NYFW SS 2018 – Fashion Sizzle Turns Up the Heat

Fashion Sizzle needs to do one of three things: (1) reduce the number of designers and therefore the overall length of production to be about half; (2) divide the presentation into multiple smaller presentations over the course of the day or the weekend or (3) reduce the size of the venue to allow for a more comfortable showcase. Any of these three elements and ideally a combination of these three elements would vastly improve the production quality of the show. That said, there was a marked difference in the quality from the first year to the second in just designer selection and curation alone. Fashion Sizzle has always been about creating a spotlight for smaller / emerging designers, especially from the Caribbean (and now Asia), in an industry dominated by household American and European names. They are making bold strides to the furthering that aim, however are broadly missing the mark in distinguishing production a la other platforms for emerging designers such as Nolcha Shows and Made Fashion Week.

To be fair, if Fashion Sizzle had taken any portion of its nearly four hour presentation and boiled it down into a 35 – 45 minute show, it would have been extremely well received. We did arrive a little late for the presentation, which was set to begin at 7:30PM. However, from what we were able to see, their team had done a good job of improving the designer curation. The one caveat was saving Fashion Sizzle Boutique for last, as it was definitely highly similar to a previous few collections and would have been better served setup in display cases around the venue. It lacked the panache of the more stylized designer collections.

Outfits from Chelsea Ma's SS18 Collection at Fashion Sizzle

Chelsea Ma, winner of Project Runway Junior Season 2 definitely felt like the anchor of the collections. Image Credit: Tekk Photo

Headlining the presentation, in our opinion, was designer Chelsea Ma, winner on the second season of Project Runway Junior and equally worth all the hype in terms of presentation of her women’s ready to wear. The young FIDM student has definitely received some West Coast media love and it’s clear to see why. While a definite departure from Fashion Sizzle’s more Caribbean selections, this year was one of more global cuisines. La Pel du Vie, Chelsea’s SS18 collection was meant to showcase the unknown or unexpected, but more abstractly the future. Her confidence and persona definitely leads to that concept and as she grows out of the Project Runway Junior shadow, Chelsea Ma should definitely become a designer worth watching.

Other strong newcomers that definitely improved Fashion Sizzle’s presentation included Melyssa Nycole Couture, Par Le Patreq, Refi by Khelsea Al-Arefi, Foreign Labur and quite a few others. Chelsea Ma and Khelsea Al-Arefi particularly stand out as designers with full fledged collections, while many of the others are essentially made to order or custom couturiers.


Khelsea Al-Arefi collection felt simultaneously complete and incomplete with varied pieces ranging from coverups to swim to ready to wear. Image Credit: Tekk Photo

Foriegn Labur Cheetah Jacket at Fashion Sizzle SS18

Foreign Labur literally defined see now, buy now with jackets that could have been worn straight of the runway to the next high fashion event. Image Credit: J Swift Photos


Melyssa Necole Couture had the feel of a much more mature collection, with eveningwear both sexy and sophisticated as well as a few outerwear / jacket pieces. Image Credit: Tekk Photo

Returnees from the previous year included Yard Rock, who also showed a more diverse and stronger presentation than the year prior, Par Le Patreq with a strong womenswear collection and Hawwaa Ibrahim, whose colorful garments were equally as approachable this year as the last.


Par Patreq seemed to be challenging the mysterious and exotic aura of Ancient Egypt in a far more diverse collection than the previous year.


Yard Rock has been a staple of Fashion Sizzle and for good reason. The mixture of youth and commercial creativity energizes the production. Image Credit: Tekk Photo

One thing that also returns is a high quality model selection, part due to street castings and part due to Metropolitan Couture Media Group’s modeling arm.With casting on par with large productions seen at Washington Square and Pier 59, a strong contingent of lithe figures helped bring each collection to life.

All in all, Fashion Sizzle definitely turned up the heat this year, but a stronger showing would definitely be possible in a smaller more intimate venue and far shorter presentation. As fashion shows have continuously evolved into experiential activations for the production’s sponsors and partners, Fashion Sizzle continues to remain a stalwart focused on the clothing. For better or for worse, that aspect may need to change slightly for the next course.

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