Asheville Fashion Week – Part 1

On Thursday night at the Altamont Theater in Asheville, NC dozens of people find their seats 4 and 5 rows deep surrounding a runway. The dim lighting and club mix beats filled the air with a palpable anticipation.

Modeling the Hattitude collection from McKinney Gough, Day 2 of AFW, courtesy of Asheville Fashion Week Facebook page

Over 100 models take to the runway, showcasing looks from local designers McFarland, McKinney Gough, Southern Charm/Charmed, Deirdre Blume, Tasha Lief, Runway Ready, Chapeaux by Simone, MG&B, and Diamond Outdoors.

Thursday’s most impressive surprise was the debut collection designed by a pair of local 16 year old girls, MG&B. Their designs are fun, colorful, and bold. A white knit dress with spoons on the front, a green chiffon ball skirt with a black bodice, and a fun mix-print crop top and skirt were crowd favorites (based on the amount of cheering).

On Friday night at the Millroom of Asheville Brewing, The crowd was larger, the runway staggered in a Z shape, and the lights were pulsating color-changing orbs. Collections shown included Sacred Garden by Anna Gordon, Tricia Ellis, a reprisal of Diamond Outdoors and Deirdre Blume, KatDog Couture, Legends of Hollywood retail, Wildflower Bridal with accessories from Uber Kio and Hatchett Creative Group, and Xen by Rachele swimwear.

Models for Xen by Rachele after the show, courtesy of AFW Facebook page

Friday’s presentation was phenomenal. From casual date night looks by Diamond Outdoors to opera-worthy ensembles by KatDog Kouture, to fairy-tale wedding inspirations by Wildflower Bridal, there was something for everyone on the runway.

What these two incredible nights showcased wasn’t just fashion: it was the creative soul of Asheville. Produced by Gage Models and Talent Agency, which created Chattanooga and Knoxville fashion weeks, the models of Asheville were guaranteed a spot on the runway. These were real men and women of real proportions from petite to traditional model to plus size wearing real clothes from local and talented designers.

This afternoon begins the last day for Asheville Fashion Week with the children’s collections, and tonight is the Grand Finale at the Renaissance Hotel.

Author’s Note: I am honored to bear witness to these historic event. I am blessed to have found my path as a fashion journalist in the same time as the blossoming of Asheville’s Fashion community. Special thanks to model and stylist extraordinaire Sarah Merrell for making Asheville Fashion Week a reality.

Advertisements

Impressions: Overrated or Careermakers?

I’m in need of some advice. I accidentally impressed my boss today, which I know is a good thing, I just don’t know how to proceed.

So, today my DJ air shift was cut short due to a special sports program. I knew I needed to stick around for the high school football game because the new board operator screwed up last week and I’m supposed to make sure he doesn’t this week. If he knows what he’s doing, I can leave. If not, I’m supposed to call my supervisor and, I’m assuming, take over.

So to stave off boredom for the remainder of my time on the clock, I decided to look for things to do. I updated the station website, double checked the online ads for currency and consistency, recorded three commercials, and then went to ask the boss if he had anything for me.

He was surprised and impressed by this. He proceeds to tell me we have a new client who just signed up for a commercial package today. He writes a rough script and hands me the client information. I go into the production room and in less than 15 minutes, the vocal track is laid, edited, and precisely 30 seconds. What does he do?

He calls the client for approval! Which we got.

So my dilemma, if you will, is this: do I maintain this level of productivity which was purely an effort at staving off boredom? Or do I try to slow down for the preservation of my coworkers?

Best Interview Ever!

I know it’s been a while, but I promise to try and stay regular! I had my first job interview this week at WRGC radio station in Sylva, NC. I’m excited, because it really looks like they need my skills and all the help they can get. It’ll be good to get back on the air.

I guess its strange to some people, but being on the radio in the studio, just you and the mic and the music is a very freeing experience. You can’t help but be who you are, and the listeners eat it up! The best radio personalities are true to themselves, and that is the beauty of radio.

