“If you aren’t wearing the right accessories, you may as well be nude.” -Meko Krout.
For nine years, Accessories In the Nude has produced the highly anticipated A.I.N. Fashion Show! On Saturday, July 22nd, at the Esé Azenabor Fashion Gallery, A.I.N. held its annual showcase where the 2017 Accessory Designer winner was announced. Six local designers also showcased their collections.
Out of a necessity to support fashion production, creator/owner, Meko Krout founded A.I.N. in 2008.
“We started off wanting to do a fashion show, then decided to branch off into helping other designers build their brand,” she says.
According to Krout, wardrobe designers get highlighted more. “We wanted to focus on accessories and make it a competition,” she says. “Our goal is to help designers build their dream and keep building. The winner receives money towards their business.”
A portion of the proceeds from this year’s showcase will be donated to the non-profit organization, The Birthday Party Project! TBPP provides birthday parties to homeless children in the metroplex.
Krout explains that, “The decision to donate a portion of the proceeds is because we always want to give back. The Birthday Party Project gives back to children! They have birthday parties for homeless children! I try to have people visualize. How did you feel when you had a birthday party experience growing up? Everyone should have that experience. I thought that was something fun, and something everyone would want to jump on.”
“It is a blessing that we continue to grow,” says Krout. “Shout out to my A.I.N. team, especially [Executive Producer] Willie [Johnson]. I think he loves the brand as much as I love it. We couldn’t do it without him, and the entire team; the makeup team and everyone who steps up and assists.”
This year’s winner is Michael “Bow Tie Mike” Williams. Mike has been designing bow ties since 2005 when boredom inspired his creativity.
“I was bored with seeing the same style of ties over and over again,” he says. “I wanted something that stands out. Something to draw people’s attention; get people going. I wanted to do something to put smiles on people’s faces. This tie took five days to create,” says Bow Tie Mike.
Mike is a humble, yet appreciative artist. “Bow ties are my life. God is good!”
Look for Bow Tie Mike @bowtie_mike on Instagram
Six designers. Six collections. Plucked from Dallas’ Fashion Scene. Indigo 1745, Yvonne Johnson, House of No Lady, Jamel Hawk, RADKEEM SIMS, Uyo by Udoh Atelier and Josette Couture made up the montage of futuristic, innovative, avant-garde looks that set the runway on FIRE!
This collection was eclectic and easy to wear.
A fun, colorful collection with class.
This collection was jaw dropping. A literal take on survival of the fittest.
The swanky side of calm, cool, and collected.
Stylishly daring, this collection is for the Bad Girl/ Bad Boy hidden inside.
Afro beats and chilled drinks. This collection will have you summer festival ready.
This lady sings no blues. The Josette Couture collection by Josette Gollatt is classy and feminine, with just enough drama.
“I love black. Black is beautiful baby, and white is alright. And what makes us both the same is the Red, the Blood. That is where I come from, says Golatt.”
Gollatt is not new to fashion. Her experience spans from her childhood and continued throughout adulthood.
Gollatt says, “I started sewing at nine with my lunch money. I started then.”
Even as a young girl, Gollatt knew that she had a gift, so she did-away with patterns.
“I wanted to experiment, so mistakes weren’t mistakes,” she says.
“It’s great when someone else loves what you love, and it’s ok if they don’t. That’s the cherry on top, because when you’re designing, you’re in your own headspace, in your own zone and you have to do what comes out of you first -not concerning yourself about anybody else.”
Finally, if you love fashion, you will not miss the 2018 show. Stay in the know. Follow A.I.N. on Instagram @ainshow.
Photo Credit: Cy Davison- Beyond Reach Media
Our Weddings Magazine is a bridal lifestyle magazine that excluIsively promotes the Black bride and the Black groom. Its Publisher, Ivy McCain (BLI Publishing) saw a need for the uplifting of Black love and marriageafter hearing several youth state that Black people don’t get married. McQuain immediately began working to create a vehicle to remind the world that Black marriages and Black love is real and a staple in the community across the world. She put out a call to action and created a team of industry professionals to help her execute the vision from the very first issue. Janean Wadley, editor and owner of Forever Yes Weddings, and Shellye Lyons, social media director and owner of Your Media Girl have worked tirelessly since day one. Our Weddings Magazine initially released a sneak peak issue in Southern Dallas County Magazine in its June 2014 issue and later debuted full independent issues in June 2015.
Our Weddings exclusively showcases Black love and community, which sets it apart from the rest. Our Weddings is providing tangible proof that our daughters and sons have every right to vision love and nuputals on grand scale. They are disapproving the stereotype that “Black people don’t get married” and that, Black people, as any other socio-economical class are more than a troth of baby mamas and baby daddies.
Not only does Our Weddings exclusively showcase Black couples and weddings, it promotes Black designers, event planners, and vendors within the wedding industry. Our Weddings celebrated its one year anniversary in June 2016 by hosting its contributors to brides-to-be at the Hilton Inn in Duncanville. This year McQuain and her team decided to make the event larger and highlight more Black wedding vendors; thus The Black Bridal Experience, a two-day showcase of designer wedding fashion, wedding planners, and vendors. The extravaganza was held at the Manderley in DeSoto, Texas and was on Friday, June 23 through Saturday, June 24.
I had the pleasure The Black Bridal Experience Fashion Show. It was exquisite and oh-so fabulous! Backstage prep filled me with excitement and anticipation for the show to start. Once the show started, I fell in love with being in love all over again. By the time the show was over, I’d decided on a 10 year vowel renewal, picked a location, decided on my dress, bridesmaids and junior bride dresses! Wadley did an amazing job ensuring everything ran smoothly and everyone was well taken care of.
Designs by @masterpiece_boutique_ , @thefashionopera, @faith.diva, @martaruizdesigns, @whiteweddingworkroom, and @pantorabridal from Brooklyn, New York. ripped the runway.The gowns featured in this show were the embodiment of Queening and absolutely stunning.
Hair whipping and face painting are a must for the runway.
Designers busy fitting the best look on each model, ensuring perfection and adding finishing touches up until the very last second – it’s a beautiful storm to stand back and watch.
As the dust begins to settle, attention is given to even the slightest details and there’s just enough time snap a few pictures before showtime!
The room was was dim, with the spotlight focused on the runway. We sat in anticipation for the show to start, and when it did the room filled with ooh’s and ahh’s. The ladies moved strategically, and with grace and elegance.
The after party!
Following the show designer @stephengoudeau displayed four breath taking gowns in the courtyard, and VIP guests spoke one-on-one with the designers while enjoying light hor d’evour’s and cocktails.
More details about The Black Bridal Experience weekend will be in the next issue of Our Weddings Magazine. If you are a bride, know a bride, or are dreaming of being a bride and find yourself coming up short on wedding inspiration that speaks to your inner Queen, then subscribe to Our Weddings Magazine and be sure to follow on Instagram and Facebook!