On Saturday, September 30, 2023, two local fashion designers, Neville Wisdom and Duss Wayne, presented their latest collections in a runway show on Broadway Avenue in downtown New Haven. The show was the first in four years for the duo, who have a studio at 27 Broadway. The event attracted hundreds of spectators, who enjoyed the music, the models, and the unique designs.
Wisdom and Wayne are both self-taught designers who have been creating clothes for over a decade. Wisdom is known for his elegant and versatile pieces that can be worn for different occasions and seasons. Wayne is known for his streetwear-inspired style that incorporates sustainability and innovation. Together, they offer a diverse range of fashion options for their customers.
The show featured 40 outfits, 20 from each designer, that showcased their creativity and vision. Wisdom’s collection included dresses, skirts, jackets, and jumpsuits in vibrant colors and patterns. Wayne’s collection included denim, leather, silk, and wool pieces in mostly dark and neutral tones. The models wore accessories such as hats, sunglasses, jewelry, and shoes that complemented the outfits.
The show was a celebration of the designers’ resilience and growth amid the pandemic
The show was not only a display of fashion, but also a celebration of the designers’ resilience and growth amid the pandemic. Both Wisdom and Wayne faced challenges during the lockdowns and restrictions that affected their business and their creativity. They had to adapt to the changing needs and preferences of their customers, as well as to the limited availability of materials and supplies.
However, they also used the time to reflect on their goals and values as designers. They focused on improving their skills, experimenting with new ideas, and collaborating with each other. They also supported their community by donating masks and other items to local organizations and individuals in need.
The show was a way of thanking their loyal customers and fans for their support and encouragement during the difficult times. It was also a way of introducing their new collections to potential buyers and partners. The show was sponsored by several local businesses and organizations, such as Yale University Properties, The Shops at Yale, New Haven Arts Council, New Haven Fashion Week, and others.
The show received positive feedback from the attendees and the media
The show received positive feedback from the attendees and the media, who praised the designers for their talent and originality. Many people expressed their admiration for the designs and their interest in purchasing them. Some also commented on the diversity and inclusivity of the show, which featured models of different ages, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds.
One of the attendees was Syd Bell, a fellow designer who recently debuted at New York Fashion Week. She said she was impressed by the quality and variety of the designs, as well as by the energy and atmosphere of the show. She said she was proud to see New Haven’s fashion scene thriving and growing.
Another attendee was Kristen Kim ’25, a Yale student who wrote an article about the show for Yale Daily News. She said she enjoyed the show because it demonstrated a fresh and unique concept. However, she also said she wished there was more context and explanation behind the designs, as she felt that fashion shows are a form of presentation that require some verbal communication.