This past weekend I had the honor of attending the first ever fashionshow for LAFW that featured people with different abilities. Bezgraniz Couture is a fashion company from Russia that makes adaptive clothing for PWD (People with disabilities). Bezgraniz means “Fashion Without Borders”. It was started by Janina Urussowa and a few other partners who I had the pleasure of meeting. During this encounter I expressed my appreciation for creating this revolution of change in the fashion industry. Shopping for stylish clothes that fit right can be difficult for someone who is differently-able and Bezgraniz hit most of those marks. The Bezgraniz show closed out LAFW with a bang at the Hollywood Athletic Club (which all the LAFW shows were hosted at this venue).
I originally auditioned to be one of the models in the show, but I didn’t make the cut. I was upset at first but then quickly realized this was bigger then myself. Even though I didn’t get to be in the show I was fortunate to have a front row seat. When I first pulled up I saw stairs and I was baffled for a second. You know me…I think everything is suppose to be fully accessible. I soon noticed a side entrance and I saw others in wheelchairs waiting in line. When I entered I was directed down a hallway that lead to the main entrance. The room was large and concreate with no stairs in sight. It was an open room with plenty of space to roll around even with the scattered sitting areas and cool retro pieces of art that were for sale. I made my way to the line like everyone else so I could get inside to the runway room. Getting in was a little fustrating. There wasnt anyone directing the door traffic and people were crowding around trying to get in. This can potentially be dangerous for someone differently -abled and would have felt a lot better if the entrance was managed for the safety of everyone involved.
After I got through the door I was escorted to my seat by a handsome looking man with a beautiful, fashion forward suit. The seating arrangment was fabulous! All the wheelchairs were lined up in the front row. Not only did people of the differently-abled community fill the next few rows but their friends, family and supporters were in attendance as well and everyone looked amazing. I couldn’t have felt prouder. I snapped a few pictures with some friends while we waited for the show to begin. Their were photographers everywhere and they all couldn’t wait to snap pictures of us. In the past I’ve been to events where people rarely pay attention to us (meaning the people who are differently- abled) so being in the center of the excitement was amazing.
Soon the lights went dim and the show began…
…The show featured 24 models all with different abilities; Amputees, Down Syndrome, Deaf, Cerebral Palsy, and last Wheelchair users. The clothes were so stylish, chic, and adaptive. Everyone was so effortless and showed off their personalities when they hit the end of the runway. The whole room cheered them on as they ripped the runway.
The shows opening model Jerris Madison is a photographer, wardrobe stylist, and blogger. He runs his own magazine called Obvious Magazine. The finale was the one and only Angela Rockwood. If you don’t know who she is then you’ve been living under a rock. She is an amazing model, actress, creator, and advocate. She is surely a force to be wrecked with and someone I admire. She’s the only person I saw appropriate enough to close out this historic event. The rest of the show entertaining and revolutionary. To the models, creators, and everyone who played a part in creating the show, Bravo!!!!
The night didn’t end here. It was time for more pictures, mingling and most importantly, networking! I had the pleasure of meeting Viktoria Modesta who is an international multimedia performance artist and amputee. She was so nice and looked fierce in her futuristic out of this world dress. I also made friends with another model who was in the show named Stephanie Gunsalus who is an athlete. I met her and her mom and they were so sweet. I love meeting new people.
Overall, the experience was epic and will definitely be one of the best nights of my life.
Here are some highlights from the evening;
All Photos Provided By: Michael Hansel
Thanks again for reading:)
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