One of the most exciting Fashion events this summer stateside was the Essence Festival. A combination of music, film, lectures and art exhibitions, the whole weekend was a culmination and celebration of Black creative culture. The crew at Essence kicked off the party in the best way possible: with brand-new Essence Fashion House hosting a dinner in tandem with Gucci, highlighting their new Changemakers program. Many fashion insiders attended, toasting to “bringing people together from every continent,” as lead by co-host MoAna Luu, Essence’s Chief Content & Creative Officer. Of course, the looks at this super-exclusive event did not disappoint.
Luu herself wore a stunning skin-tight sparkly purple jumpsuit, topped off with a dramatic oversized printed jacket. Styled by Jason Rembert, the Gucci look was topped off with Versace shoes and a Black Sea NYC clutch.
A perfect match to MoAna Luu’s energy level (and look of the evening) was fashion fav June Ambrose. Never one to tone down the drama, June wore a shin-length blue Gucci dress, encrusted with jewels at the neckline met by orange stripes and puff sleeves. She kept the fun going with a similarly shiny head wrap, spikey pearl-and-gold Gucci stilettos, and a Grace Coddington for Louis Vuitton cat-shaped handbag.
Also notable looks were those worn by Michaela Angelad, Claire Sulmers and (of course) Dapper Dan. Activist and writer (and Gucci Change Makers Council member) Michaela Angelad looked striking in a floral one-piece jumpsuit by independent Harlem designer Johnnie Lewter. Sulmers, Editor-In-Chief of Fashion Bomb Daily, also sported a custom look, hers by Painted Swagg. The sleek yellow skirt-suit featured a cut out-top detail and asymmetric sleeve. Dapper Dan was very much at home, looking every bit the Gucci model in a gold brocade vest, worn over a short-sleeved white silk shirt. A key founder of the Gucci Changemakers program for diversity & inclusion, Dapper Dan maintained his signature sunglasses-on look, continuing to casually make fashion history.
All images courtesy of Essence