her team are all under 25 years old and learning the fashion business hands-on while trying to fulfill their dreams.
The Caramente Line has worked with many musical artists in the Philadelphia area including Prodigy from Mindless Behavior, DJ Damage, Gillie Tha Kid, Young Savage, Tone Trump, Peedi Crakk, Young Pooh and many more. Working alongside Jassiac Sloan, a pro motorcrosser, and the late young comedian, Freddy E., Caramente Clothing has been featured in premier fashion shows including: Charlie Mack’s Celebrity Fashion Show, VH1’s Mama Jones Fashion Show, Juelz Santana Fashion Show and Von Alexandria’s Masquerade Fashion Show. One of Caramente's most noteworthy achievements so far is the nomination as Best Designer in Philadelphia by Urban Celebrity. Brianna was the only and youngest female nominated for the prestigious award.
Caramente Clothing is looking to expand the line to major markets outside of the Philadelphia and New York areas. "We are also making efforts to shift the brand's focus away from urban wear and more toward luxe couture attire for both men and women," explains Brianna. When asked to describe her experience showcasing her collection in New York for the first time, she said "it was a dream come true." Learn more at Caramenteclothing.com
Jason Christopher Peters. On August 6, celebrity designer Jason Christopher Peters featured his latest “Madonna-inspired” collection at Urban Gypsy’s I Love NY celebration at the SkyRoom Rooftop Lounge. Regarded as the 'future of fashion' by Teen People, Genre, Bleu Magazine and a multitude of respected publications around the world, former model, turned designer Jason Christopher Peters is a rising fashion icon. The Jason Christopher Peters brand offers edginess, excitement and something special for each of its customers. From unique couture pieces to his signature one-of-a-kind and eclectic eye patch designs, elegant dresses, accessories as well as futuristic backpack collections, the brand offers something for everyone. Exotic models walked the rooftop runway wearing Jason’s collection of high quality fabrics embellished with gems and crystals.
The show was artistically inspiring as female models wowed the crowd in glittering outfits and literally "eye-popping" makeup and crystal embellished lips by popular makeup artist Diana Margulies. The male models wore bejeweled briefs and walked the runway shirtless, each one with a NYC borough (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan) painted across their chest by body paint artist Derek Medina and with help from makeup artist Arianna DeJesus.
Jason's dazzling designs can be seen on the likes of such celebrities such as Recording Artist Omarion, Shontelle, Lori Michaels, Paris Hilton, Actor Stephen Baldwin, DJ Quest, Phaedra Parks of Atlanta Housewives, Janice Combs, Brandy, Kat Deluna, Jersey Shores' Sammie Sweetheart and Angelina and also Drita, Big Ang, Karen Gravano, Ramona Rizzo and Renee Graziano of VH1’s Mob Wives and Tracy DiMarco, Corey Eps and Briella Marie from Style Networks Jerseylicious, to name a few. Learn more at jasonchristopherpeters.com
Fashions by Renu. On August 13, Queens-based "Fashions by Renu" showed their love for New York as they presented their first Manhattan-based fashion show, "Cocktail Hour" at the SkyRoom Rooftop Lounge. The show featured a cocktail dress line created by fashion designer and master seamstress, Renu Dasrath, with loving support from her husband Jason Dasrath, Manager and Marketing Director of Fashions by Renu. Dancer, Zaman Mohamed Amin opened up the show with a traditional classic to modern day Bollywood dance performance which was followed by beautiful models made up by Mala Savi Persaud in a fashion show 34 stories show high above the hustle and bustle of Times Square.
“Fashion is my passion…it has been since I was a young child,” says Renu Dasrath. Born and raised in Guyana, South America, Renu is a third generation designer and seamstress. The gift has been passed down to her from her late Grandmother, a very special Aunt, and her dear Mother. “Though, they never had the opportunity to design clothing as a business, for them, it was a matter of livelihood. I hope to fulfill their hopes and dreams which have also become my own,” explains Renu. Renu enjoys working from home as her five year old daughter sits beside her with her toy sewing machine as she watches Mommy do her thing. “My Husband has been such a major motivation for me. His encouragement and kind words are worth more to me than any dollar amount,” says Renu. Husband Jason responds, "She does the clothes and I do the shows! I love the entertainment portion of our business. I love putting Renu in the spotlight, letting our creative juices flow in all of our shows, training models and giving them opportunities that others will not. I enjoy every minute of it. I never waste an idea. If something exciting pops into my head, I bring it to the stage for our supporters to enjoy. I have to say that I am honored to be married to Renu.”
Together, they are an unstoppable force and plan to corner the fashion industry by combining fashion with original entertainment and never before seen concepts. Learn more at fashionsbyrenu.com
Urban Gypsy Productions. Besides producing and promoting fashion show events, Urban Gypsy Productions is beginning a networking series called FAM (Fashion - Art - Music) which will kick off this Thursday, August 27 at Madam X Lounge in the Village. For more information, visit www.urbangypsynyc.com and check under "upcoming events."