At Naeem Khan's show last year, I was asked by a photographer (after he snapped a million pictures of her) to identify the stunning, wealthy black woman sitting in a prime front row seat: Pauletta Washington. I can only imagine how confused he would have been at b michael's show at The Plaza Hotel last week. Sure, he may have recognized Ashford & Simpson in the first row and maybe even former New York First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson or former Essence Editor-in-Chief Susan Taylor. But I am guessing that women like Pamela Joyner, Brie and Alicia Bythewood and even the legendary R&B singer Melba Moore would have made his head spin.
Friends and clients of b michael, who has dressed Angela Bassett, Lynn Whitfield, Susan Fales-Hill and Beyoncé Knowles, packed The Edwardian Room at The Plaza to admire his collection of cocktail dresses, ballgowns and suits in wool, silk, tulle and satin, all of which reflected the lady-like elegance we've come to expect from the designer. The highlight of the show was legendary actress Cicely Tyson appearing on the runway to cheers from the crowd - many of whom were wondering why she wasn't in her regular seat! You may or may not be able to tell from the picture, but I think she was as thrilled to be on the runway as we were to see her there - absolutely glowing.
A few of the looks from the show (above).
One Shoulder Dress: deep emerald/citron silk/wool
Ice Lace Ball Gown: silver embroidered tulle overlay dove peau de soie
*All photos by Dan & Corina Lecca.