The Harlem Fashion Row – Spring 2010 Collections

December 14, 2009 4:35 pm

story by Faith Bowman
photos by Charles Beckwith

Shortly after New York Fashion Week, Harlem’s Fashion Row geared up to present collections by emerging designers at a fine arts venue in Harlem called The Gatehouse. Operated by a collective dedicated to promoting Harlem’s enduring influence and contribution to the fashion world, Fashion Row featured four lines, including one by recent Project Runway alum Epperson.

Along with Epperson, the designers of labels Dinna Soliman, Joe Duran, and LiaLia showed collections on an oddly-lit runway in The Gatehouse’s black box theater space.

At the end of the show, fashion legend Stephen Burrows was given a moment in the spotlight, as well.  Mr. Burrows, one of the first internationally recognized African-Americans, has been a force in the fashion industry since graduating from the state’s Fashion Institute of Technology in 1969. The organizers screened a short but moving video about his career, and he was given a standing ovation.

Each designer brought their own take on where fashion is going for the coming season, and all had a distinctly defiant Harlem vibe. Starting off the show, duo LiaLia (Julia and Natalia Alarcon) presented a line that went from playful rompers to serious slick black evening pieces.




Dinna Soliman’s line was mostly separates that could be mixed, matched, and layered to suit a variety of tastes and silhouettes.





Jose Duran did menswear with a post-apocalyptic meets pre-industrial twist. Dust and braids adorned the models heads, and combat boots covered their feet. The clothing in between was draped, swirled, and slouchy.

Jose Duran 1





Epperson was the show closer, and he didn’t disappoint.  Deconstructed edges in heavenly white garments, mixed with earthier designs featuring African kente cloth. Statement leggings in op-art patterns were paired with hip-length rough-textured jackets and blazers. The menswear was rugged-casual with a bit of Caribbean flair.







    I’m a designer,too. I love designing one of a kind, uniquely designed hats’ and outwear. I was happy to see EPPERSON’S line walk down the runway!!! I would love to know more about the venue and how can I get tickets and show some of my garments. thanks a bunch!!

  • charles

    Try contacting them on Twitter.

  • charles

    They have a web site now ( and are currently represented by PR Noir (

More Recent Articles

  • Browse News and Commentary Selects The American Fashion Podcast

    The American Fashion Podcast

    The New York edition of modaCYCLE is temporarily dormant, as we are collaborating with Manufacture New York to create the Fashion Media Center, but our editors are still keeping people informed with the new American Fashion Podcast. Follow the links or just search for “American Fashion” on iTunes. modaCYCLE German Edition continues to publish.

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Tadashi Shoji Dresses Strong Women

    Tadashi Shoji Dresses Strong Women

    To a group of us after his frothy Spring 2014 show, Tadashi Shoji said in lieu of his theme: “It doesn’t take big shoulder pads and dark pant suits for a woman to be strong.” Known for his feminine party clothes, Mr. Shoji’s current regard for power dressing was not necessarily indicated by either his track record, or what had just gently glided by on the runway. On closer inspection of the impeccably crafted dresses and gowns, I started to see just what sort of strength Mr. Shoji championed and how it was achieved.

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Jen Kao – Daring Devore Combinations

    Jen Kao – Daring Devore Combinations

    In a chilly, hazy hangar of a space, against a backdrop of gauzy white curtains, Stevie Nicks, and Joni Mitchell, a collection materialized wherein classic singer/songwriter leitmotifs like denim, plaid and devore were sent through Ms. Kao’s cutting tunnel. What came out the other side, once ingeniously stitched back together, was redolent of the past but defiantly new. “This season is about versatility. The clothes ask a girl – beg a girl to want to put it together for herself.” So said Los Angeles-based designer Jen Kao of her billowy, skin baring, hippie/jet setter Spring 2014 collection.

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Naeem Kahn – Spanish Fire

    Naeem Kahn – Spanish Fire

    Naeem Kahn takes us from Madrid to Buenos Aires for a Spring 2014 trip to beautiful. Essential motifs of Latin passion- flamenco, the lace mantilla and bold red roses, are vehicles for the journey. A master of embellishment, Kahn gave a profusion of Chantilly lace, floral embroidery, caviar beading, seed pearls, hand-painted fabric, and metallic appliqué, but he balanced all that with simple silhouettes and a mostly red, black, white and gold color scheme. The effect, though fancy, was never excessive.

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Jeremy Laing – Rave On, Barbie

    Jeremy Laing – Rave On, Barbie

    Jeremy Laing lives and works in Toronto, where the winter is long and dark, and summer is lovingly referred to as three months of bad sledding. An understandable longing for hot summer days and hotter nights informed his Spring-Summer 2014 collection, shown in New York, where we take heat waves for grumpily granted. When the sprightly young designer was asked to verbally autograph the show moments before it began he chirruped, “its Malibu Beach Barbie goes to a rave!”

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Reem Acra – Star Strut

    Reem Acra – Star Strut

    The clear message from Reem Acra for Spring 2014 is get up and dance. There were no backstage discussions of empowering women or clothes conferring confidence for the demands of their busy lives. No, no. Ms. Acra wants her girls to have some fun. Proof was the show started, not with the expected selection of spiffy day looks, but rather with a sparkly detonation of molten, bias cut, and draped party dresses in black, the key shade of night.

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Helmut Lang – No Corners Cut

    Helmut Lang – No Corners Cut

    “We like the idea that something is constructed and crisp, but at the same time is floaty and easy.” These were the calm and precise words of Nicole Colovos, minutes before presenting the Helmut Lang Spring 2014 collection, which she designed with her husband, Michael Colovos. Crisp. Sharp. Pure. Clean. These were the touchstone words for the collection. The beautiful tension between construction and ease originated in natural fabrics like chintzed silk, twisted linen, and cotton waxed or in simple white shirting. Even the leather, in either matte or perforated treatment, looked cool and comfy, bonded like the wool pieces to soft jersey to create comfortable effortless efficiency.

    Read more →
  • Browse Selects Shows and Events Cushnie et Ochs – Cut To Reveal

    Cushnie et Ochs – Cut To Reveal

    Finding beauty in the tools of bodily constraint was the admitted goal of this Spring 2014 collection by Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. Straps, buckles and bandages are not very attractive when found in a hospital milieu, but with a bit of alchemy, these elements did a sharp glissade down the knife blade runway of Mistresses Cushnie and Ochs, giving glamour to spare.

    Read more →