Runway for a Cause

The runway attracted international designers, fashion influencers, caregivers and advocates. We were all there to raise awareness for the Angelman syndrome. Why? The Angelman syndrome is a genetic disease so rare that it affects just 200,000 people per year in the U.S. While it requires lifelong care, the lack of awareness means it is often misdiagnosed as something else, like cerebral palsy or autism. Why now? Researchers believe because of its relationship to many other disorders, finding a cure for the Angemlan syndrome will lead to cures for similar disorders, like autism and cerebral palsy. Enter: international fashion philanthropy.

Kimberly McLinden Bridal Collection

Marrying art and awareness, the event brought to the surface the uniqueness of each human perspective, through unique pieces. Here are some highlights of my favorite collections that were presented.

Jill Jiang’s earth made apparel broadened the consciousness of the runway. The China-based designer incorporated natural elements, like bamboo, to craft intricate, Asian-inspired, ready-to-wear pieces. Jiang’s contemporary application of traditional Asian style created an air of elegance in otherwise boundary-pushing (and hem-raising) outfits.

One of my personal favorites, Melissa Lockwood’s pieces could befit a woman in any celebration of her life. A gala. A night out with friends. A fabulous resort vacation. More than the ease of picturing her designs in any of life’s memorable moments, I connected with her brand values. Her designs are all constructed from waste fabrics discarded by New York City designers.

Beyond finding new life in the existing, many designers gleaned beauty from what has yet to come. Rasa Vilcinskaite’s headwear and jewelry professed a hope for a future when humans can morph into the art they wear. Blending the human into the art, the Lithuanian designer’s pieces encouraged a new medium of freedom and expression.

Anggie Carrion Vega’s speed inspired street wear executed a statement of powerful femininity. The Puerto Rican fashion student’s collection was a perfected balance of form and function. According to Vega, the woman of the future is capable and strong, and cuts a chic physique.

Finally, Yi Ling Kuo’s McQueen-esque presentation brought me to my feet and suddenly I was part of the show. The young designer, who works with fabrics in London, combines flowing shapes and imagination to create showstoppers like the one I wore. Her work makes me think of the term “dark art.” Each piece she presented embodied mysticism, creativity and fierce fantasy.

Not only was it inspiring to see artists of all paths coming together for the Angelman syndrome, it was a thrill become part of the show. Being able to uplift special causes and shed light on socially-driven beauty is the reason I started blogging several years back. I hope to continue to use my platform to focus on (social) good.



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