African Royalty Reigns the Runway
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 3/3/2014, 3:04 p.m.
Each season fashion week in New York offers emerging fashion designers who take a unique approach to conceptualizing apparel. Concepts can range from colors, shape texture and a combination of everything that the creative mind can conceive. This season TeKay Designs, a couture studio based in Houston Texas, presented Queen of the Brides, a collection of gowns with accessories that are historic and have a cultural significance.
TeKay's presentation opened with an acoustic chorus sound track, chromatic luminance and a branded light projection. Ethnic diversity was applied to model selection; as each model graced the catwalk with authoritarian elegance. But not without a subtle 'vogue pose' here and there. While some gowns are accented with colorful embroidery, other gowns cast an angelic shimmer of beading as a decorative finish.
The Queen of the Brides collection represents inspirational women of royalty from various cultures throughout history. The collection exemplifies cultures, as each gown represents a woman of royalty who has left an indelible mark on humanity. "Each season new gowns are added to this collection" explains Kimma Wreh, Fashion Designer and Creative Director for TeKay Designs. "Women of royalty are represented from all over the globe through these gowns. Places such as Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The gowns express cultural themes that resonate with many ethnic groups. This is why it was important for Queen of the Brides collection to be presented in New York City. New York is a melting pot of cultures and I am proud to present a bridal collection that acknowledges style aesthetics that many cultures have contributed to humanity."
The first of four new looks is an embroidered satin gown with trumpet silhouette that is named after Queen Amina of Zaria, Nigeria. The gown is delicately hand embroidered with striking green leaves and gold flowers. Queen Amina launched a military expedition three months after coming to power and sustained a lengthy battle until her death. In her thirty-four year reign, she expanded the domain of Zazzua to its largest size ever.
Queen Nzingha Amazon of Matamba West Africa is represented with elaborate hand stitched gold and chocolate embroidery on a bustier top and skirt made of white super cotton jacquard. This bridal ensemble is accessorized with a royal headpiece constructed of gold beads, glass pearls and rhinestone trim on a gold wire bed. The beaded floor length veil and statement necklace completes this royal look. Queen Nzingha Amazon was a tactical military leader who waged war against the Portuguese slave traders. This war lasted for more than thirty years. Nzingha was of Angoloan descent and is known as a symbol of inspiration for people across continental Africa.
The Empress Candace of Ethiopia gown has champagne colored lace fabric that covers the body and cathedral train. Scalloped lace trim is stitched on dress bodice with crystal trim around neckline. One of the greatest generals of the ancient world was also the Empress of Ethiopia. This formidable African Queen was world famous as a military tactician and field commander. Legend has it that Alexander The Great could not entertain even the possibility of risking a defeat... by this woman.
The fourth addition to the collection emulates Queen Consort Margherita of Savoy, Italy. This bridal attire has a peplum top and mermaid skirt made of beaded lace fabric embellished with silver rhinestone trim. Queen Margherita sponsored artists, writers and founded cultural institutions, notably the Societa del Quartetto, and the Casa di Dante. She was a benefactor of many charities, specifically the Red Cross.
The Queen of the Brides collection was accessorized for dramatization during the couture fashion show. However, each dress can be styled for a more contemporary look and accompanied with an optional matching brides maids dress. "This spring we are offering specials to brides who order matching bridal party dresses, gown accessories or statement jewelry pieces. We specialize in gown creations for themed weddings, and we have a reputation for creating custom ethnic fashions. We believe sharing cultural royalty is a significant way to pass on the legacy and heritage of family." explains Kimma.