Spring Fashion Preview 2002

By Rachel Slaughter
April 4, 2002

Gerrona Lewis

Doctors preach that eight glasses of water are essential to healthy living. Fashion gurus argue they can live without water as long as Coach keeps pumping out handbags and shoes. Can man live on fashion alone? Magazine moguls must think so. There are more magazines in America dealing with fashion than magazines on health and survival issues. Americans gorge themselves on topics like what to wear after Labor Day and how to update a drab wardrobe. Fashion is so important that a sneak peak into spring fashions is planned a year ahead.

This year’s spring goodies were revealed in February. Onlookers in Milan and New York have already seen the latest creations from fashion icons like Gucci, Prada and Calvin Klein. The runways came alive with color as models presented the latest in fashion. The winning look: peasant outfits featuring skirts with embroidery and elaborate embellishments. These are not the peasant skirts from the ’80s. Hopefully no one will embarrass themselves by sneaking up to the attic and digging out their old, worn tributes to Stevie Nicks. Those rags just won’t do it. It is true that today’s peasant skirts are a throw back to the days when women could spend little money on fashion and made due with piecing fabric scraps together. The irony idea behind the new peasant skirts is that pieces of the new fabrics cost more than he average Jane makes in a week. These skirts are hip, now, happening and expensive. But, according to one fashion designer, this year’s spring fashions prove that many designers have cut off their chains and refuse to be slaves to trends.

According Ro Speight, fashion enthusiast and writer, peasant skirts are not the only retro/modern look exciting buyers. Another fashion element that speaks to the past, but points to the future is the Safari look. The Jane Goodall-at-work look is actually fashionable.

Speight said, “There are so many different elements to the Safari look. The colors are exciting, lots of greens, browns and dark greens almost the look of a rainforest.”

Bridget Ceno, fashion designer, says that the 2002 spring collection has a few surprises. There are elements in this year’s line that no fashion correspondents could have predicted. Fashion designers have raised a few eyebrows with their out-of-the-box lines.

The new lines offer lots of color and whites. The runways will show lots of chiffon, lightweight fabrics and pastel colors like pink, greens, blue and yellow with crazy strips. Designers were inspired by lightweight cotton twills and denim. She says she is pleased with the looks and didn’t try to predict the line that is called forecasting.

Ceno said, “I am not a slave to forecasting. It is too limiting. I know what is trendy, but I don’t get consumed with forecasting. My Customers are not afraid to try something new.”

Bronze Beauty Designs, Ceno’s fashion label, caters to a diverse clientele. The label, which will be available in her new store opening soon in Jamaica Queens, New York, features three separate categories, each with a different price range. The White, Pink and Black labels range from reasonable prices like $50 to $1000.

Ceno said, “My White label, however, is higher end fashion for the older woman. It has leather and suede. My expensive line is the Black Label. These clothes are tailored for the customer.”

A fashion enthusiast since age five, Ceno is sure her clothing line will please her following.

Ceno said, “I know fashion.”

Her knowledge comes from the source, the streets. Ceno says the runway fashions that make it to the streets are the “organic form of fashion.” She enjoys how every area puts its own spin on the same style.

Growing up with a seamstress mother, Ceno got her hands on hundreds of fabric, scraps and watched her mom for tips on how to make designer clothes for her Barbies.

Geronna Lewis, fashion designer, grew up with the same passion. She can’t remember when fashion was not a part of her life. Just barely out of Geranimals, Lewis was making tailored outfits for herself and her friends

Lewis said, “I started designing fashion when I was about 15-years-old. I always had an interest in drawing, but it was at this age that I started to observe the art of making clothes. I also found it hard to find clothes that fit me, and a lot of my girlfriends had the same problem, so I figured why not design and make clothes for myself.”

Unlike many designers today, Lewis, a Cabrini College art student, is not worried about what the runway chatter in Milan and Paris reveals. Her main concern is how she can translate her artistic passion into something that she enjoys to wear.

Lewis said, “My passion for art is just a need. It brings forth feelings that I knew I had, but I never wanted to confront or talk about.I mean I can draw a picture and when I look back at it I know what was going on in my life at the time. My art is like a photo album or timeline.”

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Rachel Slaughter

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