With so much going on during the 9th annual SPARKcon this past weekend, fashion fans were delighted to attend the FashionSPARK ‘Wear What You Are’ Runway Show on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Hundreds of people were seated for the big event showcasing ten fashion designers out of the local Raleigh area as volunteers and members of the Visual Art Exchange executed the entire program.
“I’ve been with fashionSPARK for two years in a row, and this is my third year, “said intern Samantha Norris as she watched from the side of the stage. “It’s hectic, but a lot of fun.”
City Plaza was filled with excited guests and industry professionals showing support for the ten designers being showcased for the evening. Where designers such as Emily Newnam of SOUTHERN fROCK and Lisa Hoang of LNH gave audience members a taste of the laid back Coastal lifestyle, Julkee by Julie Patel and Melissa de Leon use bright colors inspired by cultural backgrounds to bring traditional looks into a modern STYLE. Taking on a more abstract approach, designers Kristin Roberts of Tyger Alexis and Rachel Bridge of Rachel Marie brought a more simple perception and allowed it to manifest into their designs along with Morgan Cox of Morgan Cox Designs. Madelynn Archer of Knightwing Designs incorporated unconventional materials and geometrics in her avant-garde but functional designs. The more popular designs came from the rainy day collection by Hazel Cole that created the illusion of photo surrealism, and Lumina Clothing Company with men’s wear.
“I’m excited to see where they’re headed,” said model Peter Kiwanuka of Lumina Clothing Company, “It’s a very natural brand for Raleigh and North Carolina, but it’s also something that a lot of people all over the world can appreciate, especially young professionals.”
Founded by Aly and Beth Khalifa in 2006, SPARKcon originally started out as Raleigh’s fashion week and has since grown to become a platform for not only fashion and STYLE, but other artistic disciplines as well. Through the Visual Arts Exchange, it has become one of the biggest creative showcases for artists in downtown Raleigh.
All photography by Stan Chambers Jr. of Stan Chambers Jr. Photography