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New Hampshire- On the Road to Fashion by Lindsey Alston

Manchester, New Hampshire - Designers who have walked in New York and Paris fashion week showcased collections from their lines making the final night of the New Hampshire Fashion Weekend ending with a bang.

One of the designers not only showcased his collection, but also his dance moves ending in a split on the runway. Earl Battle is the designer for the line Battle Designs. His collection was featured on the runway not only during opening night, but also the second night of fashion weekend. Three collections were put together, and showcased this past weekend. His inspiration came from fruit and chocolate, an Italian painting from the 18th century and the theme tough but classy. One of the items that caught my eye was a long, leather cape. This the tough, but classy collection, and was tastefully showcased.

Rimma Zaika the designer of Wearable Arts collection creates one of a kind hand made contemporary knitwear. Her inspiration comes from the techniques used back in Russia. "The colors in the collection are very colorful, and come from what people wore when I was young. I'm sick of seeing black everywhere," says Zaika. When first starting, Zaika worked with crochet elements, and now shes transforming into lace. Her designs are full of history, festive, vibrant and are overall uniquely alive.

My favorite designer of the night was the collection from Likoba. Models walked the runway with clean, crisp and chic jumpsuits.The designers inspiration comes from growing up in France, and always watching her mother dressing with sophistication. Likoba specializes in jumpsuits. "Jumpsuits are simple. When you wake up you'll find pants and not know what shirt to pair with it. With a jumpsuit it's easy. You don't have to waste time," says Likoba. Jumpsuits make women look very sophisticated, tall and confident. No matter what you are dressing for you can put a jumpsuit on, and fit every category. "I want to perfect it, and be known as the go to for jumpsuit designers," says Likoba.

Another designer to hit the runway was Marie Luce, Maria Lucce Designs. Luce's passion has always been to make little girls feel like princesses. All of the dresses are designed with quality fabrics, laces, embroideries, beading and trim with an artistic style and attention to detail. Marie Luce focuses on designing for ladies 2-14. During the New Hampshire fashion weekend her collection was featured on the runway with sophisticated dresses for any major event.

With New Hampshire fashion weekend come and now gone I would say it was a success. Although mentioning a few, all of the designers joined together to celebrate fashion. This was a first for the New Hampshire Fashion Weekend, but New Hampshire is on the road to fashion.


Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: NH gets its own Fashion Week

By KATIE McQUAID


Organizers of the first-ever New Hampshire Fashion Weekend promise a New York-style runway with real couture designs.
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“It won’t be farmer jeans,” said Cynthia Hudson, the event’s lead organizer.
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The two-day event — April 2 and 3 at The Radisson — will feature 22 designers, 80 models and 17 performers. Fashions for women, men and children will be shown, as well as jewelry and other accessories. Several designers live in New Hampshire, including Seema Khalil of Londonderry and Marie Luce of Litchfield.
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Khalil’s line, called Chic Dock, is inspired by India, where she grew up. Although she has no formal training, during trips back to India she would design her own fashions from fabric embroidered at a shop owned by her mother. When she wore the pieces back here in the United States, everyone would ask her where she got them. Friends eventually encouraged her to start her own line.
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Today Khalil designs her own embroidery, clothing, and hand-woven scarves, and has them made in India at a workshop of her own. Chic Dock’s first collection will be shown for the first time during New Hampshire Fashion Weekend. It will be available for sale in late April on ChicDock.com.
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Khalil, who is navigating the difficult fashion industry while running a home and raising twin 10-year-old girls, said she desperately wants to grow her business so she can help the women in India who make her clothing.
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“I pay 5 percent to my workers because they are very poor and it’s not an easy life,” she said, saying she has started helping some get their first toilets in their homes. “I have so many plans for them, but my business has to come first.”
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New Hampshire Fashion Weekend is a dream come true for Litchfield designer Marie Luce, who will use it to debut her “sophisticated luxury collection for girls” under the label Maria Lucce.
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Luce, 56, was taught to sew by her grandmother at the age of 5, and began designing wedding and other formal wear in 1986. She tried numerous times to open her own shop, but the single mother of four always hit roadblocks. Now that all the children are out of her house, she feels she can really focus on her dream.
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“There’s nothing stopping me from doing this,” she said. She has invited many Massachusetts and New Hampshire boutique owners to the show, and is excited to show what she can do. “Maybe this will be the time.”
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Show organizer Hudson, who lives in Hudson, said she is a 27-year veteran of the fashion industry, and figured if other New England states have a fashion week, “why can’t we?”
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Other designers in the show come from across New England and the United States, and one is from Paris. The weekend begins with a VIP cocktail party in the lounge area adjacent to the Radisson’s front lobby on Saturday, April 2, from 6 to 7 p.m. The runway shows and live performances will follow inside the Armory until 11 p.m. Sunday’s shows run from noon to 4 p.m.
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All attendees who pre-register and bring an unexpired, non-perishable food item to donate to End 68 Days of Hunger, will get a swag bag that Hudson values at $300 to $500. A portion of the show’s proceeds will go to Steven Tyler’s Janie’s Fund for abused and neglected girls.
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