On March 24th, fashion designer Crystal Woodard hosted the 2018 Mahogany Showcase. Models wore a variety of garments and formal wear created by her. The event includes a group of designers that call themselves Designers with a Cause. It was established by Dutch RicLamar to showcase Mahogany fashion trends.
2018 Mahogany Showcase
Designers with a Cause come together to unify designers in the area while raising awareness. At least one fashion show is held each month. In the shows, they display clothing that incorporates colors associated with the cause. In March, the dresses were orange to raise kidney health awareness.
At the 2018 Mahogany Showcase, some of he stylish gear worn by catwalk models included:
- Wedding dresses
- Prom gowns
- Lifestyle or special occasion pieces
Crissy Couture: Designers with a Cause
When it all started…
Crystal Woodard’s passion for creating clothes began way back when she was still a young girl. Her mother being an interior designer taught her how to sew. She would create dolls for herself and her dolls with any extra fabric she lay her hands on at the time.
Slowly, she started making her own clothing. Eventually, she started making clothing for her friends and family as well. She was in middle school when she made her first gown. It was a prom dress for her cousin. By the time her own senior prom came along, she not only made her own gown but also for her cousins and friends.
In 2002, she graduated from I.C Norcorn High School. She attended a nearby college and chose her major as Mass Communication. Woodard later left the program and moved to Atlanta. This she was advised to do by a friend in the fashion world.
In Atlanta, she established Legtalk Inc. This is a funky legging brand. She sold the leggings wholesale to boutiques. Woodard nonetheless continued to work on her formal wear. At this point in her life, she had a lot going on, but it did not stop her.
Woodard still had her legging brand to operate. She would constantly move from Atlanta to New York and back again and even had a son.
The Launch of Haus of Crissy Couture
The idea of turning her formal wear creations into a business finally came to her. This led to the establishment of the Haus of Crissy Couture.
Woodard moved back to Portsmouth to take care of a family member. Her family helped her look after her son. She began working her designs in a cramped space in her parents’ house. Eventually, she opened her showroom three years ago.
Her showroom is located above Mannino’s Italian Bistro in Olde Towne. She had help from her family in opening it. Unlike boutiques, people can actually watch her as she works. They get to see all the work from the designs to the fitting and adjustment. This is similar to what her clients see in New York.
This Portsmouth resident and native has 20 years of experience in the fashion industry. Both from her work in Atlanta and New York.
Her pieces were on display last month at the 2018 Mahogany showcase. The event linked patrons with makeup artists, hair stylists and other designers.
For Crissy Couture, prom season is her busiest. Mothers constantly email her begging her to fit their daughters into her schedule. She hoped the showcase would help provide her patrons the opportunity to purchase premade dresses directly from the model.
At the same time, it would expand the fashion scene in the Hampton Roads.