Philly Fashion Week is a week’s worth of runways featuring Philadelphia’s emerging designers. Running from September 23rd through the 28th, the week held multiple themed runways like “Lovin’ My Curves,” “Next Up Student Designer Showcase,” and “PFW Trend Show.” Each runway spotlighted multiple designers who showcased their own variety of unique, fashion-forward looks.
Designer Brandon Johnson of MIND OF COOL RUMORS started the runway off strong with a patterned two-piece paired with flaming hot knee-high boots. Johnson utilized a number of themes that appeared cohesively throughout the look. One such theme was the Japanese animated series Dragon Ball Z. Johnson collaged the main character “Goku” and others from the television series in bright, fluorescent colors. The designer also used religious references throughout his pieces by featuring Christian crosses engulfed in flames. Whether the clothing was branded with “Mind of Cool Rumors” or the tagline, “Feed the Mind, Create the Cool, F*** the Rumors,” the pieces were unique and identifiable to Johnson in every way.
One of my favorite looks was a quilted, cropped puffer jacket that featured a patchwork of patterns. This jacket, along with a color-blocked, long-sleeve and skirt set, featured the phrase “special is special.” Brandon Johnson not only provided some of the most outrageous and fashion-forward pieces, but he also truly invented his own brand full of anime references, bright colors, crosses, flames, zippers and over-the-top styling.
Majeeda Monae, designer of Majeeda’s Closet, provided no shortage of over-the-top pieces with her neon-colored clothing. Monae started the runway off strong with an iridescent, pink puffer jacket. Her collection focused on her impeccably-made quilted puffer jackets that varied in colors and prints. Whether she was using neon colors, feathers, or a printed fish pattern, she accompanied the jackets with rather simple bodysuits or biker shorts so as to emphasize the jackets.
One of my favorite looks was a neon quilted puffer paired with comic book inspired biker shorts. The outfit featured comic book phrases like “bang,” “pow,” and “wow.” Monae branded her pieces with a silver cursive M, phrases like “I’m so Philly,” and a Magic 8-Ball emblem with an M in the middle.
The showstopper moment was Monae’s final piece: a puffer circle skirt that draped her gorgeous model. The multi-colored, quilted skirt was so wide and voluptuous that the model barely fit down the runway. The designer paired this skirt with a barely-there green bikini top and matching green eyeshadow. Majeeda Monae’s signature use of quilted puffer jackets dominated the runway with their color and volume.
Modisch dressed their models in a variety of streetwear staples, like branded sweatsuits or a pair of joggers and a t-shirt. While the brand showcased a variety of different pieces and styles, Modisch kept their signature on every piece. Whether it was their curved “M” emblem or the entire Modisch logo, it was evident to which brand the piece belonged.
When compared to the other streetwear artists, it was obvious designer Tay Gaye of Modisch used prints and colors more sparingly. Rather, Gaye focused on clean, structured pieces. One of the first pieces to walk the runway was a lime-green structured pant and sweatshirt combo. The pants were lined with the classic, outerwear stripe along with an attached buckle pocket for aesthetic. “Modisch” was written multiple times on the top and the model was styled with black lipstick and heels.
In addition to the use of lined and branded sweatpants and sweatshirts, Gaye turned heads on the runway with unique utilitarian vests. The use of red leather shaped like a military bulletproof vest gave an interesting take on streetwear. These vests were layered on top of sweatpants and jackets to give a utilitarian feel to the runway.
What is clear from this fashion show is that colors, prints, and accessories are a streetwear staple. Put away your black streetwear and incorporate some of these trends into your outfit choices. While I still may be wearing all black, watching these creative and innovative takes on streetwear was truly inspiring.