Last night at Chalaca Annexo, located near Jack London Square, and Downtown Oakland, at 428 3rd Street, was the first event of several this week, for the 2nd Annual Oakland Fashion Week 2016. I am very grateful to be a part of this event, which is truly history in the making. If you are able, come out and support the hard work of many individuals, particularly the founder of OFW Christal Carthon and Co-Producer, Wayne Clarke. Without the dedication and vision of these two outstanding leaders, we may not have this event that is bringing so many fashion lovers and dreamers together!
This year I will be presenting my Spring/Summer 2016 Collection, “Flamingos at the Parthenon” at the Thursday night “Sol Afrik: Ready to Wear” event. In addition, I will be attending all event days, and providing you with an exclusive coverage of each night, and the amazing designs that grace the runway!
Last night was a real treat! First… the location! Chalaca Annexo is a beautiful night club decorated in dark red hues, vintage framed posters, and elegant décor. I had the privilege of meeting the owner of Chalaca Annexo, Carlos Anton. Carlos is a friendly, outgoing man, who is extremely hospitable, and welcomed me like family. He showed me around the beautiful venue, and then, to my surprise, took me down a corridor, that entered the restaurant next door, La Furia Chalaca. Carlos owns both locations, and runs it with his family. He started out as a restaurant owner, and then expanded his business by adding the night club next door. He explained that his love of New Orleans, Jazz, and Interior Design, led to his creation of the ambiance in both locations. La Furia Chalaca offers authentic Peruvian Cuisine, and all of the dishes looked amazing! Unfortunately, I was not able to try the tasty dishes, but I am making plans for a date night with my husband as soon as possible!
As the program began, Mr. Wayne Clarke introduced the night and thanked all for coming out to support local fashion. Although Oakland Fashion Week is still in its infancy, we truly have a first class team of co-ordinations, photographers, hair and make-up artists, designers, and models! Mr. Clarke told me after the event, that he is really seeing a momentum going this year, that is opening up more possibilities for this event in the future. That’s great to hear! As I first-hand have been able to take part in many of the pre-events of OFW, I myself have made many friendships with fellow designers, models, and so many others who are taking part in this event. I too can feel the bonds of the Oakland Fashion Community growing stronger!
Next up to speak was the iconic local designer, Mr. James Head. Mr. Head is a very talented designer, who has a long history of experience and accomplishments. Mr. Head is the creator and designer of MC Hammer’s iconic outfits! His designs have been featured on many magazines, and music videos! He was even the founder of a popular denim company in the 1990’s called SagWear. He is truly a designer before his time! Be sure to check out his designs on the runway this Saturday!
Mr. Head told of times when he and fellow designer Mastahn Fanaka (Check out Mr. Fanaka’s Swimwear Collection at the Friday event!), were just beginning 30 years ago, as fashion innovators in the Oakland Community. Truly it is remarkable to see these men helping to grow the future generations of Oakland Fashion! They are both such an inspiration!
And now the Featured Fashions!
First up on the runway was a presentation by Audrey B. Boutique. Audrey B. Boutique is located at 332 19th Street in Oakland, and is open Tuesday thru Saturday (T-F 11 am-6pm, Sat. 12pm-6pm). Ladies be warned: these garments were so beautiful you may have to spend your entire pay check at this boutique, I know for a fact that I will! Here's one of my favorite looks!
Next on the runway was Designer Mario B. Mario told me before the show that he is a professional stylist and this is his first collection as a designer. I must say, you would never know that this was his first showcase, because the designs were polished, and beautiful. Mario B. had both a men’s wear line, as well as a women’s line, which is quite ambitious and impressive. The menswear offered looks constructed in lightweight fabrics, bright bold colors, paired with whimsical scarves, rolled up pants, and fedora hats. The men looked fashion-forward and bold. I could imagine these fellas walking casually down the streets of Havana!
Mario B. had several stunning women’s dresses that flowed endlessly around the beautiful female models. All I can say is…WOW! I even overheard a few in the audience exclaiming with excitement that his looks could be used as bridal wear. Indeed!
Here is a schedule of the remaining OFW Events:
As you can see, each day is packed with amazing presentations of a wide range of fashion styles and designs. I can tell you with certainty, you don’t want to miss any of these events!
Thank you for taking the time to read my coverage of Oakland Fashion Week: Day One! Be sure to check out my next blog article tomorrow: “Oakland Fashion Week 2016: Day Two “Fashion Boulevard”!
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!