The first image on luxury-brand social media manager Candace Marie Stewart’s website is of her clothed in all-white with cowrie shells threaded into her elaborately coiffed braids. There are a regal quality and quiet repose to the way she carries herself which complements her eclectic street-style. Her appearance is bold, striking, and dignified, which seems only natural for someone who has masterminded unique social media campaigns for the luxury department store Barney’s New York and Italian luxury brand Prada

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Models, draped beautifully with flowy fabric, stood still to the point that they appeared as statues and blended with the vibrant scenery. It felt like I had been transported to a whimsical garden, filled with flowers and greenery, and hazy smoke. The details spoke to me, from an ornately designed patterned coat to the floral accents placed on the models hands, and their dewey, dream-like makeup. To me this exhibition emulated gods and goddesses of the spring, with models lounging about and caressing their elegant tulle gowns. Art Meso managed to capture not only my attention, but also my imagination, allowing my sense of childlike wonder to resurface. 

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The 21st-century has seen an explosion of social justice and activism, from Black Lives Matter to the Me Too movement, and the fashion industry is no different. This energetic push for change has seen a shift in the fashion industry with designers and models making a stand for causes ranging from women’s rights, climate change, and racial discrimination, perhaps it should come as no surprise since fashion has often served as a vehicle of protest throughout history. 

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“I’m really a forever-kind-of-gal. If everybody’s going this way, I’m going to figure out how to go that way.” Isabel Toledo, a Cuban-American fashion designer and artist, told Vogue Magazine. Todelo’s work will be held in the utmost regard as a beacon of fine craftsmanship and inspiration. Toledo lives up to this title, having created beautiful fashion that will live on as her legacy. 

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