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Zulema Fashion Presentation
Rush Arts Gallery
526 West 26th Street
September 12, 2007

Written by Corey Ann Heydu
Photographed by Eli Ceballos


One of the most unique experiences of this year's Fashion Week was Project Runway contestant Zulema's show. Held in a small gallery space, Zulema's collection was presented as an art installation rather than a runway show. The models walks around a small, decorated space set up a like a stage. The "show" was simply watching the models live and exist in the clothes, and interact with one another. The twenty seven models of various ages and sizes were meant to represent Nigerian musician Fela's twenty seven wives. The space was said to be set up as a Nigerian party scene, but the end result a little awkward and claustrophobic. That being said, the idea itself was compelling and added a level of artistry that is to be commended. It can be hard to stand out during New York Fashion Week, but the construction of Zulema's show tried to make its mark as a true artist's vision rather than a marketing campaign or a beauty show. Zulema made it clear that she had something to say.

And, most importantly, the clothing was exuberant. Bright colors, mostly African inspired designs and unexpected choices filled the crowded space. The women looked alive and happy, and the clothes reflected their excitement. Most impressive were the dresses, which married femininity and boldness with a rare ease. Zulema, always a risk taker on Project Runway showed a strong vision and, with a few exceptions, an eye for beauty. Her clothes are not for everyone, but they have a point of view, and perhaps this is ultimately why she faced her demise on the popular reality show. Here's hoping the real world is easier on her.

Zulema Surrounded by her Models




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