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Olympus Fashion Week – Fall 2006 Collections

Olympus Fashion Week 2006 took over the streets of New York City from February 3 through February 10, bringing out every New Yorker’s inner supermodel. Outside of Bryant Park’s tents, the week-long barrage of festivities kicked off with Hot 97’s “Full Frontal Fashion” show on Friday, February 3 at Hammerstein Ballroom. This annual event hosted by Angie Martinez merged the best of both worlds with a number of performances including Remy Ma, Busta Rhymes, Ne-Yo and Keyshia Cole. Between sets, a larger-than-life fashion show kicked off intermixing ready-to-wear fall fashions from Mecca Femme, Azzure, Whiteboy and Gilyard. Models included Bre and Naima of America’s Next Top Model.

Hip-Hop also made its presence known on the first night of Olympus Fashion Week at Bryant Park with the highly-anticipated Baby Phat show. Stars from the fashion and music arenas were in attendance to check out Kimora Lee Simmons’ Fall 2006 Collection. Russell Simmons and Kevin Liles were obvious front row staples, along with Tyson Beckford, Christina Millian, Fat Joe and Vogue Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley. “I’m definitely looking forward to this show; I’m looking for some bold yet comfortable looks for onstage,” R&B superstar Mya told AllHipHop.com Alternatives upon entering the main tent.

Silk and satin were the fabrics of choice for this fall’s Baby Phat woman, whether in billowy mini skirts, flowing tops or evening gowns. Pillbox hats and aviator gloves of various lengths, especially when combined with Chanel style jackets, gave the feel of a sexy stewardess circa 1950. Sequins either in rich chocolate browns or shiny neutral iridescent colors brought sass and elegance to both dresses and lingerie. Appropriate for Fall, leather pants and tweed jackets also made a strong presence on the runway.

For the grown and sexy gentleman, Michael Wesetly’s Friday show From Broadway to Runway featured suit jackets in a variety of styles, fabrics and colors fit for the likes of Kanye West and Andre Benjamin. Inspired by the Broadway hit musical The Color Purple, his Fall collection and runway show featured 13 actors from the play, including Lou Meyers, the beloved Mr. Gaines of A Different World fame. These inspired fashions used all shades of purple in the dress shirts, ties and suits. Wesetly showcased jackets made of corduroy, velvet, tweed and even suede, accessorized with elbow patches. The vivid mustards, oranges and burnt reds perfectly complimented the browns, creams, and greys that typify fall fashions.

Designer b michael debuted his Fall collection Sunday, February 5, featuring stunning gold and copper metallic handbags by Suen Cooper. His designs have enticed the likes of tennis fashionistas Venus and Serena Williams, among other celebrities. Metallic accessories particularly handbags and shoes are on tap to be a Fall fashion must-have; quickly jazzing up any outfit.

In the midst of runway shows, finger foods and open bars, Fashion Week was not all about extravagance. Wednesday night’s “Sound and Style 2006: A Benefit for The Door” at Stereo exemplified fashion with a purpose. The event featured incredible sets from numerous DJs, including The Awesome 2, Ralph McDaniels and Rich Medina, who all wore fashions from Hip-Hop’s hottest urban collections. Lines such as Weight, Southpole/Lot 29 and HuemanBeenz represented for the fellas, while TamBoi provided revolutionary looks for the ladies. Proceeds from the party benefited The Door; a non-profit agency providing health care, education, counseling and arts programs for New York City youth.

Another Fashion Week highlight was the premiere of the Todd Smith Collection, LL Cool J’s line of upscale men’s and women’s wear on Thursday, February 9. “It’s for high level retailers, the Bergdorfs, the Barneys, the Saks, the top of the pyramid. The clothing speaks to that,” LL Cool J told AllHipHop.com Alternatives.

Models of various ethnicities posed throughout the Carlton Hotel wearing flirty metallic cocktail dresses, dapper trench coats and classic pinstriped suits, smiling as gawking journalists, celebrities and photographers stared them up and down. Mr. Smith’s collection accentuated different shades of grays and browns, in addition to a variety of lavish cashmere pieces. Fur accents and leather gloves were again the ideal accessories to complete this luxurious look. Serena Williams checked out the sophisticated women’s styles, and DJ Cassidy provided the old school joints.

As a grand finale to the excitement of Fashion Week, Elle Girl and Ford Fusion presented the Alice + Olivia Fall ’06 collection, featuring many America’s Next Top Model alumnae. Bre (Season 5), Keenyah (Season 4), Naima (Season 4) and Toccara (Season 3) were a few of the lovely ladies showing off fall chic with a ‘70s sensibility. More Chanel-inspired looks surfaced, including cream collarless jackets with brown piping and large chocolate buttons. Cropped jackets with wide sleeves sauntered down the runway in addition to sheer fabric overlays particularly in grays and silvers. Toccara and Naima modeled sexy cleavage-baring brown dresses, perfect for fall evening glam.

American Pie actress Mena Suvari and other familiar faces were in the front row, smiling and applauding the Alice + Olivia presentation. Techno heavyweight Moby shared a few words with AllHipHop.com Alternatives after the show, and summed up the energy of the night: “Most of these shows are very dry, but this one is very playful and fun.”

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