Nolcha: After Hours

September 26, 2011

Story by Katia Ostapets.

Photos by Alex Mouganis.

From make-up to designer wear, the Nolcha Lounge at this year’s Nolcha Fashion Week was the place to be between shows.

Attendees tried out artificial nails and eyelashes at the Kiss beauty bar, with products expertly applied by staff clad in red T-shirts. While at the Vitabath booth, representatives of the quality skincare company handed out samples of their deliciously fragrant body wash, with 16 new scents. (Vitabath is now available in Canada too.)

LypSyl Lip Balm, an all-natural Swedish beeswax lip ointment that promises to keep lips moisturized throughout the chilly winter months, was also featured. Completing the beauty corner was Kroma, where company’s president, Lee Tillett, showcased their organic make-up, also seen at the Academy Awards and on The Bachelor.

Many designers opted to have a booth at the Lounge, including William Watson. An English designer, his spring/summer 2012 collection attempts to tear down the barriers of traditional silhouette. Watson’s vision for next season includes unisex 4D removable collars with names including The Balfore, The Macgowan and The Cochrane.

Another designer, Stay by Mar who normally specializes in jewelry, took this opportunity to introduce her new capsule collection. It was created in collaboration with Care for Kenya, a New York-based non-profit organization that helps underprivileged women and children in Kenya by providing micro-financing.

Two Ethical Fashion Forum Innovation Award winners were also present. Soham Dave is an eco-fashion line, inspired from handcrafters and designed in New York. The Carrie Parry line, which produces ethically and locally in the New York garment district, is versatile and interchangeable from day-to-night, or work-to-leisure, subtly communicating the need for less consumption and more design in one’s wardrobe.

Jewelry designers did not miss the opportunity to showcase their work at Nolcha either. Ileana Rojas-Bennett, who sent her creations down the runway with Zula clothing, had some beautiful pieces to share. Made of gold, silver and semi-precious stones, Maleku Jewelry is inspired by the colours of the rain forest from Bennett’s native Costa Rica.

Kerry Bannigan, the CEO of Nolcha, said she was excited to see all the collaborations and existing partnerships that were already happening at this year’s show. More than four years ago, Bannigan noticed that a number of talented designers “didn’t have the business know-how and really needed support.” Bannigan put her business and communications background to good use, and Nolcha was born. However, even after years in the industry, Bannigan adds that she never ceases to learn new things in fashion’s fast-paced environment.

Later in the evening, the Nolcha crowd moved downtown to the dimly lit Dylans Prime at 62 Laight Street for the official after-party. Don Q Rum provided the open bar at the beginning of the night. With the DJ spinning well into the evening, everyone was able to enjoy themselves and reminisce about another successful, exciting and glamourous Nolcha Fashion Week.

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