Local designers offer great fashion for holiday wear

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015
VIDEO: Local designers offer great fashion for holiday wear
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Whether for your holiday dressing or your holiday shopping, we're helping you keep it local this season with all things made in Philly.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Whether for your holiday dressing or your holiday shopping, we're helping you keep it local this season with all things made in Philly.

A group of homegrown designers has joined forces to create what's called the "Philadelphia Fashion Alliance," where every stitch is handmade right here in Philadelphia.

At Jovan O'Connor's East Falls design studio she's busy creating things for the woman who loves to be the center of attention.

O'Connor says as a little girl growing up in West Philadelphia she was always dreaming up designs.

"Even at church on the bulletins I would be doing fashion shows all the time," she said.

Her big break came when she was a fashion student at Philadelphia University.

O'Conner tells us, "My first gown that I designed was for Patti Labelle."

She's all about eye-catching sequins and the marabou feathers.

"Perfect for gala season and cocktail events," she said.

Terese Brown grew up in Jamaica and says her colorful but cool and comfy line, Terese Sydonna, is for every multitasking woman.

She designs clothes that work for you, and are machine washable and wrinkle free. And for your holiday parties, her dresses work with you - nice and flowy!

Annina King's Granate Pret line is also a little dramatic, but a lot pragmatic.

Her holiday collection is all about adding a little artistry to your existing wardrobe.

King says, "I am creating a line of holiday pieces that fit over things you already have. Everyone has a little black dress." So she created a convertible shrug that can be worn many ways, and a black chiffon and leather drape.

They now have a pop up shop, the CoShare Pop Up Store, at 15th and Walnut streets where you can shop all of the fabulous Philly finds and meet the designers!

Northeast Philadelphia engineer turned handbag designer Sherrill Mosee knows that women lug around a lot of bags.

"I really wanted a bag to put in everything I needed for the day in one bag," she said.

Women sometimes carry two or three bags when they are working or traveling. And when you are a mom - forget about it.

So Mosee created one bag that does it all. Her line, MinkeeBlue, is all about the bag that multitasks.

There's hidden compartments everywhere - open a zipper and another bag pops out.

Out comes the lunchbox - leaving room for the heels. Underneath and up top - space for a laptop and the rest of your purse essentials.

"My wallet, my makeup, my shoes and all of that stuff - pocket for the phone," she added.

For Doylestown native Victoria Wright, each design is a conversation piece really - which is perfect for a holiday party when a woman wants to make a statement.

"She really views dressing as an art form and my collection is her canvas and the world is her runway," said Wright.

Born in Brazil, Drexel University alum Rebeca Imperiano was trained in architecture. Her clothing and accessories reflect that shape and sculpture.

"When someone puts it on and walks out there my idea is to explore the movement, the clothes start to have a life," said Imperiano.

This holiday season, Gabrielle Mandel's gifts give back. A portion of the proceeds from her Supra Endura line of printed scarves, tops and jewelry goes back to a local charity.

"So for every garment sold $2 goes back to the cause and I like to think these pieces are ways to tell their unique story," she said

Learn more about the Philadelphia Fashion Alliance at https://m.facebook.com/philadelphiafashionalliance/