Updated: Jun 23, 2018
Just an ordinary day in the boutique and the phone rings. A pleasant voice on the other end (Amanda Gwen Crawford) introduced herself and went on to explain how she came across my name and my company. “You worked with a model a few months ago, her name is Liliana West, who you met at the Dysonna Art In The Rose Garden Fashion Show. She was wearing one of your beautiful swimwear cover-up designs which caught my eye. We’d love to know if you would be interested in being a part of our OC Fashion Week 2018”. I was amazed and floored! Who wouldn’t be? Immediately I contacted my team and we started to brain storm.
Four weeks to go, and let me tell you, this is going to be a challenge. Armed with my favorite sketchbook; I travelled overseas from New York to Jamaica and LA, all in the hope of inspiration and new fabrics. My first stop was New York and I am never disappointed in the garment district in Manhattan. There I found a line of fabric that just screamed fun and I had to have it. After spending a few hours around the Delancey St area, I took a cab to the Upper East Side. While walking down the streets, I was amazed with the vast amount of hard lines towering the beautiful buildings. Every street I encountered, l noticed the straight and almost intimidating lines surrounding the entire Manhattan sphere. I immediately stated, “we need circles, dots and fun shapes” This is how my Baby Doll line was created. I wanted to bring the energy associated with circles and its flawless perfection. Nothing cries fun, like dots and circles, making us feel like kids. The idea of the designs just came to me as I imaged women in my line of Baby Doll Designs. Innocently, feeling like girls, creating and expressing the delights of being feminine.
Next, my journey took me to the luscious Island of Jamaica, which is my home and always a delight to visit. I stayed at a beautiful resort, located on the edge of Negril, called The Royalton Negril. This is a luxury and relaxing resort. Although the All-Inclusive amenities were amazing, the ocean peacefully calm and the people just colorful, I found myself starting to miss the excitement and fun of the Kingston city life. It felt like I was in Jamaica but not, in, Jamaica. I missed seeing the vibrant colors of the everyday locals and the unique flavors of their dialect. Usually when I start to feel these kind of emotions, I know it is time to take up my sketchpad and put them in sketches. I began imaging, as the Jamaicans say, “rude girls” but rude girls in my sketch were trendy beach girls. In attires that displayed strength and confidence. Branding long legged, wide foot pants, and the amenity of a discreet hoodie. Instantly the Hoodiewood line was created.
After returning to the States, a few days had past and I visited the garment district of Los Angeles. With so many varieties of fabrics to choose from, I was captivated by a print. One that just screamed Island style. Still on a high from my visit of Jamaica it was perfect for my execution. I wanted to see a whole collection of Island expression; spirit, expression and sexy. I wanted to capture the youth of the tropics. Seeing each garment free-willed and design for expression of self. The “Island Life” designs were made.
Staying true to who I am, there had to be a few garments that had that “yassss” feel. The designs that I feel express class and sophistication. The designs that every woman should have in her closet. The design that say, “wear me, because all eyes will be on you”. This is the Classic Couture line. These lines are like a women’s best friend on the beach. She needs no approval, because she can either dress up or dress down these designs for her purpose. I could wear a Classic Couture every day.
As a woman who admires nature, I was viewing a family album of the many animals we saw in the Galapagos, when I came across a picture of the Blue Footed Boobie. This is a beautiful bird found only in the Galapagos. It has a beautiful white breast and the most outstanding blue feet. The sight of this bird is rare, but unforgettable. The image of color blocks and color enhancement came from these birds. Hence, the Retro Couture line came to mind. A Woman and her curves are the allure of beauty. Simple and yet timeless designs that accentuate the lines of the body and focus the eyes on the target in the room. “That’s you”, this Retro Couture is a line that brings back sexuality to women. The chiffon fabrics are like sweet kisses flowing with each step. Designed for the woman who knows less is more and more is sufficient for her lifestyle.
Finally, the Finale line. These pieces are a mixture of renaissance and Victorian ensemble. I’ve always been fascinated and envious of women with beautiful tall legs. Simply because I was not blessed with any. Nevertheless, I feel if you have them, flaunt them. This summer, I attended a beach wedding where I was fortunate to know the bride’s mother very well. I knew her as a woman who sacrificed everything she had for the benefit her children and her family. This was her day. I saw tears of joy that came from a place only a mother could know. I felt as if time had stopped as I looked at the expressions on her face. The Finale design was imprinted in my mind, as I saw this woman looking eminently regal as the monarch of the family. I realized at that time, that sometimes it’s not about what we wear, but who we are and where we place ourselves in this world.
Counting down to the final days, I’ve been blessed to have the One Strut Runway Entertainment Group as my models. A unique collection of professional models. Bringing sound, movement and rhythm to the runway. Invited guest - CJ Simmons (Dancing with the Stars Co-Producer, B.E.T Awards 2012-2013)
All of these designs will debut at the OC Fashion Week, September 5th to 9th 2017. The Island Hotel, Newport Beach. Si_Mee_Collections will be showing on September 7th, 6pm to 9pm. Looking forward to seeing you for this evening of designs and entertainment.