written by Simeaka Melton

FTLOS photograph provided by Marcus Bennett
FTLOS photograph provided by Marcus Bennett

The evening of elegance, purpose and style, now known as For The Love Of Style Runway Event was created and produced by Gigi McMillan, DC’s sought after wardrobe stylist and owner of Kamisol Style Consultancy, Inc. The evening was highly anticipated, well attended and delivered as promised; in first class.

As I begin to write the story of For The Love Of Style Runway Event I must start at the beginning and walk you through to the end.

In The Beginning …

Early on, as Gigi [McMillan] began to prepare for the runway event she quickly realized what an amazing journey it was becoming. She started to say “we’re on the road to the runway” and somehow it began to stick. Team Kamisol also began to reference “on the road to the runway” as task and accomplishments were being made. Between the work, fun and learning, The Road To The Runway was a commonly used phrase as morale ran high while setting set the tone for upcoming For The Love Of Style Runway Event.

FTLOS photograph provided by Greg Phul
FTLOS photograph provided by Greg Puhl

FTLOS photograph provided by Greg Phul
FTLOS photograph provided by Greg Puhl

On The Road To The Runway you will meet a diverse group of individuals who possess talent, humor, professionalism and style. The Road To The Runway was always full of energy, which naturally created a family environment, setting the foundation of every photo shoot, professional development workshop, practice and gathering.

You will find a lot of “firsts” on The Road To The Runway. This was the first time Kamisol Style Consultancy Inc. ever produced/hosted a runway event, this was the first time many of the models walked the runway, the first time the international designer debuts in Washington DC, and the first time the DC would see such a love for style on the runway. Despite the fact there were so many firsts, the quality of this event was very much top-notch and reflected such on and off the runway.

In The Middle Of The Details …

Backstage morale was high and glamour was the theme! Led by Lamarris Lewis – King and Eston Stylez, Paul Mitchell’s Woodbridge School was providing both stunning hair and fabulous make up. Designers were ironing out the details. Models were on deck and ready for their cues. Tim Brosius, Marcus Bennett, Eddie White and Greg Puhl were all behind their lenses capturing priceless moments. Peter Ferrall was coordinating and assuring all things were running much like a well-oiled machine.

The End Is Only The Beginning. Showtime!

Lights! Camera! Style! For The Love Of Style has finally arrived and has certainly presented a polished presence, from start to end. Upon arrival, guests were joyfully greeted by Kamisol’s registration team, who led them towards the red carpet for photographs and mingling before entering the ballroom.

The ballroom was filled with guests socializing, networking, hors dou’vres, instrumental music in the background, soft lighting, smiles and plenty excitement. When the host, Chaz Pando, took the microphone to welcome the guests they quickly took their seats and the show began.

First, to grace the runway was the Anna Maria La Bianca Collection. The models elegantly wore the unique oversized collection of scarves, draped and tied just right, showing off the lightweight silks and beautiful hand designs. As the models gracefully walked the runway Anna Maria La Bianca’s designs captivated the guests, as if the scarves were saying “Wear Me”. The crowd looked impressed. Some even rubbed their fingertips together as if they were touching the scarves. The Anna Maria La Bianca Collections debut ended with the adorable celebrity dog, Shrek, who has raised more than $24,000 for Paws for Cause. Shrek drew lots of ohhhh and ahhhs from the crowd, looking quite fetching dressed in his black and white tuxedo as he escorted Ms. Lynni Lengyel Megginson.

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

Next, Syreeta C Fashion comes to the stage. Immediate smiles and gasp from the crowd said it all. The crowd gave huge smiles and head nods as Syreeta C Fashion designs came down the runway one by one. Syreeta C Herbert’s designs were sleek and edgy with just the right amount of sophistication. Her clean lines offer the perfect silhouettes of femininity yet also showing a bit of an edge. As the models walked their finale, the crowd gave a loud applause with clear and palpable throughout the ballroom.

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

Before the next runway appearance, Debra Chandler, CEO of KickFannie.com, took the stage to give a little background about what we were about to see next and why. As Ms. Chandler explained, For The Love Of Style Runway Event supports two causes, Suited For Change and The National Network To End Domestic Violence. She further explained how the Allstate Foundation together with Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer, Dee Ocleppo, handbag designer and Kerry Washington, actress, has lend both their design collaboration and voices to The National Purple Purse Campaign The Purple Purse serves as a symbol to raises awareness about the financial abuse that occurs within domestic violence. Other than the official release, The Purple Purses were unveiled on the For The Love Of Style runway, which is the only appearance made worldwide.

FTLOS photograph provided by Eddie White
FTLOS photograph provided by Eddie White

FTLOS photograph provided by Eddie White
FTLOS photograph provided by Eddie White

Wearing Syreeta C Fashion, five Kamisol Style Consultancy, Inc. models wore distinct black dresses as they showcased The Purple Purses. The Purple Purses are one of kind, designed by Dee Ocleppo and Kerry Washington. Seen in a beautiful deep purple, snakeskin texture and a gold chain strap the Purple Purse serves a reminder that financial abuse is the number one reason why women stay in an abusive relationship, financial freedom is possible and to open your hearts and your wallet to support those effected by domestic violence. It is my pleasure to note that The National Purple Purse Campaign has raised 3.1 million dollars thus far.

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate
FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate
FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

Pause. Spoken Word hits the stage next.

The ballroom was as quiet as can be when Ashley “Epiphany” Hodges breaks the silence with her spoken words. Instantly all eyes were on her, as she begins to passionately recited her SHE poem. “Epiphany” left the guest mesmerized and cheering as she left the For The Love Of Style stage.

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate
FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

Last, though certainly not least, Clavon’s Wears hits the runway! The international designer was worth the wait, offering women and men designs undoubtedly and pleasantly shocked the crowd. For The Love Of Style Runway Event is the first time Clavon’s Wears has been to the Washington, DC area and judging from the looks around the ballroom Clavon’s Wears was a hit. Visibly there was so much excitement as Clavon’s Wears walked the runway. Bold, Extraordinary and Intentional are all immediately words that come to mind as we watched Clavon’s Wear go up and down the runway. The tailoring was impeccable, the patterns, mixes and matches were like nothing to be compared, and the confidence seen in the models beamed through. Clavon Leonard has what I like to call the Beyond Style State of Mind.

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate
FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate
FTLOS photograph provided by Umbrella Syndicate

FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment
FTLOS photograph provided by Fuzion Media Entertainment

Collectively, each presentation complimented one another beautifully. What a superb evening of elegance, purpose and style, now known as For The Love Of Style Runway Event.

FTLOS photograph provided by Marcus Bennett
FTLOS photograph provided by Marcus Bennett

Dear Gigi McMillan,

You have raised the bar and the standard in DC fashion, runway and style. Until next time “Bravo”!

Love,

Simeaka Melton

@BeyondStyleBlog | @Simeaka

For The Love Of Style Runway Event

October 3, 2015

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