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“There will never be a regular runway show with me,” Zulema Griffin declared after presenting her Spring looks at the Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea last night. In a room hung with album covers and film posters featuring memorable African American figures from the 1970′s (and one rogue photo of Bob Seger), a capacity crowd watched Slave to the Rhythm: Fela’s Wives, a 27-piece collection inspired by the late Afrobeat musician and political activist Fela Kuti—or, more specifically, the 27 dancers he married en masse in 1978. “They were just so beautiful,” Griffin said, as models in bright prints and elaborately pleated and darted pieces lounged, sang, and danced. Next season, she’ll be taking on the idea of a church fashion show in a collection called Revelations, which she plans to stage in—where else—a church.
Celia Ellenberg

Photo: Courtesy of Zulema

Designer Update