First, the darkened tent. 1000 anticipatory silences. Then, a drum pounds in the dark. A large screen beats out a 60 second teaser: what is ibu?
James joins the beat on his drum as the screen comes to life on stage, as Aretha works up to a rousing R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Shavonne sweeps onto the stage with all 6’4” of her gorgeousness plus a head wrap that wants to outdo the tent. Nineteen radiant, eruptive, dancing women follow, each drenched in the get-ups of the world.
A Miao crown, a Turkmen wedding cap, a Nigerian headwrap, a Rajasthani veil, a band of roses. The heads have it. Except for the feet, sizzling feet, laced in Brother Vellies. Not to mention the rest that went down that aisle: mirrored Indian dresses, long skirts from Ewe cloth, bustiers from Panamanian molas, corsets from South Sudan, a Story Skirt embroidered by women in Myanmar, a dress felted by women in Kyrgyzstan. And ruffles from the Mexican coast.
Jamie Buskey, our ibu seamstress who stitched every bit of this beauty emerges now from backstage with Marisa and me to take our bows, along with designer Aurora James of Brother Vellies, styling the amazing footwear.
The models lap the stage. Sly ramps up stand, Stand, STAND!!! and the audience jumps to their feet. The team beams. The night roars.
Adventures don’t end. They live in us and change us.
Here’s to rocking the change.
All the best -
Susan Hull Walker
ps. you can shop all of the runway looks here ~ happy hunting!