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Linwood Fashion Group brings style to Roxbury streets

Karen Morales
Linwood Fashion Group brings style to Roxbury streets
A model wears Pelenge Doiley designs at the Oct. 6 "Fashion on the Hill" show. Banner photo

Linwood Fashion Group, a coalition of Boston fashion designers, transformed a residential street in Roxbury into an urban runway show called “Fashion on the Hill” on Saturday, Oct. 6, presenting original designs.

Five local designers displayed their creations on models who strutted down Linwood Square in front of other local artists, fashion aficionados, and residents. The show was produced in partnership with HYPE Fashions, a Boston-based fashion production company.

Linwood Fashion Group founders Pelenge Doiley, Jani Lopes and Amie Dakowa were three of the five designers showcasing their collections at the show.

The founders of Linwood Fashion Group: (left to right) Aminata Dakowa, Jani Lopes, and Pelenge Doiley. Photo courtesy of Linwood Fashion Group

Quentin Brandél, singer and social activist from Boston, and Malik Voyard, poet and student at Stonehill College, performed in between catwalk displays.

Bears and Bunnies, an infant and kids’ clothing line by Lopes, kicked off the show with young boys and girls wearing Spring 2019 Collection designs in playful pastel colors and floral patterns. Onlookers awed and cooed as toddlers walked out in rompers, shift dresses and colorful pants.

Keisha Glover, designer and owner of Pink Shoe Lounge, a boutique in Mattapan, showcased her fall collection, which she described as having “sass, class and a little edge.” Models wore bold pieces like an all-red outfit featuring flared pants with ruffled edges, sequined skirts with fringes that swayed, and black pants made entirely of fringe details.

Next, models wearing Zjajah Creation by Zaina Jaja walked up and down the concrete runway in contemporary African wax print dresses and men’s pants in vibrant colors and patterns. Each piece was dramatized with ruffled sleeves and hems.

Dakowa of Nyandegoi Designs showcased her collection, inspired by her grandmother’s style and her African culture. Her collection included men’s clothing ⎯ and one piece in particular, a cape that, when unattached, turned into a skirt train tied around the waist, was a crowd pleaser.

Doiley was the last designer in the lineup with her 2019 Spring/Summer collection inspired by local abstract artist Donna Elliot’s paintings. A model floated down the street in a vibrant abstract-print dress that billowed in the wind. A white pantsuit with a caped blazer was another crowd favorite.

A model wears a dress by Pelenge Doiley. Photo courtesy of Linwood Fashion Group

Doiley closed off the show by bringing out Lopes and Dakowa to take a bow. “I had a vision long ago of a fashion show on the street,” she told the crowd. “These two ladies signed on to my dream.”

According to Lopes, Linwood Fashion Group formed in 2015. Planning for the outdoor fashion show, the group’s first-ever event, has been a two-year effort. The show required closing off the street, organizing lighting and sound equipment, photographers, models, a DJ, and a catered VIP after-party.

The event was sponsored by Children’s Services of Roxbury, East Boston Savings Bank and Loft Consulting Group, LLC.

“We created the group to focus on the community and highlight local organizations and talent,” Lopes told the Banner. “We want to create these types of events to show that our people bring value to the community.”

The ladies of Linwood Fashion Group have promised to create another community fashion event next year.

An evening dress by Nyandegoi Designs. Photo courtesy of Linwood Fashion Group

fashion, local designers, roxbury
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