Summary: The Ports 1961 show was a highly anticipated,
star-studded event that featured Alex Wek and Liya Kebede walking, and Sarah
Michelle Geller and Ivanka Trump sitting front row. The theme was “safari” and
designer Tia Cibani truly led a cultural journey, inspired by the 20th
century in East Africa. Her muse was Siti
Brinti Saad, a peasant woman who changed history and ushered in major developments
in African political life by singing in Swahili, and thus connecting to the
ordinary people. Like Saad, the Ports collection was a tribute to strength,
beauty and creativity.
Color Palette: Rich and earthy tusk, graphite, tanzanite,
mud, peridot, russet and peaberry.
Textures & Details: A diverse mix of mud cloth, tie dye,
gingham, poplin contrasted with gold matellase and polished silk with a humid
sheen. Lace, burlap, linen, jersey and lame. Effects included rolling,
wrapping, twisting and folding.
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The accessories were organically grandeur: horsehair
necklaces and bangles, brocade and raffia hats, burlap clutches, wood baskets,
horn choker necklace, muslin shrugs, taffeta brooches, and of course, the
priestly kanga head wraps and brocade turbans.
Key Looks: Where to start? For one, there was the finale
stunner with Alex Wek marching to the sound of uplifting African music in a
gazelle silk charmeuse dress with brocade turban. Another favorite was the
gazelle charmeuse dress with brocade jacket, burlap belt and horsehair
necklace. And again, Wek in a kucha silk ombre dress with knotted sleeves and a
horsehair piped linen purse.