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NYFW : The Journey, Fashion Festival

The Journey, Fashion festival, founded by Malena Belafonte was beyond a fashion show, it was a spectacle. A show with the priority value of inclusion, allowed guests to be stunned by not only the garments, but the incorporation of dance, acting and theatre. There was an unbeatable atmosphere, one I'd never experienced before.

Malena Belafonte in Dress by Richard Petit, The Journey Fashion Festival @NYFW, Photo by Dennis Madigan.

Several hours earlier, myself and two course mates had been walking The Highline, a popular attraction with most tourists who visit New York. Finishing up in Chelsea District, we came across Chelsea Market and opposite - Milk Studios. Curiosity struck as we watched chairs unfold into regimented lines, models practice their runway routes and backstage members rush too and fro. Spotting Malena Belafonte (at the time we mistook her for a model due to the extravagant gown she was parading around) we took the plunge and went inside. We were met with a positive response as we explained who we were and what we were doing. We were very lucky to be given a time to return with the promise of seats and a viewing of the show that evening.

As 8pm dawned on us, we took our seats(huge shout out to fellow UK - Fiona who assisted us!) and waited for the show to commence. What an experience, with a huge line of models displaying different collections by different designers and to my satisfaction the show contained models with disabilities - a refreshing sight and lovely to see!

What made The Journey different, was the incorporation of dance, theatre and act. Between collections, street dance and interpretative performers - Hannah Richardson and Corey Woods took the stage, creating awe and suspension alongside laughs and a feeling of love and acceptance. A few of my favourite moments were when Joshua Ihila walked the runway, proudly displaying his prosthetic leg; reminding everyone of a simple motive - to always follow your dreams - and Pearl’s Daily shocked everyone with a cheeky yet classy burlesque performance.

Henry Picado Men's, The Journey Fashion Festival, @NYFW, Photo by Keith Rogers

It was an evening I'll never forget and certainly the highlight of our New York trip. I'd like to thank both Malena and Fiona for allowing and arranging us to be guests of the show. Special mentions to the Hair and Make up teams by Team Marcello Costa and finally The Pink Pirate Agency, everyone who curated and executed a flawless show. Thank you!

E-Pluribus by Muriel Stockdale Grabe, The Journey Fashion Festival @NYFW, Photo by Dennis Madigan

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