Black Style Today, Our Style Tomorrow

Last weekend the Museum of the City of New York opened a new exhibition titled "Black Style Now." An encyclopedic view of black fashion in NYC from the beginning of the 1900s to today, the exhibition focuses most heavily on the role of hip-hop in the last 15 years. I had visited the exhibition with the purpose of writing a review, but then I stumbled across Robin Givhan's article about it in the Washington Post. Honestly, I know that her article does the topic more justice than mere paragraphs here would. Instead, I would like to talk a little about a designer who had a piece exhibited in the show, Natalia Allen. Her dress was a classic halter-style wrap dress in the most pleasing color of sea-foam green. It turns out this color refers to the actual composition of the fabric itself - a mix of algae and cellulose. The hi-tech jersey releases nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin E onto the wearer's skin.

Natalia Allen's focus on fashion is definitely innovative. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, she won their Designer of the Year in 2004. She now has her own company, and also works as a consultant to many big-name designers about the emerging field of technological fashion. I had the pleasure of meeting Natalia earlier this month at (appropriately enough) a wearable technology fashion show. In my opinion, she is one of the most exciting designers out there today. Her enthusiasm for forward-thinking fashion is evident when talking to her. She is constantly seeking ways to expand the capabilities of fashion's most basic element, fabric. Even more, her work with large fashion companies promises to help unite the realms of fashion and technology in new and viable ways.

“Black Style Now”
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd St)
NY, NY 10029

Natalia Allen

Sarah Scaturro