Collins to work toward increasing visitation to Arkansas by groups and promoting the state's appeal
This year's Designers Choice Preview proved to be a strong follow-up to last year's hit inaugural event. Fashion-lovers crowded around the catwalk eagerly awaiting a favored designer. Though the show started late, hosts Korto Momolu and Jerrell Scott were worth waiting for, as they provided the crowd with witty jabs toward one another, insight on each designer and plenty of shout-outs to Little Rock.
The hosts' collections, which book-ended the event, were the obvious standouts. With no introduction, Scott's models stomped down the runway to upbeat world music. The mix of urban and tribal looks included lots of color with an emphasis on a lime green and grey stripe and black-and-white kaleidoscopic print. Though heavy-handed with the trim and embellishments, Scott's collection was an energetic jump-start to the evening.
The show continued with collections from eight other designers, each showing a handful of looks that included something for everyone. There was a party-ready white-tiered dress with a high neckline and short hemline, from Nicole McGee, a classic black trench with blouson sleeves from Linda Thomas and breast-plate jewelry displayed on energetic models by Star Akel.
Backstage, in a relatively calm atmosphere, the designer and talented artist Marcus Lewis described his collection as “moving art.” Later, during his segment, he was the clear crowd favorite, wheeling onstage on a bike. His models came out in eye-popping designs displayed on street-wear such as jeans, sneakers and denim jackets. Lewis even managed to customize a one-piece bathing suit with his use of graffiti-like color and design. Recognizing the benefits of styling his work, Lewis's models had some of the best hair and make-up of the group.
Much of the evening's talent came through the hair and make-up artists. Each designer had his or her own team and 100-plus models between them. The trend of the evening: big eyelashes.
Momolu ended the evening with her collection with her signature colorful and figure-friendly maxi dresses and horn-handled handbags.