Haiti a la Mode

caines | 8/2/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Simply the best: Haitian fashion features top designers

Jimmy Moise is bringing a new meaning to the phrase fashion statement. Moises show, Haiti a la Mode, recently made its annual appearance at Funksion Fashion Week at Miami Beach and brought the spirit of Haiti to the runway, according to Moise. Each show is meant to showcase that Haitians love fashion as well, he said. Its meant to mainstream the very best of the Haitian designers out there. Haiti comes to the runway This years show provided the same wow factor. A live performance from Michael Benjamin set the atmosphere for those coming to the stage. Also featured was designer Phelicia Dales who has received critical acclaim her for handbags. Dale gained substantial notoriety when she won world-renowned Dianne von Furstenbergs 2009 handbag competition. Since the competition, Dales bags have gained a reputation for showcasing ornate and culturally influenced patterns. To close things out, the show concluded in the spirit of Carnival. Extravagantly costumed models bounced down the catwalk much to the delight of the audience. The costumes were part of the wardrobe of the Haitian performance group Ti Chapo Masqueraders the winning band in the 2011 Broward and Miami One Carnival. It was a lively and vibrant show to watch, said Ciera Hill, 23, an up-and-coming fashion designer. While showcasing culture is one of Moises primary focuses, he said he always attempts to have featured designers viewed as designers first and and Haitian second. I want people to be able to say that is a nice design, he said. And then say oh the designer is Haitian, as well. So far it seems as if Moise is reaching his goal. I have been getting a great response about the show, he said. Everyone from the coordinators of the week to the audience tell me that they love the show. A long time supporter of the show, Daniel Oberti who serves as a sponsor for the show, sang nothing but praises about the production and Moises goal of showcasing the best that Haiti has to offer. I love the energy of the show, Oberti said. Its always beautiful to see. One coordinator of the week, Matt Heien, says that ever since he has collaborated with Moise for the week he has looked forward to seeing the show return each year. Its a great way to bring the Haitian culture to Miami and the fashion week, he said. By Julia SamuelsJsamuels@miamitimesonline.com