The Future of Fashion

The future of fashion is with Une Belle Revolution so, if our future is held within our youth, then I can firmly say that with the talent coming from UBR, the future will most certainly be stylish. UBR is lead by Ms. V. Kottavei Williams who works tirelessly and passionately harnessing the creative spirit of her young and ambitious students. This unique fashion design program was created eighteen years ago by fashionado’s E. Vincent Martinez and taken over by Ms. Williams in 2012.

So exactly what is Une Bell Revolution and what makes it so special? UBR is Grady High School’s fashion design program - yes, high school. Grady High School is a gem, the shining star within its school district, excelling in the arts: visual, music, photography and fashion.

With Ms. Williams at the helm of the fashion program, her students are operating at a college level. They are learning garment construction, pattern making, special sewing techniques and illustration. By their senior year, UBR students are designing, creating and producing cohesive capsule collections. The annual runway show is a awe-inspiring and energetic celebration of the vision, talent and creativity of our youth.

Since the beginning of the fashion program, graduating designers have gone off to notable fashion schools like the Art Institute of Atlanta, Scad and FIT to name a few.

DOTC -  Doggies on the Catwalk  founder, E. Vincent Martinez presented Ms. Williams with a donation for her program. DOTC was created by Martinez in his Grady High School classroom 12 years ago and in alignment with the DOTC Foundation’s mission of supporting arts programs and fashion schools, the SEAM Grant has been created. Une Belle Revolution is its first recipient.  SEAM - Supporting Education in Apparel Mastery .

DOTC - Doggies on the Catwalk founder, E. Vincent Martinez presented Ms. Williams with a donation for her program. DOTC was created by Martinez in his Grady High School classroom 12 years ago and in alignment with the DOTC Foundation’s mission of supporting arts programs and fashion schools, the SEAM Grant has been created. Une Belle Revolution is its first recipient. SEAM - Supporting Education in Apparel Mastery.


Opening Reception: BEYOND THE CATWALK


You’re invited to the opening reception of Beyond The Catwalk on Friday April 12th 7-9PM at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Beyond The Catwalk is an editorial photo essay of fashion and dogs - a creative collaboration between Art Institute students and alumni and industry professionals. The project came to fruition through a series of beautifully staged, styled and created images.

Beyond The Catwalk is a product of Doggies on the Catwalk [DotC], a 501 c3 that supports pet-based organizations. The exhibit runs April 7-May 13th with proceeds from the sales of the images benefitting DotC. The exhibit and opening reception are free and open to the public.

This project and exhibit was made possible through the efforts and support of great partners: photographers Taylor Bareford, Kris Burris and Andrew Segovia, Jenni Lubo Click Models, Nyssa Green The GreenRoom Agency, Atlanta Pet Life Magazine, Brugal 1888, Emerald Hare, The Goat Farm, Tula Arts Center AND a very special thank you to ALL the Art Institute of Atlanta designers, models from Click and all the doggies and their parents!


Emerging Designer Take-over at Doggies on the Catwalk

doggies on the catwalk art institute fashionado

Runway & Photo Shoots

The Art Institute of Atlanta

For the second year in a row, the Art Institute of Atlanta has commanded the 'catwalk' at the annual Doggies on the Catwalk hosted at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. These emerging designers continue to demonstrate their talent and creativity. They wowed guests with their edgy, glam and RTW looks. The designers' vision came to fruition through our partnerships with CLICK Models and the Green Room Agency. Nyssa Green and her spectacular team gave life to all looks with the right hair and make-up. [And] because these clever designers know how to make use of the best opportunities, they took the time before the event to shoot editorial photos with their models. 

They make me very proud and it's been a pleasure serving as their professor at the Art Institute of Atlanta. The President and Provost sat in the front row of Doggies on the Catwalk and just gleamed with well-deserved pride. The featured designers were: Haze Devlin, Tyra Hart, Katherine Hillis and Tierra Macon.

Can't get enough?? Join us on June 12th at the AC Hotel in Buckhead for the Art Institute of Atlanta Senior Showcase runway show for more!


Recap: A Conversation with Fern Mallis

On Wednesday, August 3rd, the most fashionable destination in the city was without a doubt, the Art Institute of Atlanta. With programs of study such as fashion design, interior design and culinary arts, the Art Institute is a pretty stylish place on a daily basis, but when they hosted fashion icon, Fern Mallis this week, their style meter shot through the roof. 

Fern Mallis spoke to a standing room only audience about [her] early years at the CFDA and how [she] created New York Fashion Week. Before the "conversation" however, Fern graciously spent over an hour greeting guests, giving hugs and taking photos. 

