Is Red The New Canary Yellow This Year? Red Heartbeat Gala 2018 Fashion Show

Heartbeat Gala 


Photo Cred: Mr. Bernard Kee

Starting black history month on a strong note, this weekend was full of Black Excellence at the 5th Annual Heartbeat Masquerade Gala. Not only was it held at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, which was amaaaaazzzing!!! The theme was all red black tie attire which represented the survivors and current fighters of heart disease. Unfortunately, this is an extremely prominent issue in the African-American community and it was great to see that a lot of people came out to support those individuals who were brave in their journeys to recovery.

One of the highlights of the event was the Heartbeat Fashion Show! Some of the featured looks were from Virginia's very own talented designers such as Kenneth Love, Fanny House, Queens on Deck Boutique, Melvacious, and so much more!  Come check this out! 



The most exciting moment of any big show is what happens behind the stage. What is rare to be seen by the audience are the very things that make for a great show. All that adrenaline, the fast pace environment and the rush against the clock is the heartbeat of any production. I've received an opportunity to see what really went down behind the curtains and it was organized chaos, to say the least! Haha! Objects may have looked out of place from the outside looking in, but I could tell everything was right where it needed to be for the convenience of every model, designer, and makeup artist. They truly made use of the space and worked until the very last minute. I even caught a designer still sewing up a whole sleeve to an outfit and when it was completed it was a beautiful ensemble!  You go girl!

I was able to see the fabrics up close and personal from a few designers while I was backstage. This was very important to me because I was able to tell the type of personality a particular collection was representing. It helps to see what kind of audience the designs are catering to. Studying the texture of the fabrics from some of the looks was a great way to interpret what the designer was trying to convey to the world through their clothes. Some of the fabrics were made from soft, flowy materials such as chiffon, charmeuse, or a lightweight tulle material, giving off a sweet and innocent feel of femininity. While others had strong, tough fabrics like velveteen, denim, or leather showing a sense of a independence, empowerment, and sexiness in those particular collections. Every one of these items told a unique story through every stitch every pattern and every beaded detail.


The fashion show presented around 10 designers which were a blessing and a curse at times if I have to be honest. Felt a bit long-winded since the runway was extended in length with limited seating. However, it did give everyone a chance to see the looks up close and personal as the models walked with such grace, passion, and purpose. I love to see shows where some of the models have a chance to interact and feed off the audience. It provides some entertaining breaks in between the same consistent walks of the models up and down the runway. It also makes it fun to see clothes have a moment and personality down the runway as well. I enjoyed watching so many different ways to rock the color red and getting some ideas for this spring and summer. 

Photo Cred: Mr. Bernard Kee

Runway Spotlight Look

Designer: Kenneth Love 



Now, not all the looks were based on the red carpet, gala season inspired gowns that were previously shown. There was some pretty dope, street-chic and African inspired looks as well that shook up the runway show. Whether it was finding new ways to style denim patches into an everyday street look or taking the traditional African garbs and transforming them into modern, sexy attire, there was a lot to be captured at the Heartbeat Gala Fashion Show this year. The detailing of some of these outfits are just jaw dropping and you can tell it was made from pure blood, sweat and hopefully not tears, LOL! There definitely was some profound moments in this year's show, especially this being my very first time attending, it will most likely be something I would hope to be able to do again next year.


Bernard M Kee for more photos go to @