THE FIRST ANNUAL HAVANA NIGHTS
If there's one word that comes to mind when describing the direction of Sacramento's creative art scene, it would be progression. This spans from the Wide Open Walls art explosion to the growing music scene bringing big name artists to our growing city. But the other facet we're proud to be gaining much earned notoriety for is the fashion scene.
All year long DMR Productions in collaboration with Sacramento Fashion Week has been striving to showcase the growing fashion industry breaking into our humble farm to fork Capital city. The most recent event being a culmination of fashion, music, art, and culture, an equation that would make any Sacramentan proud to be part of this growing city. Havana Nights is the exclusive event being referred to.
There’s a universal appeal to 1950’s Havana lifestyle that was prevalent in Cuba at the time. The classy old school cars, the music drenched in cultural feels, the uniquely exotic foods, and the fashion specific to the region all command attention center stage creating a perfect culmination to represent Havana Nights. Whether the gathering is to raise money for the cause (L is for Lupus) or simply to raise the roof, this Havana Nights themed party was the perfect experience for guests to celebrate the culture while reveling in the fashion displayed from local designers. The only thing missing from this year's Havana Nights event was a blackjack table, which is already in the works for next year's event. That's right, the organizers are already planning for 2020 and are adding so much more to the itinerary.
To recap on the event for those who didn't make it out, the day started with a free exotic car show in the parking lot of the Chalet Event Center in Rocklin, California. Vendors included Casillas Cigars, who rolled authentic Cuban cigars, as well as Maui Wowi providing a welcomed variety of smoothies. The weather was hot, but the Havana inspired style on display from everyone in attendance was hotter.
By 4:00 PM the doors opened for the main event right as the models took their last rehearsal walks in preparation for the evening's fashion show. Live musicians for this year's events included 95MIL and El Jamexican who graced the stage and premiered their latest music for the attendees, with tunes spun from DJ Elizabeth from Behind the Scenes Sounds. 95MIL was the first performer of night. Singing the first of two songs which were a unique fusion of Latin and hip hop. The latter of the two was sung mid-way through the night with the support of two backup dancers from BiqMoves, a local entertainment company headed by Bryanna Quinonez. El Jamexican was the second performer who provided the captive audience with a unique fusion of Latin and Jamaican beats along with special guest Issa Simone. Their collaborative performance created a Caribbean vibe that got everyone swaying.
“I wanted to present a little of everything for the first event and see what worked best. Honestly, I think it all worked, and moving forward there is definitely room for more.” Duane Ram, executive producer, stated. Mr. Ram is the CEO and founder of DMR Productions and also heads up Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW). SACFW will be going into its 15th annual production in 2020. For Havana Nights he wanted to collaborate with high end collections by recognized designers and stylists such as Maya Leon, D’Amante Bridal, Tyniece Hall with Swagger House of Art & Fashion, Tuxedo Den & Autumn Psalm - all presenting their rendition on Latin-themed fashion collections.
The first designer, Maya Leon, presented a collection she first premiered at Sacramento Fashion Week this past February (2019). A colorful mix of bright colors and whimsical styles, she never fails to light up the runway.
Tyniece Hall brought out a diverse genre of glam rock, sexy pop culture, and edgy urban streetwear with a mix of textiles and textures. Her Swagger House of Art & Fashion brand is mostly sold online, but the fact that she only graces the runway with a few shows a year made this an exclusive experience for all in attendance.
A brand new designer to the production was Autumn Psalm. Her niche style revolves around creating special occasion fashion wear typically geared toward children. This was her first women's collection, and we hope to see much more in this genre. Relatable and wearable, everyone enjoying the show could see the quality of her work and wearability of her designs.
Jonathan Rodriquez also brought out a new collection of mens attire especially for the event. He re-imaged his Tuxedo Den stores and has infused a variety of other options then just the regular tux to the inhouse catalog.
Closing the night D’Amante Bridal previewed their alluringly sexy Bridal Lingerie collections for the very first time. It was a labor of love by the mother-daughter duo who also premiered their enchanting Bridal collection at the 2019 SACFW showcase at Sacramento's exclusive Library Galleria venue. Always focusing on being able to come to the bride and customize any nuptial endeavors, they strongly feel for the everyday bride. “We want to create a collection for every woman. It doesn’t matter what size you are. We create your own one of a kind wedding dress, custom fit to your body and delivered in 12 weeks or less.” Gloria Magana and Corina Camacho teamed up to modernize bridal class beyond just the dress and captivate the audience with experiencing the personal and real allure of what happens beyond the vows at the alter. This sophisticated beauty line closed out the show with an enchanting march of satin and lace that could turn the eyes of anyone in view, and indeed it did.
Each designer carefully selected each facet of the complete look for their line to compliment their collection. From dramatic glittering eyes with extreme cat eye liners to soft effortlessly natural glowing accents, each look was specifically matched to the style showcased fit each designer and their perspective lines. Hair styles included everything from long natural curls, loose waves swept to the side, messy sexy buns on top, and even some volume textured ponytails with extensions. Talented hairstylists and MUAs headed by Soledad Mendez came together to collaborate from various professional entities, some traveling from outside our humble city lines to prepare the models for perfection. Students and alumni from Cosmo Beauty Academy put their skills to work, leading other stylists in the production to learn and grow in there experience.
All stylists (hair and makeup), production staff, and models volunteered their time for the event because of their support for the L for Lupus foundation. The whole purpose of Havana Nights was to raise funds and bring attention to the Foundation. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. For those who don't know, in a healthy immune system, the body produces antibodies that destroy unhealthy cells such as bacteria, viruses, and foreign waste. However, Lupus causes an overactive immune system to produce autoantibodies, which attacks healthy body tissue. This can affect most parts of the body, including any or all organs. It is their goal and vision of the L for Lupus Foundation to assist those affected. Provide moral and financial support for underprivileged individuals, and families - many who suffer in silence and alone.
Fashion isn't just a superficial infatuation with style and clothing trends. As an organization, DMR productions strives to collaborate with the community, to create a stronger hub to support a more productive community. We also, more importantly, want to work together to support charitable organizations that deserve recognition and advocacy. Don't be basic, be about something. Support your local fashion community while supporting a worthy charity in your neighborhood.