In the lecture hall, Fern shared details about herself and career to a very captive audience. As she offered advice to students, it was clear that Fern Mallis is authentic, humbly recognizes her accomplishments and believes in giving back. She is so engaging and lights up when telling stories and talking (and humanizing) her famous designer friends such as Calvin Klein. One of my favorites stories - I've heard twice now! - is about a Michael Kors runway show pre-NYFW. The boom and bass from the massive DJ speakers shook the old building so badly that chunks of the ceiling fell onto the runway during the show. Supermodels, Naomi, Linda, Christy sashayed through the rubble, never missing a beat, after all, they were super-models. A large piece of plaster landed on the lap of fashion editor Suzy Menkes! Priceless, but also unsafe. This was the catalyst for creating a centralized fashion week location... the rest... is fashion history. 

Fern spoke passionately and proudly about her book Fashion Lives - a large, hardcover coffee table about the lives of some of the greatest American fashion designers - all who started from nothing, many who now have empires.

I'm not only a fashion blogger but a proud educator at the Art Institute of Atlanta. "A Conversation with Fern Mallis" was a huge fashion moment for us, our students and the Atlanta fashion community.


A Conversation with Fern Mallis

fern mallis nyfw fashion lives

Hump day just upped its style-game - well, at least on August 3rd when the "fashion icon" herself, Fern Mallis, spends the afternoon with you at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

I had the pleasure of meeting Fern at Charleston Fashion Week. I also had the privilege of hearing her speak and she is quite captivating. As you can imagine, as the creator of New York Fashion Week and as the former executive director of the CFDA, Fern Mallis has plenty of fun and interesting stories.

RSVP at *Seating is limited so rsvp for yourself +1, only.

Fern Mallis will be signing copies of her book so make sure to get yours and bring on Aug. 3rd!


The Art Institutes Rocked the Runway at Charleston Fashion Week!

When Charleston Fashion Week founder, Ayoka Lucas, introduced the Art Institute show, she said that this was the "future of fashion." Well, I couldn't agree with her more. These talented student designers will become emerging designers and move on to be featured designers. The caliber of the work on the runway was skillfully produced but equally important was the plethora of ideas presented. There was vision and thought, manipulated through textiles and fitted to the body.

The runway show opened with four looks from Art Institute of Atlanta students, Karimah Ali and Zuri Zander (first four looks in slideshow above). Zuri worked with chiffon and an African print, layering the two and creating structure with horsehair. Karimah delivered a modern and youthful twist to classic styles. Ai Atlanta Director of Fashion, Dr. Hammonds and President Myvett were gleaming with pride, as was Ms. English and myself who worked closely with Karimah and Zuri. 

Allow me to explain something - the process. Atlanta / Charleston student designers presented sketches which were created in muslin and fit to the models of their choice. Later, the looks were made in their respective fabrics. Students also worked independently with members of the hair and make-up teams to create the overall looks of their collections. Students were responsible for every detail and decision-making aspect throughout this entire process. It's these "real-world" experiences that are so crucial and instrumental to success and I commend all the parties involved for providing them to our young designers.

The Charleston students gave an impressive runway as well. From ready-to-wear to conceptual and sculptural looks, Ai Charleston rocked the runway with a dynamic level of modernity and sophistication. The fashion faculty, led by Ms. Dominca Baird, is as supportive and vested as we are. Two teams working for the same cause is a winning combination!




PHOTOS: Kennyatta Collins. Fashion Photographer for Premier XI Photography

The Atlanta fashion scene exploded at last week's second annual RAGTRADE ATLANTA fashion event. Five emerging designers, accompanied by two student designers from the Art Institute of Atlanta, a Ragtrade partner, presented impressive and exciting runway collections. Art Institute designers, Zonia Santander and Andre Bryson gave us a glimpse of the talent within the Art Institute of Atlanta with a mini-collection of five sensational looks each. Brendan M Combs opened the designer showcase with an edgy and futuristic collection, followed by the chic and sophisticated style of Sylvia Mollie. Returning Ragtrade designer, Natt Taylor wowed the audience with her asymmetrical peplums and Zachary/Nathaniel took us to a place of dark glamour and haunted beauty. Closing the runway, Edmond Newton, who is killing it on the current season of Project Runway, gave us one sleeved looks, sheers and flowing dresses. America's Next Top Model, Bello Sanchez and his baby blues, graced the runway for both Brendan M Combs and Zachary/Nathaniel.

Ragtrade Atlanta is leaving its mark on the city and earning its place as a valuable resource for emerging design talent through a series of year-round industry events. The Ragtrade Atlanta showcase on October 14th held at the Georgia Freight Depot was a sold-out event. It brought together a diverse group of designers, sponsors, partners and guests, proving that fashion is global, transcending boundaries, unifying lives and embracing differences. Ragtrade Atlanta was a celebration of fashion, art and culture. Keep an eye on them as they continue to grow and evolve, Ragtrade Atlanta may very well be "Fashion's Next Voice."