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Spencer Doll and Toy Museum hosts African American Fashion Show

Spencer Doll and Toy Museum

SPENCER — The Spencer Doll and Toy Museum held its first African American Fashion Show on Feb. 28. The event was sponsored by Karen Alexander (The Heritage Room) and El Patron Restaurant.

Thomasina Paige, Vincia Miller, of Livingstone College, and Maia Smith, of Maia’s Fashions, shared the role of the mistress of ceremonies.

To kick-start the fashion show, Thomasina shared with the crowd several styles of African women’s dress she learned about while visiting Africa. Through several demonstrations she tied a one-piece brightly colored African patterned fabric several different ways – including head coverings, dresses and skirts.

The models strutted down the runway to showcase a variety of fashion styles ranging from avant-garde and edgy to classic and couture-inspired. Sharing tradition through fashion was key for several of the models who proudly wore family inspired African outfits and dressy embroidered African styles with headpieces.

Barbara Mallet, mayor of East Spencer, and Francella Trueblood wore traditional African outfits which were made in Nigeria. Ada Hall-Stockton showed us how fashion is still a statement in church with wonderful hats and suits and Nakya Mayo wore a long dress from West Africa.

The youngest model, Miley Grace Matangira, age 3, wore a pretty contemporary silver dress as she held her mom’s hand down the runway. Her mother, Nicole, wore a traditional dress and headpiece from Zimbabwe, her husband’s home country.

Fashion designer Maia Smith dazzled the crowd with her multi-textured contemporary fashions modeled by A’Kira Thomas. She also wowed attendees with her own traditional custom robe and headdress from The Republic of Georgia, a country in Eurasia.

Before the fashion show concluded, Tonya Cross gave a quick demo on African fashionable head wraps.

The Spencer Doll and Toy Museum’s board of directors believe the success of Saturday’s fashion show was a unique and great opportunity for keeping a variety of cultures alive through the art of fashion, dolls and toys.

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