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‘3018’ fashion show caps 12th Annual Black New England Conference 0

DURHAM The Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire will host a Fashion Show on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. The fashion show, the first of its kind, is the final event of the 12th Annual Black New England Conference, a two-day event on Oct. 19 and 20.

The theme of this years conference is Express Yourself: Identity, Style and Adornment. The theme focuses on how style whether expressed through art, music, literature, performance, speech, or bodily adornment operates as a visible and tangible marker of identity and group affiliation.

Continuing the theme of style, the fashion Show is entitled 3018, a glimpse of Afrofuturistic styles in a story-like setting, said creator Terry Robinson. The fashion show will feature clothing from international designer and trendsetter Francis Hendy whose client list includes Missy Elliot, Wyclef Jean, Samuel L. Jackson, Britney Spears, Beyonc, Usher, and Snoop Dogg. Fashions by Emelyne Adios from Manchester, and New England based designers Olivia Amanda Oleko and Elisabeth Walu Osakanu will also be featured, as well as the work by student designer from Maine College of Art. Hair and makeup will be done by designer Kettia Fenestor and her team.

Fashion show creative director and co-organizer Terry Robinson is thrilled to bring his vision to the 2018 BNEC. I view this show as a moment in time, taking place far in the future. The whole show tells a story, that 200 years from now a group of African tribes travel into space and 800 years later they come back to the Earth to see where they originated from. I wanted to reflect the futuristic nation state of Wakanda (from the film Black Panther), which was culturally very important recently, and I blended that with my personal obsession with aliens and interplanetary contact to create the storyline for the show.

Terry Robinson is the Founder and Creative Director of House Of Testament, a streetwear brand focused on designing concepts that resonate with our African American demographic. He has recently begun Art Studies at the University of New Hampshire. He is an experienced public speaker and has won numerous awards, including a National Championship in Public Speaking from Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and, as a social activist, the MLK Commission of Florida Award and the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage award. Robinsons special interest in design and the arts has already led him to create opportunities for others to grow as creatives.

The clothing is curated from several top designers and what Robinson has personally designed. Clothing that has the touch of their ancient earth ancestry, tribal Africans, is combined with futuristic elements to create a uniquely Afrofuturistic style that reflects the storyline of the show. Besides clothing, the models will wear body paint and don tribal masks from Ghana to create the fusion of the past and the future.

Besides being the creator of the final event of the BNEC, Robinson is on a panel entitled, The Souls of Black Folks: Stepping Forward, Redrawing Boundaries. By deconstructing the past and present Afrocentric cultural style, panelists will explore the ways that various forms of artistic self-expression are innovating the fields while continuing to remain a distinct cultural phenomenon.

The fashion show ties in with this exploration of style and redrawing the boundaries for African Americans, particularly moving forward, said Robinson. What the models are wearing, what this story tells us, is expressing a forward-looking vision that is empowering to African Americans, inspiring and gives hope for the future. My aim with the fashion show is to promote the idea of Black excellence and this is my vision of what it will be in the future. I hope that people take away the idea of Black excellence.

I want people to come and experience this as the culmination of two days of delving into what self-expression means, said Robinson. It is really much more than a fashion show, it is a concept. It moves beyond fashion because it gives you hope and inspiration.

3018, the fashion show, will be a 20-minute event with models cast from the student body at UNH. It will take place at the Hamilton Smith Building at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. Admission to the fashion show is included with BNEC registration, and tickets to the show only are available for $10 per person through the online registration portal or at the door.

For more information or to register for the conference visit: http://blackheritagetrailnh.org/2018-black-new-england-conference/

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