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Black Girl on the Front Row!

Tag: ME

IT’S ALL ABOUT ‘ME CLOTHING’!

There’s something relentlessly positive about urban streetwear label, ‘ME Clothing’!

Already on the fashion-forward radar of ‘Jones Bennett PR’, the leading-edge, boutique, public-relations agency, with an astute awareness of emerging creative talent, it was with great anticipation, that I awaited my chance to spread-the-word! Kindly passing the promotion-baton to yours truly, I inquisitively-embarked upon my dash-to-discover the origins of such boundless energy and ambition!

Maybe it was the series of ‘snapback’ caps, emblazoned with the sign of ‘Victory’, or perhaps, the signature-slogan of ‘I’m A Boss’, being announced via the visual loud-hailer of its upper-case, bold-type, upon primary-permeated sweatshirts… It could even have been the ladies’ ‘Varsity’ jackets, which yelled cheerleader-chic, in popping-candy-pink! To whichever garment my journey visited, I, most assuredly, called-off-the-search, once I’d found out more about Adam Benjamin, the entrepreneurial-brain and design-brawn, behind the brand!

Described by Jones Bennett PR as being motivated by manifesting a ‘feel-good factor’ of mutual creative appreciation, though the medium of fashion, and fuelled by the desire to offer a striking, urbanwear range, distinguishable by its dynamic design-presence, ‘ME Clothing’ was born. Impressive, for me, was the absolute clarity of vision with which Mr Benjamin pursued his objective, and, even moreso, that this has been directly reflected, in a brand-identity of cool, stealthy, simplicity. When added to the further artistic impact upon him of an ardent passion for music, the compounded outcome of highly-wearable, marketable, yet affordable, pieces was, and still is, entirely achieved.

A stand-out feature of the collection is its capsule nature, a perfect mirror to the succinct name. Substantially-quilted gilets, puff their chests proudly against practical silhouettes, available in both hooded and non-hooded options. Statement jumpers, are identifiable from-distance, with their glaring typography… tees, round-necked are efficiently-cut and, whether Christmas were nearly upon us, or not, I could sing a descant of praises over the ‘hero-piece’, varsity jackets, with their luxurious contrast-leather sleeves! Furthermore, as a stalwart for perpetuating the unique, I love the customisation-element, which acts as a ‘clothing-shuffle’, of sorts, facilitating creative ingenuity via upping-the-bandwidth of the easy, mix-match, neutral-toned palette! Such pleasing punctuations of personalized flair, worn in any combination, with one of the superb snapbacks and some boxfresh kicks, mean you’re good-to-go from pavement-to-première and back!

With the ability to span art-forms, it is no surprise, then, that over the three years since the launch in 2010, the label has attracted stars of the hip-hop/ r ‘n’ b genre, on both sides of ‘the pond’! The likes of U.K chart-toppers, such as ‘Chipmunk’ and ‘Wretch 32’ have been spotted sporting ME menswear, whilst heart-throb rapper, ‘Bow Wow’, has flown-the-flag for the brand, over in the U.S, in his one-off, customised jacket from the über-popular ‘Varsity’ collection. However, such household figures in sport as Florent Malouda, have also selected the brand as a ‘go-to’ designer-choice, and herein lies the tantalising twist-in-the-tale of ‘ME Clothing’. Not only is it amassing celebrity endorsement, but it is also capitalising upon a ‘mass-appeal’ momentum, which is quickly gathering pace within the scholastic-sport demographic! Once again, proving the less-is-more adage to be a design-winner, since bespoke jackets have been fabricated for the basketball and cheerleading teams of such esteemed institutions as Northampton and Westminster Universities, respectively.

Versatility, then, incorporated with a ‘warp-speed’ drive towards continued and discernable creative expression, are qualities which set, Adam Benjamin and his ‘ME Clothing’ label apart. He is a shining example of, both, enterprise and initiative, determinedly representing the head-turning vibrancy of the U.K’s urban-menswear scene. I found the brand replete with a stylistic spirit which is ‘100% ME‘ and after you’ve checked out the range, I think they’ll be a 100% ‘you’, too!

 www.iwearme.co.uk ~ www.store.iwearme.co.uk ~ @MECLOTHINGUK ~ SALE NOW ON WITH UP TO 50% OFF!

www.jonesbennettpublicrelations.com ~ @jonesbennettpr

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Creative Arts go OFF-the-BEAT-en track!

All roads led to ‘The Oval Space’, in Bethnal Green, last night, for one of the most anticipated of multi-media mash-ups on the Creative-Arts Calendar, namely, ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show 2013’! You might remember that I was more-than-a-tad excited at the prospect of attending the event, which was presented by ‘öffbeat’, the Arts lifestyle brand… Well, it was, indeed, an extraordinary display of, what I happen to believe, makes the power of creative-collaboration so undeniably potent.

The moment I entered into the behemoth of this, formerly-derelict, space, pregnant with potential, I immediately sensed a synchronicity between the throbbing baseline, which was disseminating through my central nervous system and the  contractions of imminent, fashion-brand-births! I also found myself marvelling at just how perfectly-balanced a venue it was, being, at once, expansive, with enough room in which to throw and catch shapes, a-plenty, whilst also intimate enough to accommodate the collective energy of a collaborative congregation.

The vibe was rich and distinct. People from all walks-of-life rubbed shoulders, as they shook to the dynamic DJ-grooves and pressed palms with artists and designers, alike, in congratulatory exuberance. However, just like the beats, the meet-and-greets didn’t stop, for these everday-people embraced one another, as well as opportunities to form newfound fashion-friendships.

