Arts & Entertainment

A night filled with fashion, music and art

RAW: Natural Born Artists, held an event that exposed independent artists, ranging from fashion designers to musicians.
The craft of art has transcended from the first grade macaroni sculptures and paper mache models.…


KATE McCANN TTN On Feb. 3, independent artists, fashion designers, photographers, makeup artists, musicians and jewelers all came together to celebrate the creative forms of all mediums. Catalyst was held at the G Lounge and was put together by RAW: Natural Born Artists, an independent group that creates events to help expose local artists from Philadelphia.

RAW: Natural Born Artists, held an event that exposed independent artists, ranging from fashion designers to musicians.

The craft of art has transcended from the first grade macaroni sculptures and paper mache models. While abstract paintings and stone-carved men were prized as great feats, artistry has expanded beyond the normal conventions.

On Feb. 3, RAW: Natural Born Artists, an independent arts organization that holds monthly events to provide artists with the resources and exposure needed to express their individual creativity, organized Catalyst to promote local artists.

The event featured the work of fashion designers, artists, photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists, jewelers and musicians and was held at  the G Lounge.

After descending the staircase into the swank lounge, chic fashionistas sipping Pinot Grigio mingled with edgy tattooed musicians drinking Blue Moons.

The rock band the Warhawks opened the show. Its alternative music fit the theme of the night – polished but kept the raw attitude of the show.

After the band played its closing number, people strolled past Whitney Sharp’s photographs taken while she was in Zimbabwe on a mission to deliver food to the people of Africa. With her photos, she said she hopes to raise awareness of genocide due to terrorism in Africa.

“Terrorists can wipe out [entire] villages. They have the power to do that, and no one can stop them,” Sharp said.

Her pictures captured the idea of RAW by juxtaposing vibrant colors with downtrodden people.

After being touched by Sharp’s images, guests made their way to fashionable designs of sisters, Moriamo and Latifat Johnson. Their label, Aso Damisi, is made up of a wide array of clothing ranging from gowns to cocktail dresses.

All of their clothing showed an African-inspired design and most of the patterns were reminiscent of ancient African hieroglyphics.

Rebecca Awaa, the stunning model draped in one of the full-length gowns, described her dress as “ethereal.”

After a quick intermission, the disc jockey was pumping up the room for Reese Juel’s never-before-seen eclectic clothing line.

Juel began as a digital graphic designer, but she quickly moved to  being a clothing designer. By combining a myriad of textures and fabrics, Juel is able to present her vision of art through fashion.

“It just comes naturally,” Juel said. “I love eclecticism and that’s what I love about RAW.”

While Juel’s designs are not currently available in a boutique, she plans on opening one soon.

Next to the runway show, Catalyst displayed Danielle James’ jewelry line, Aesthetically Offensive Designs. She heated steel wire and shaped it into the seven deadly sins for the exhibit.

Seven models were standing half naked with James’ metalwork adhered to their skin using surgical glue. James displayed her metalworking skills with necklaces and other wearable jewelry.

Mark Longacre can be reached at

One Response to “A night filled with fashion, music and art”

  1. Tahra Ruoss

    I attended the RAW event in February and found all of the artists to be genius and appealing. However, It seems to me that your article falls short when talking about Danielle James Aesthetically Offensive Designs. You failed to mention the idea behind her beautiful creations as old school tattoo flash that need not be permanent. The seven “half naked” models were “half naked” so the work would be better showcased. I fear as if your article as missed what Ms. James was so blatantly and successfully shooting for. I also would have loved to hear something direct from Danielle’s mouth, just as you did with the other talented artists. Definitely not a fair shake for Ms. James.


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