With all of the venues in NYC, where was best place to see a fashion show? Many bloggers and editors named the FTL Moda show at Grand Central Terminal the most memorable of the week. The FTL MODA organizes the shows with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Models For Diversity.
The stories of some of the models are incredible, they have overcome many challenges to be on this runway. Note, this was not a fashion event reserved for physically challenged models. What I appreciate above all is that this fashion show proves us that all human beings are special. On the runway, Madeline Stuart surprised the audience with her enthusiasm. An 18-year-old from Australia, she had Down Syndrome and lost 45 lbs to work as a model. She was stunning and visibly enjoyed the experience, taking the guests aback, this tribe was more accustomed to models not smiling than getting high five. She gained a lot of press before NYFW for her incredible story.
Rebekah Marine is a bionic beauty from New Jersey. She was born without a right forearm. She went to many auditions and was turned down. On Sunday, she added her personality and strength to the outfits she shows. She thinks that the fashion industry has come a long way and just proves it on the runway along with fellow models Shaholly Ayers a congenital amputee or Leslie Irby in her wheelchair.
The show started with accessories from Carmen Steffens. There were flashy silhouettes with black dresses, jumpsuits with flowers, high heels and long hair just like Charlie’s Angels.
The textures were a mix of transparent plastic rain coat material, silky sandy skirts, a white kimono and transparent veils. One unveils a small breast a la Jane Birkin like a boy, or maybe no breast following surgery. The message once again is poignant; all women are beautiful no matter what. The beauty style of the models was complete with flashy pink cheeks and high buns.
Alexandra Frida came next, and all the models wore short black hair and dark pink eye shadows like Harajuku styled characters from a science fiction story. The clothes were very graphic with computerized printed patterns in vivid hues of red, blue and black forming tops, shirts, jumpsuits, jackets, and socks!
Archana Kochhar showed her deities all dressed in variations of a monochromatic fabric. They were a sand color, woven, styled with gold makeup like warrior marks. One of my favorite looks was worn by a model in her wheelchair, with flowers sculpted out of fabric.
Andrea Wild was my favorite show of the FTL MODA show. It opened with a little girl dressed in white, spreading feathers on the catwalk. It was a symbol of peace and innocence. This was followed by cavemen and cavewomen with animal skins on their back or rudimentary black clothing showing the beauty of the body. Because of their simplicity the clothes let the audience take in the beauty with a soft mystic music in the background.
Finally, the Hendrik Vermeulen’s show had a theme of “I am water”. I enjoyed seeing all the colors of the ocean on the runway and the intricate makeup. The body painting of Medusa on one of the models took over three hours to complete.
The FTL Moda Fashion Show at Grand Central Terminal was the most feel-good catwalk of the season. I hope to see even more of the talent in the seasons to come.
Text and photos by Geraldine Trippitelli as a guest blog on MsFABulous (note: New York Fashion Week – Spring Summer SS16).