Co-existing under this banner of ’emergent ambience’ were starkly-contrasting Art-forms. In one corner was housed a formidable frieze of stylised character-outlines, created by self-confessed Narnia-resident, Dom&Ink! These especially-conceived, ebullient images were oft-surrounded by admirers, yet, things took a definite turn, when the quiff-sporting illustrator, and author of ‘Map Of My Heart’, appeared, and encouraged the observers to colour them in! Around the corner, more exceptional Art took my breath away. Wandering guests were bathed in diffused, iridescent light, emitted from the impressive installations, at floor and eye-levels, of SunYin Xiaowen and Aphra Shezma. Others stood, face-to-face, with equally-stunning, Fine Art offerings from Linda Cieniawska, Charlotte Osbourne and Gwyneth Fugard. As I passed by the intermittent onlookers, it was as if their inner energies were mirrored by the pieces, in such a way as to become ‘human glowsticks’ and ‘living wallpaper’ and I recall feeling truly priveleged, not only to witness the effect of such private moments, being experienced in public, but to also be an integral part of appreciating the exquisite talent.

As time grew nearer to the presentation of fashion, which was so on-edge, it felt as if someone were scraping their fingernails down a blackboard, excitement was fuelled by singing sensation, Vince Kidd. All but prowling-the-platform, he delivered Otis-Redding-raw vocals, with a similarly-seasoned prowess, speaking-to-the-deeps with his soul-inspired spin, on life, love and all that lies between. After taking the audience upon a heartfelt journey, Kidd made his exit, stage left, to whoops of delight and enthusiastic applause, leaving the see-through screen to became the backdrop behind which each model would wait, before taking to the runway.

In a bid to further immerse myself into the experience, yours truly took to her second home (for which I didn’t need to find five percent!), the Frow! Suddenly, silhouettes of each collection were backlit-to-perfection, establishing the effect of a ‘fashion-fourth-wall’, as well as indicating that, tonight, something was coming, which was better than good! However, this separation was soon to be aurally removed by bespoke, live collaborations with up-and-coming musicians who, from the stature of their performances, are bound to make increasingly influential impacts in each of their respective genres. First-up, was the amazing singer, Lydia Baylis, who tore-away-the-veil, with a unique set of beautifully-accompanied, sultry, acoustic-folk. Hot-on-her-heels, and before anyone had time to settle into the still, harmonic haze, ‘Kill It Kid’ stepped up and totally smashed the divide, juxtaposing the, previously, gentle mood, with an awesome repertoire of sonic explosions! Both styles brilliantly served to complement the essence of each designer-aesthetic and we were treated to a creative-clash which would put the SS14 ‘print-clash’ trend of any well-known fashion-house to shame!

Models with raked-back, ‘just-got-out-of-bed’ Batiste-hair and fashion-forward, metallic make-up were bedecked in sublime, sheer pieces from the avant-garde world of Marcelo Yarussi, the deftest of twists on masterful, digitally-printed garments, designed by Nicolas Wirth and the cool creations of blank-canvas-white, high-end futurism of London College of Fashion Graduate, Isabell Yalda Hellysaz. The fêted, power-house-of-a design institution was also showcased via the stand-out, all-black, structural apparel from Maria Zhminko, the intriguing, open-weave, cage-like, riffs on body-con from design-duo, Rebecca Morter and Gemma Vanson and the decadent columns-of-kaftans, with concentrated print-formations, from the joint-genius-pairing of Christina Tiran and Victoria Rowley.

As the showlights faded, such superstar-DJ names as the irrepressible ‘Bill & Will’, ‘Shivas Regal’, the A&R-astute founder of Tigermilk Recordings, and idiosyncratic rhythm-maker, ‘Mculo’, were heralded to take-to-the-decks and storm-the soundsystem! With a two-step, here, and a head-nod, there, (but, sadly, before the anticipated arrival of the superb Rufio Summers), I was ready to bow-out gracefully and wind my way through a London-town which, once again, felt like a haven for burgeoning, undiscovered artistry. In fact, I can’t remember a night where so many apparent-strangers were apt-for-sharing, participating and co-creating such a ‘moment’ in time.. It just goes to show that there is a real fashion-fellowship, of sorts, doing-away with the out-dated image of an industry which is, supposedly, replete with back-biting, where only the strong survive, and is redefining it, as one filled with opportunities to go beyond disciplines or regions and traverse brand new terrain! Of course, no industry is perfect, but the ethos behind such events as ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’, promotes the commercial as a facilitative route and supportsystem to creativity, whilst maintaining, without compromise, the core integrity of the energy-source from which successful collaboration grows.

So, my deepest gratitude goes out to öffbeat, for providing me with with the chance to be part of such a unique vibe. Further congratulations go out to all other sponsors/ affiliates, both front and back-of-house, involved in delivering this fantastic gathering. Last night was everything it promised to be, an interactive celebration of multi-media expression, par excellence, filled with extraordinary and inspiring examples of Creative-Arts-at-their-best and I cannot recommend ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’ to you, highly enough! Neither can I wait to see how öffbeat and partners focus-pull their combined-skills to shine new lights on rising-stars of parallel creative-platforms in 2014!

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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TWITTER-TESTIMONIALS FROM ‘VIVID FASHION GROUP’ (@VIVIDFashionGrp)

‘One of the most descriptive and all together best blogs we have read!! @A_F_R_O_W please review all our events!’

‘…just re-read your blog on the show, it’s such an honour that what we created came across to you. Thank you for your words x’