At one point, I’d forgotten why I went into radio in the first place. That interview, not even getting in the studio myself, just seeing it, reminded me of the freedom of the air waves. I’m beginning to think that maybe I was born for radio. I’ve been listening my whole life, and creating part of it for about half my life. Feels so strange to say that.

At the same time, I’m working my applications to graduate school. I plan on pursuing a degree of MA in Creative Writing. I’m currently in the middle of a massive edit/expansion to a piece I originally wrote four years ago: The Black Castle. My dream school for this is UNC-Charlotte so wish me luck!

I leave you with this, the latest piece from my photography: Image

This piece is exclusively mine, taken the morning of July 19, 2012 at Clingman’s Dome in Tennessee.

An Ancient Cure for Arthritis?

Jopai Weed or Queen of the Meadow

Use the roots of this plant to create a tea to treat arthritis and rheumatism. Photo credit: Vick, Albert F.W. at wildflower.org

In the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, the homeland of the Cherokee, lie the secrets to ancient medicine. There was a time, according to legend, when there existed no sickness. The animals were tired of being hunted, and vowed for each animal that was killed, a disease would be released. The plants heard of this, and being friendly to humans, vowed that for each disease, a plant would offer a cure. And so until European contact, the Cherokee had a cure for every ailment.

When his grandfather hunted deer, Davy Arch recalls, he would pray to the entity “Little Deer” in song. He would then watch and wait. While the rest of the group would move, one deer would behave differently either by hanging back or facing a different direction. He would make the kill, and again pray through song for forgiveness of what he had done. The intestines were removed, the game then taken to the river and cleansed before the hide was ever cut: this elaborate ritual done so that a family might eat and survive. If the entity is not appeased before the journey begins, the meat will poison those who partake with rheumatism and arthritis.

To cure rheumatism and arthritis, a plant known as Queen of the Meadow or Jopai Weed offered a cure. Use the roots to create a tea. The tea’s medicinal properties are that of a blood cleanser. Cleanse the blood, the blood cleanses the body, removing chemical build up near the joints and along the bones. Science, of course, backs this knowledge, but in ancient times, it was simply logical.

To gather the plant for medicinal purpose, pass peacefully by the first six growths. If found in a patch, watch and wait with quiet purpose. One will offer itself by facing a different direction, stirring a leaf, etc. Leave a white bead in its place as an offering of peace, thanks, and forgiveness.

Davy Arch is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and may be contacted at the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, NC where he works as the Education Manager. Other sources include personal experience and history,  Mooney’s Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and the Ethnology of American Indian by Professor Charles O. Noble, Ph.D. published in 1973.

Celebrating 98 Years Alive!

My great -aunt Sally Bradley just celebrated 98 years! I took some photos of her celebration at her home in Cherokee. She is my mother’s father’s sister. I realized a few things as I was taking these photos and taking part: 1) I need to spend more time with the elders in my family 2) I need a lot more practice with my camera 3)It is vital to make time for the little things in life 4)If she is still healthy, driving, and walking on her own then there is no reason for me to be unhealthy.

So I have renewed energy in my workout/health plan for myself. There is absolutely no reason for me to get seriously, medically ill after seeing her so full of life!

Caretaking

Wind Song’s Last Topic

Stefani and I talked about the importance of caretaking in almost every aspect of our modern lives. Native traditions across the country find it important to care for the environment, the animals, yourself, your village, and your family. So we challenged you, the listener, to do something to better someone’s life in some way.

What I’ve Done

I started my internship with clearchannel radio this week. I’m not sure what I expected, but organizing freebies from previous remotes was not it. Neither, really, was adding concerts to the site calendars. But I did it, and it actually did make a difference to the actually employed. Staying organized and reaching the audience was important.

Why does it Matter?

If we expect people to help us, we have to help others. Volunteering, interning, talking, listening. Being there. It makes a massive difference to the lives we interact with. So I once again charge you to do what you can to better a life.