My name is Kim Strathman and I am a public relations student at the University of South Florida.
Kalon Imaging took on the Cocktails X Couture on Saturday, January 17. It took place in Ybor City, and we were met with the best designers, models, and performers in the Tampa community. It was my first time at a fashion show, and it was an unforgettable experience. The show was split up into a couple different acts, and in each act there were a performers and then several fashion lines were modeled.
We started off at Tribeca ColorSalon down the street from the Ritz, where the show was taking place. Local hair stylists and makeup artists came together with local models to create flawless looks. Kalon loves the aspect of community that this show brought together, especially with all of the local designers and performers at the show. The Tampa community brought together some of our brightest artists when we take the time to collaborate.
At show time, Kalon took to the balcony for an aerial view of the show. Anye Cole was one of the first performers. We were blown away by her incredible voice. Dancing performers included the Avant Guardian, a theatrical group that performed a small interpretive dance piece called Much Ado; the Sting Dance Team; MACAViTi; VYB Dance Co.; and Bella Danza. Other musical performers included Christopher Knolton, Gianna Love & the House of Love feat. Haus of Blackbird; and Elias Theroux, who mixed music all night for the runway portion of the evening.
Ybor pulled out all the stops and had the best models in the area here to show off these amazing designs. With eight unique designers, and easily a hundred models or more, there was so much to look at. Black & Denim Apparel Company, Dolce Creative, Dollface, GoBearr, House of Hollywood, La France, Madel Fashion, and Solimar Collection were the lines present, and I loved every piece. Kevin Murphy and Square 1, two of the sponsors, helped bring together an inspiring show with as many designers present as was possible.
But perhaps my favorite part of the show was a performance, and not one of the specific fashion lines. A small group of performers came on stage and held up signs the audience could not read, and one at a time they turned their signs around. Their signs said “I am oppressed by…” and then said something specific to each person. It was incredibly brave of those performers to reveal their inner struggles.
My experience in Ybor was something that I’ll carry with me as I try to live above having to choose between inner and outer beauty. I choose to have both, every time.