Just after the pleated cocktail dresses of California designer Pilar
Machionne and moments before the S&M, dominatrix-inspired collection of Romanian
designer Catalin Botezatu took
the runway on the third night of Couture Fashion Week at New York's
Waldorf-Astoria on September 17, audiences were floored by the detailed
elegance of the Arthlene Legair "Restoration" line.
A born again Christian, Legair of Legair Brand Fashion claimed the line she featured that night represented a spiritual renewal for her. It was the very reason she coined the spectacular collection of silk, organza, and taffeta gowns of the night her "Restoration" line.
"I know a lot of people don't know the things I've been through in the last couple years. God promised that there were certain things he was going to restore to me," said Legair, a native of the Caribbean island of Dominica. "From that, I came up with the wedding gown and all of those elegant pieces."
In the past three years, Legair underwent a grueling divorce from a man she was married to for 23 years and then became homeless as she and her three children had to be put up by various friends and family.'
"It was very unexpected but I did not let that stop me," she said.
Instead, she returned to school to obtain a degree in business from the Columbus State Community College in Columbus, Ohio where she resides with her family.
Now, she is putting all of her effort into putting Legair Brand Fashion onto fashion's main stage.
The gown which received the most applause during her scene at
Couture Fashion Week was the one boasting over 650 peacock feathers.
In fact, in 2009, the gown was featured in African Vibes magazine and was presented in her collection at the African Vibes magazine fashion show in Los Angeles in 2010.
Legair's designs have been shown on the runway at the Kouture Magazine Event in New York, Urban
Gospel Fest in Miami, Fashion Week Columbus, the Ohio State Fair, Blazing the
Runway, the Highball Fashion Show, Coats 4 Children charity event and Caribbean Fashion Extravaganza in New York.
Her designs have been featured in numerous fashion shows, publications and events including the C.O. tour of Columbus, Miss Black Ohio, Hair Meets Fashion, International Fellowship Women's Conference, I Wear African, Unveiled Dreams, ABEC'S Small Business Review, The Conscious Voice magazine, Channel 10 News, Girlfriends' Talk magazine, Sparks magazine (UK), 614 magazine, at MIT University in Boston and NEWD Magazine's Fashion Fete NYC.
She is a favorite designer of Hollywood actress Tangi Miller and gospel recording artist Lois Commodore.
Before relocating to Ohio, she previously owned The LeGair's House of Fashion Boutique in North Miami Beach, Florida.
At Couture Fashion Week, Legair became the talk of the evening proceeding her segment while individuals flocked to her side for pictures at the red carpet and various press outlets stormed her for interviews.
"I know that he's truly a God who restores," she told NEWD Magazine.
Besides her peacock dress that night, several other elegant "one-of-a-kind" pieces caught the attention of both casual fashion show goers and industry professionals.
"I loved the beige and pinkish dresses in her collection," said Cornelia Bodea of the Dominican Republic. "If I could, I would purchase them."
Lesoto Designer Flory Ramoreboli who came to view the work of other designers in her field was especially attracted by the Africanesque through lines within Legair's work.
"It was graceful glamour. She embraced a little bit more of modern, Afrocentric glam," said Ramoreboli of All Flo Designs. "She is definitely aware of a woman's form."
Legair attributes her awareness of the female form to learning from her mother, a seamstress back in Dominica.
pastor saw the gift in me and pulled it out of me," she said.
Her next step is for Legair Brand Fashion to be picked up by Sax Fifth Avenue, Macy's and mass-produced for other major higher-end department stores.
Couture Fashion Week is a multi-day event showcasing couture and luxury fashion
from around the world. It also includes exhibits of luxury brands and fine art
as well as world-class entertainment and receptions. The event is held at the
Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and is attended by upscale consumers, invited
VIPs, the press and high-end store buyers.