ART MESO 2018: CARNAVAL COUTURE FASHION EXHIBITION

Welcome back, Style Kat!

I was inspired by the idea of having my own version of a Carnaval. I asked myself, ‘What would that look like?’ So, I wanted to see animals, fashion, art, and a little bit of Noah’s Ark.
-Jennifer Sutton, Founder/CEO of Art Meso

Art Meso was the highlight of my entire summer. Not only was it my first fashion internship, but I discovered a newfound respect for the fashion industry as a whole.

What is Art Meso?

Art Meso was brought to life in 2016 by Jennifer Sutton. Her mission was to create a platform for artists and designers to meet in the middle.

Art Meso is an international art and fashion exhibition, featuring national and international talent from around the globe. From Venezuela to Atlanta and more, Art Meso is highly coveted for its unique display of high fashion runway shows and original artwork blended together guaranteed to make a lasting impression.

One of the most anticipated shows of the evening is the Live Exhibit, featuring an “interpretive-art” and “human experiences” display, with models draped in couture ensembles. Art Meso also gives back to non-profit charity organizations, by donating 100 percent of all proceeds generated by the silent auction.

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Melissa Mitchell, Fashion Designer of Abielle Creations posing with her live exhibit models.

This year’s theme: Carnaval Couture, held at the W Hotel in Downtown Atlanta.


How I Became Involved

I never would’ve imagined being a part of such an extraordinary event. I met my boss/mentor, Jen Petit-Homme through my hairstylist, Merlande. She does marketing for Merlande’s business, Platinum Hair by Merlande, and occasionally accompanied her to Tallahassee when Merlande would visit her pop-up shop.

Jen and I instantly connected and we always stayed in touch. One day, she and I were on the phone and the subject of fashion came up. I told her how I’d always wanted to do a fashion internship, because I never really knew what went on behind the scenes, and I wanted to learn more about the industry.

That’s when she introduced Art Meso to me, and she and Merlande’s involvement in the 2017 show. Jen was made Marketing Director of Art Meso and later proposed the idea of myself and Lorena Guillen being her social media correspondents for Art Meso 2018.

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Of course I pounced at the opportunity the moment she told me about it. I took over the Art Meso Instagram page while Lorena took over the Art Meso Facebook page. After months of planning and preparation, the day of the show arrived and I had never been so thrilled to work in my life!


Lights, Glamour, Action

On the day of the show, I arrived to hair and makeup around 9 a.m. The glam was one of my favorite parts about Art Meso. No one has ever directed me to “hair and makeup” before, so I felt exclusive.

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I wasn’t able to snag a picture in my first look, but this is my second look post-hair and makeup:

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Playsuit: ASOS, Earrings: ALDO

DESIGNER AND ARTIST SPOTLIGHTS:

DOUGLAS TAPIA

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During my glam, one of my favorite designers walked in the room. Douglas Tapia. When I tell you I had to contain my inner fan-girl?! I remember stumbling across his “La Vie En Rose” collection on Pinterest months prior to Art Meso and falling in love with his work. To actually meet the designer–whose work was featured in Vogue and worn by countless stars, was one of the greatest moments of my life. I was truly starstruck.

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Douglas was very specific in how he wanted me to look: Hair up in a bun with a few loose curls falling from the sides, a sparkly, silver hair accessory, nude nail polish and nude heels. I didn’t have the nude nail polish, but luckily had everything else.

The fact that he took the time to use me as his muse for how he wanted me to look in his dress is something I will never forget.

My Mom was also able to take a picture with him and he showed her how to pose!

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MELISSA MITCHELL: ABIELLE CREATIONS

During my spring 2018 semester at Florida A&M University (FAMU),  my Intro to Public Relations instructor, Professor Maurice Johnson, introduced us to FAMU alumna, Melissa Mitchell. He wanted us to speak with a fellow Rattler who successfully launched her own line of unique head wraps and abstract art.

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One day, he Skype’d her during class and she spoke to our class about her journey and life post-graduation. Her impressive and extensive resume includes her head wraps featured on Lupita Nyong’o in Vogue, Forbes, and Tina Knowles’s (Beyoncé’s mother) Wearable Art Gala.

Little did I know, I would end up meeting her one day. She is so humble, charming, humorous and kind. But most of all, she is an artist and designer who puts her heart and soul into her work.

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Kottavei (Koh-tah-vie) is as just as cool as her name is. She reached out to designer, Therez Fleetwood, to hand-paint her gowns for Art Meso.

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Each gown had its own unique touch and distinct patterns that automatically makes her work recognizable. Another humble and talented woman who is making a lane for herself.

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Lenora Couture

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Her collection, Black and White, reminds me of Parisian Haute Couture. Each piece is exquisite and unique. Feathers, rushed sleeves, you name it. When the models hit the runway wearing her pieces, I was behind the scenes taking a first-hand look at each of them.

It was such a pleasure to meet Ms. Lenora. I hope to attend another one of her shows in the future. When I met her, I declared “One day, when I’m not a broke college student, I’ll be rocking your collection.” We had a good laugh out of that one.


The energy during the preparation of the show was very fast-paced while simultaneously having a calm and upbeat tempo. There was so much movement– Jennifer Sutton would pop-in every now and again to ensure things ran smoothly, Douglas Tapia monitored each model’s hair and makeup to make sure it was precisely how he wanted it and people are scurrying around the floor of the venue to set up before showtime.


Key Takeaways

No matter how well or how far in advance one may plan something, things can always go left. Jennifer Sutton is the definition of a boss. Not only did she successfully pull off her third Art Meso event, but she managed to find a solution to every hurdle that came her way.

“We plan one year in advance. The day of the show this year was very calm in comparison from the years previously. It almost felt unnatural,” said Sutton.

I felt a sense of pride watching Jennifer thank the crowd for attending and participating in this year’s Art Meso. I was proud to see a woman watch her vision come to fruition and how the crowd responded to each designer and model who hit the runway.

“Art and fashion is what I am made of. I see everything through images. I memorize by visualization. I see objects, shapes in the most simple things,” said Sutton.

“The best part about the show was the energy of the guests. I know if they are happy then it’s going to be a great show. Another moment was seeing our Make-A-Wish Georgia ambassador with smiles the whole evening. It feels fulfilling. I believe I’m doing what I was born to do,” she concluded.

I am so blessed to have experienced Art Meso 2018. Jennifer is already in the process of planning Art Meso 2019 which will be bigger than ever before.


I will be updating this post again with new photos as they become available, but I wanted you all to know how the evening went and watch part of the show.

Which gown is your favorite? Do you think you’ll be attending Art Meso next year? Sound off in the comments below!

XOXO.
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