I LOOK AT FASHION as a work of art and for me, designers are the ultimate artists. Ever since I was a young, I’ve drooled over the pages of VOGUE and soaked up editorial work. So when I meet a designer with true talent and a dope aesthetic point of view, I turn into a total fangirl. Watching someone create from an idea to a sketch to a produced garment completely fascinates me.
The pandemic certainly didn’t do much to help with live fashion events and the scene here hit a lull. The past year however we’ve seen a strong resurgence of the urge to dress up again and others craving places to go in which they can do so. Changes in retail are happening to provide more opportunities for independent artists to get their designs in the hands of consumers. And while Boston isn’t necessarily considered a hub for fashion, our colleges are filled with programs supporting the arts. The Runway Ball was dreamt up to give designers a high-profile platform to showcase their collections and make the overall fashion voice in Boston stronger, as a community.
Connecting with new designers over the past few months has been incredible for me and I’m truly blown away by the talent. Here is a peek into three of our featured designers, their inspiration and what you can expect from their collections:
ABOUT GRACIELA RIVAS
GRACIELA RIVAS LEVIN is an artist and fashion designer that combined her appreciation of art and love for fashion to launch the GRACIELA RIVAS Label in 2015.
She has been displayed at store-front windows at Macy’s Herald Square during New York Fashion Week and was selected as part of Saks’ emerging designer showcase in NYC. The brand has been part of Boston Design Week and has had fashion presentations at locations like the Museum of Fine Arts, the W and Mandarin hotels and fashion shows at Harvard University & Northeastern University.
The label had been chosen as one of the women’s businesses that represent “The Power of Women – The Future of Boston Fashion.” Graciela’s personal style has been recognized by publications like the Boston Globe, where she was selected as the Globe’s Most Stylish Bostonians.
Her mission is to make women feel empowered through fashion by creating designs for those that enjoy dressing up and celebrating their feminine side. For her upcoming collection, Graciela was inspired by the music and fashion celebrities that influenced 1980’s-1990’s high fashion glam. Inspiration was pulled from icons in this era like David Bowie to global supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Brooke Shields, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schieffer, Stephanie Seymour, and Naomi Campbell to fashion icons like Lady Diana.
ABOUT JACQUE LABEL
JAQUELINE MONES is a graduate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The Filipino fashion designer migrated to the US with her family in 2015 and it has always been her dream to design stemming from her curiosity around sewing.
The labels’ aesthetic is inspired by the vibe of pop music while mixing in sculptural and futuristic elements exploring 3D, 2D, and different textural applications. Her designs are those that can be rocked on stage or to totally steal the show at a special occasion.
JACQUE LABEL’S “melted breastplates” have been worn by the likes of influencers Julia Fox, Lele Pons and Hannah Stocking ensuring all eyes were on them in these daring tops. These made-to-order creations were dubbed the ‘best look of Coachella’ in 2023 and were shown at NYFW last year. You can expect her collection to add that splash of excitement and uniqueness that is signature to her designs.
ABOUT ZONYA CAMPBELL
ZONYA CAMPBELL is a full time social worker who made her runway debut in 2014. She started making jewelry at that time and would attend the local fairs with other artists. After signing up as a vendor for a local fashion show and attending, she became inspired to start creating her own garments.
Over the years Zonya has refined her technique and evolved her designs, but her main focus has been on formalwear and gowns. Her pieces are purposeful to give people a reason to get dressed up. And while she gains inspiration from platforms like Pinterest and social media, it’s often the fabrics that speaks to her which brings a vision alive for a specific dress.
Zonya will be opening her first boutique in Weymouth this year and she’s developing bridal offerings as well. As a designer for almost ten years now, her one piece of advice is to just keep going. In fashion you can rebrand or change directions, but if you stick with It and keep creating, you can find success.
The Runway Ball, an amazing night of fashion, will feature eight designers spanning from couture to ready-to-wear to streetwear on December 3rd from 6pm-10pm in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Plaza Boston.
Go to TheRunwayBall.com to reserve your tickets or email Amanda@waveandwove.com for more details.
Amanda Vargus spent her career in the music industry before pivoting into fashion. She excelled in the industry as a Luxury Manager with The RealReal, a high-end resale website, where she specialized in closet editing and was in charge of merchandise acquisition in the northeast. Now Amanda runs her own independent personal styling company, Wave +Woven, and consults with entrepreneurs, executives and elite professionals to create more exciting and functional wardrobes. Helping clients find their original and unique style through fashion is her passion.