I am now proud to announce that I have finally attended a Fashion Expo.
Thanks to a heads-up from one of my fellow fashionistas, I went (and had a pretty good time) to the DC50 Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle Expo at the Washington DC Convention Center on September 10th. Special guests included Nigel Barker and Korto Momolu as the hosts, Jaslene Gonzalez as one of the models, and DJ Neekola providing the fashion ambiance through music.
There were several vendors present, ranging from hair salons, jewelry, vintage clothing, and model agencies. Everything was being sold at a discount price. I was primarily drawn to the vintage booths. I snagged a blue and white plaid bow tie, vintage big yellow earrings, and a white – poetic – top. I will have to do a lookbook shoot with these pieces soon.
Several designers were showcased on the runway. The two I loved were Tsyndyma and Korto Momolu. (sorry for the blurry photos)
Paul Wharton is fashion, modeling, and lifestyle expert and is featured in multiple television and magazine fashion pieces. He was very personable and funny. It was almost like everyone who approached him was an old friend he was glad to see. At the expo he hosted a “Runway Walk Off” where volunteers could compete on the runway. Guess who won? Me! There were about 20 contestants and the audience voted for me. It was pretty fun. I won two free workshops with the Great Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce and a surprise gift card (which I have yet to receive).
Nigel Barker is an English author, spokesperson, filmmaker, and fashion photographer. I must admit that I did not know who he was before I attended the event, I just really liked how he looked in his suit and his accent. Of course, I later learned about his part on American’s Next Top Model and the documentaries he has produced. He too was very personable during the two seconds it took to take our photo. He said, “I love your hair.” I said, “Thank you,” (in mind – excuse me while I mop myself back together). I am now an official fan. At the expo he was one of the hosts, which he has done every year for this particular expo in DC. He is a natural on stage.
In regards to the organization of the event, there is room for some improvement. Even though the majority of the vendors were offering discounts, only a few were within a price range that seemed reasonable…in my opinion. If the discount price is $130, I’m scared to imagine what the original price must be. I don’t believe being fashionable entails being broke. Secondly, the scheduling of the fashion shows and speakers were a little too dispersed. Once you have walked by all the vendors, we ended up wandering around until the next showcase. Along those lines, there were no chairs. I understand that mingling and viewing the merchandise was encouraged, but standing the entire time can get pretty tiring. There were also some segments that could have been omitted or better prepared. For example, there was a segment that chose random people as worst dressed by a stylist who would give recommendations. If the stylist had a wardrobe to provide the volunteers so that the audience could benefit from viewing the transformation, then it might have been worth it. However, the stylist only had one sweater and a belt. Her suggestions were not very helpful either.
I enjoyed the experience. It was nice to observe the different fashion statements and showcases. My next step is to try to attend an event similar to this in a bigger fashion spot, such as New York City. I will keep you posted as that plan progresses.