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Farai Simoyi

Zimbabwe-born, UK-raised, US-based designer Farai Simoyi is one of the first African designers I met when I got to New York a few months ago, and she’s become someone to keep a close eye on as she makes her way up the fashion ladder. Hailed as both “Next Best Designer” by Essence.com and “BreakOut Designer” by Time Out New York, Farai is attracting the right kind of attention as she does so.

The theme of Desert Oasis was brought to the Farai Simoyi runway in Saturday’s show, through the camel and sand tones she used for this collection. Embodying a sense of thriving in a harsh environment, the collection focussed on flowing but structured kaftans, rouged flower details, lace swimsuits and some striking prints, which, as we’ve seen coming out of other shows, is a great trend to be taking note of for the coming season.

More on Farai Simoyi here and here.

It’s been a flurry of dresses, designers and drama! Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week is a beast of all its own. But a beautiful beast nonetheless!

Highlights so far include:

Celebrating Valentine’s Day the Betsey Johnson Way

New York Fashion Week 2011

Nothing better than falling in love with a couple of dresses on Valentine’s!

Betsey Johnson embraced the day with a theme centered on “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”, as she divided her show into two parts. The first was the edgy line she calls Black Tag, which featured, obviously, a lot of black! There was also a lot of tartan, animal print leggings, and flower prints.

Love the tartan come-back!

Also loved that she used real models for the second part of the show, which was her more affordable and accessible range called Pink Patch. Employees, including one pregnant woman, strutted their spunky attitudes down the runway. Lots of fun here – bright colours, Marilyn Monroe-print inspired pieces, pop-art flower prints.

Pics: mbfashionweek.com

After the show, Betsey came out and pulled Sex and the City costume designer Patricia Field up onto the runway and they danced a little bit before Betsey did her signature cartwheel – whoop whoop!

Farai’s Fashion Future

Farai Simoyi is a London-born Zimbabwean designer who picked up a lot of positive attention when she showed last season during NYFW. She’s got a colourful, fresh approach to fashion and best of all, always remembers her roots. Here’s a brief glimpse into the looks she created for the upcoming season, inspired by Madame’s Rouge:

Pamella Roland’s beautiful dresses

This exquisite final number from Pamella DeVos was just gorgeous! Her collection emphasized a lot of emerald and red colours, velvet and sparkly numbers.

Pamella Roland New York Fashion Week Fall 2011

Pics: mbfashionweek.com

Meeting Tommy Hilfiger – and Chuck Bass

Tommy Hilfiger forewent a major showing for a small intimate one at The Lion in the West Village. I literally rubbed shoulders with Chuck Bass, I mean, Ed Westwick from Gossip Girl, who was looking oh-so-dapper in his TH suit, which he described as “classic Tommy Hilfiger with a nice indie rock ‘n roll twist to it”.

Chuck Bass