Fashion Week begins in Brooklyn with chic collections at GFS

Mwanza Glenn.  Photo by Tangerine Clarke
Mwanza Glenn.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Guyana Fashion Showcase set the tone for New York Fashion Week 2021 in-person runway displays, putting on its own spectacular parade of sophisticated, and whimsical, collections by emerging, and versed couturiers.

The live catwalk show, star-studded front rows and after party, where face mask was offered as an accessory due to the Delta variant, certainly lived up to the hype, CEO Philbert Giddings always brings to his elegant events.

After more that an hour late, the show at the Marine Park Golf Course, Brooklyn, packed an excited punch bringing ColeFacts by Michelle Cole-Wagner to the fore. Her trademark white collection in bridal pantsuits, some finished with flowing bridal train, others with halter-top, lit up the catwalk.

Cole-Wagner unleashed an eclectic 19-piece classic wearable line wowing with a red mini dress, color-blocking leopard print gown all ready-to-wear and for sale, via

Cole-Wagner said her collection is a capsule of three collections that started with her linen and leather patch design dresses that flowed into a collection of Leopard print, an ode to her late mother-in-law, Anne Wagner, who loved the fabric print.

Michelle Cole ColeFacts. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

She added that the pieces swirled into a ColeFacts Wedding collection geared towards the modern edgy bride.

Cesar Galindo, gracefully dressed models in his flirty collection of gowns, and elegant separates. The New York-bred designer, who launched his first collection, over 20 years ago, dressed Madonna, Mary J Blige, and certainly left that indelible creative mark on the runway that patrons, applauded with gusto.

By way of Togo, West Africa, L’Atelier Raif, who has dressed artists India Ari, Jill Scott, and Angie Stone, brought that same exotic technique to the runway. His elegant flowing tie-dye gowns, and men’s wear, made up the 16-piece collection by Raif, who said his designing is a natural progression, of his colorful sense of style.

L’Atelier Raif. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Guyanese-based designer, Mwanza Glenn is working to pierce the market of Afro-centric garment, taking it up to a modernized level.

“I find when young people hear afro-centric fashion, they think of ponchos. We are trying to change that, to make outfits more playful and youthful,” said Glenn.

As such, the designer over accessorized his collection to catch the eye of the next generations, to whom he hopes to pass on his creative juices.

He showed 10 unique pieces, making use of multi-colored fabric. His leather-trimmed dress, off the shoulder piece, classic African Queen creation with cutout sides, revealing swimsuit, with embellishment and men’s pantsuit, awed the crowd.

Congratulations, to the Mwanza whose collection will grace his new store set to open in Guyana sometime soon.

David Rolle. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Bahamian David Rolle, looked to the soft and gentle ocean breeze for his inspired Raphelita Collection that celebrates his many years of creating whimsy outfits.

Rolle said he showed 15 pieces of his stunning 40-piece collecting, cut from white fabric, a collection, the Parsons School of Design honor student, and winner of Season 5 edition of Mission Catwalk All Stars, hope will go global in an exclusive resort space.

The off the rack collection he says, is suited to any one who wants to feel and look fabulous.

Randy Madray. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The grand finale brought Guyana-based couturier, Randy Madray to the runway, whose pieces immediately garnered loud applause.

The designer’s over-the-top sophisticated tulle gowns, some with long trains, others, embellished with sequins, and 3D applique, showed brilliance from the young emerging design showman.

Madray said people inspire him. “Making people look and feel good is fulfilling to me as a designer,” who uses his clients as his muse. However, Madray is inspired daily by flowers, and the environment.

The outstanding collection that included a lavish balloon gown designed with 100 yards of tulle, a white brocade beaded gown with a long train, and a mini dress, paired with beaded tights, were among Madray’s stunning creations, he said he is very proud of.

He dedicated his presentation to friends he recently lost to cancer, opting to add vibrancy to his work to remember them by. The 15-piece collection featured many details that required many hands, and time to complete.

Supporters applauded the night of fashion that was emcee by host of Conversations with Dr. Lady, Linda Felix-Johnson, and DJ of Talk A D’ Town Internet Radio Niketa Luke.

The show that was viewed from the front row by lovely ladies, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, and Senator Roxanne Persaud, was deemed a total success.

Giddings who thanked his brothers, his team, that included Clinton Duncan, socialite, Sybil Chester, and the many others, also appreciated the live entertainment by Georgetown-based singing sensation, Shelly G, and University of Guyana student, and performer, Chris Nelson.

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