AHHA Fashion: NYC Fashion Week, Spring ’07

Fashion Week in New York City is a constant whirlwind of celebrities, models, designers, press and fashionistas galore. The pomp and circumstance is typically centered around Bryant Park and its infamous tents, but there’s a whole world of fashion beyond the madness in midtown. AllHipHop.com Alternatives’ resident style connoisseurs went to see what fashion lurked off the beaten path.

Two days before Fashion Week was fully underway, Rocawear held the grand opening of their RocPopShop, directly across from the Bryant Park tents. Power 105.1 FM provided the shopping soundtrack in the store, which was newly filled with men’s and women’s sportswear and denim, dresses, shoes and accessories. What is the must-have item? Hands down, the handbags in a rich crimson or forest green will carry you through the holiday seasons.

On the other side of town, Rocawear also debuted their Sleep Sexy line of sleepwear and lingerie at Bed NYC. The collection included negligees, tank top and boy shorts combos, and panties with brown, black and gold link designs. Jay-Z stopped by to join DJ Clue and a variety of tastemakers and executives in the celebration. All attendees received arguably the softest terry robes in creation and a black satin sleep mask, both with the “Sleep Sexy” logo embroidered in gold. Think Carrie Bradshaw meets Zoe Saldana - urban diva chic.

For the first official night of Fashion Week, the real fashion action was uptown at the Museum of New York. Essence Magazine presented “Black Style Now,” the opening gala for the museum’s exhibit highlighting Hip-Hop fashion and the influence of Black fashion across the globe. Style maverick Diddy served as the host, while Lil’ Kim, Kevin Liles, Timbaland, Trina, Jae Millz and more of New York’s fashion elite stopped through. The exhibit itself featured classic items from Fab Five Freddy’s Yo! MTV Raps jacket and Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” gear; to new school looks from Kanye West, Lenny Kravitz and Andre 3000. Items from music icons such as Marian Anderson were also on display. Anyone can see the exhibit firsthand until it shuts down on February 19, 2007.

Our next stop was into the world of upscale menswear for the Hisham Oumlil Spring/Summer 2007 show. Oumlil, who meshes his Moroccan heritage with French couture influences, showcased 16 suits made of light wool, cotton, linen and the summer-friendly favorite seersucker. His collection ranged from casual vests to tuxedo jackets in rich browns, tans, creams and greens, accented with colorful, classy ties in reds and pin-striped blues. Taking some cues from Kanye, Oumlil featured a non-traditional pale pink tuxedo shirt and untied bowtie slung around the neck. Please note that the true fashion pimps will be rocking trench coats this spring in khaki or seersucker. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

The “road less traveled” brought us right back to 42nd Street. Using Commerce Bank as a backdrop in lieu of the Bryant Park Tents, Indashio Banks presented his Spring 2007 collection. His undeniable creativity was self-evident, especially for a production that was put together in just two weeks. Indashio is bold, stylish and perhaps patriotic with his recurring use of red, white and blue. There were sailor-inspired styles, 80’s throwback one-piece leotards, and, of course, the classic little black dress - a necessity for every woman’s closet. Big wide-brimmed hats were ideal to shade women wearing his jaw-dropping bathing suits. Of course the fellas were not left out for his Spring Collection. Indashio explained, “I wanted to do something more grown and sexy versus my usual South Beach attire.” Bright colors such as neon greens, yellow, and blues were used in blazers, shirts and vests paired with basic jeans and khakis. At the end of the night, the sophomore designer summed up his celebration quite simply: “Buy my shit!”