BET’s “Rip The Runway,” a fashion-meets-music extravaganza, started off with a bang as celebrities ripped the red carpet on February, 27, 2013 at the Manhattan Center Hammerstein Ballroom.
Kelly Rowland, Boris Kodjoe, Jada Pinket Smith, Omarion, Meek Mill, Bria Murphy, Karrueche Tran and Teyana Taylor were among the paparazzi favorites. Making it a family affair, celeb siblings Jaden & Willow Smith, and sibling of celebs, Cole Cook (Alicia Key’s brother & Swizz Beatz brother in law) also posed for the camera.
Off camera, comfortably ensconced in the VIP balcony was BET’s CEO Debra Lee, “Basketball Wives” Jennifer Williams and Blogger/Designer Ismail “Calligrafist” Sayeed.
With six wardrobe changes (not including her black Grecian red carpet gown) the event’s host, Kelly Rowland, was the undisputed star of the show.
Rowland’s outfits, much like her music, crossed many genres including; Sophisticated – gold floor length evening gown, Hood – white lace bra like top with matching knee length skirt and oversized Jesus piece, Rocker – red, white and blue beaded, long sleeve mini dress, Bohemian – beige Mongolian fur jacket over a sheer, thigh length top, Fierce– face printed white top with rolled sleeves and a side sash atop high waisted gold and black shimmering shorts and last and least, Confusing – white tie neck dress with clavicle to diaphragm cutouts and hip high slit, topped off with a large, black floppy hat.
Some wondered what the “Motivation” was for Kelly Rowland donning the same face obscuring hat that she wore for her 2011 BET Awards performance. Fortunately, Rowland cast aside the shade and lit the runway up when she went from hosting to modeling in a runway walk off against Boris Kodjoe; which she handedly won.
Not to be outdone, Boris Kodjoe pulled a hat trick of his own co-hosting, modeling and debuting his clothing line, ALFA. With suits starting at $220 ALFA is for those who want bespoke but refuse to go broke in their quest for couture. Via web based interactive 3D technology, ALFA offers custom tailoring to men and women with a few clicks of a button. The ALFA looks presented were clean and classic and would easily serve as staples in a young professional’s wardrobe.
Jaden Smith, actor, rapper and son of Will and Jada Smith, performed in an outfit from his clothing line, MSFTS, which also debuted on the runway that night. Willow Smith, closed the show modeling a grey and white striped blazer over a white MSFTS logo’d tee and blue pant. The MSFTS line featured an on trend black and white colorway with contrast graphics.
Interestingly, most of the MSFTS models faces were covered with underoos-meets-Jason-face-masks that would be challenging for the mature consumer to pull off. However, the irreverent in your face attitude of the line, especially the logo mimicking face gear, will likely score big with Generation Z t(w)eenagers and counter culture/skateboarding 20 something year olds.
Trinidad James spat bars from his hit “All Gold Everything” surrounded by gold bullion bars and screaming fans. James’ outfit, thankfully, was not all gold but an eclectic, red and white melange. With a Jimi Hendricks fro and red bandana, James rocked a red leather motorcycle jacket, red cowboy belt, white jeans and red & white striped loafers with studded tips. The look was finished off with his (and Mr. T’s) signature cornucopia of gold neck chains and rings.
Rick Ross performed in frontrow red leather jogging pants alongside Maybach Music Group member Meek Mill who wore a yellow jacket and black pants. The rapping duo heated up the stage with performances and colorways that matched the fiery, Dante’s inferno inspired backdrops that ringed the stage.
Omarion slithered across the stage with smooth sounds and dance moves wrapped in a black leather and reptilian ensemble. Sevyn Streeter sang her single “I Like It,” while wearing street ready grayscale crop top and pants. Luke James sat back and sang in laid back monochrome black and the Watch the Duck crew brought some humor to the stage when they performed with sweat shorts over leggings with suspenders.
The musical performers shared the stage with bloggers turned presenters Dapper Lou and Willy Green.
Among many memorable fashion moments were several comic inspired looks including some Boondocks Gangstalicious like gear and Flash Gordon Princess Aura style headdresses.
On the topic of comic genius, Bria Murphy, daughter of comedian Eddie Murphy and model Nicole Murphy, took to the runway wearing a sheer, beige dress over a Beyonce ready bodysuit with a strut and face that was no laughing matter.
Finally, the fan’s favorite fashion segment did not fail to deliver with looks for the fuller sized woman. Seven of the 10 looks were designed by Shanda Freeman, PLUS Model Magazine’s Empowerment Editor and Star of MTV’s “ Man and Wife TV.” Freeman’s Oceana Spring 2013 collection featured rose gold and white dresses that could be worn from the Oscar’s red carpet to Diddy’s White Party. Christina Mendez opened the curvy girl segment with an ankle length white wrap dress dress followed by Chasity Saunders modeling a leg flattering pale blue dress. However, it was the “Constance” white fringed gown that brought the crowd to its feet.
Shanda Freeman’s clothes can be purchased on www.shandafreeman.com.
See all of the fashion and performances when BET’s “Rip The Runway” airs on March 20, 2013.