By Paul Lomax
Special to DNAinfo
MANHATTAN — Hundreds of fashionistas packed into the Joan Weill Center for Dance in Midtown Friday night to catch a glimpse of the latest dress collection from "Project Runway" star and Washington Heights designer Emilio Sosa — geisha-inspired glam for Fashion Week.
"My collection this year is about strength, spirit, and liberation," he told DNAinfo. "It's about being yourself, being free, being proud of what and who you are."
Sosa drew inspiration for the Fall 2012 collection for his ESOSA line, titled "Urban Geisha," from classic American sports and Japanese art, highlighting his latest designs with gold leaf artifacts and ancient calligraphy.
"I think this collection was both colorful and universal," said Andrea Poson, 29, of Tribeca, a Broadway actress. "He designs classic outfits for all types of women."
Sosa said he was equally inspired by "Memoirs of Geisha" and the Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess," calling the collection, featuring makeup done by MAC stylist Romero Jennings, a "mashup of culture and images."
"His collection was classy, trendy, fun and in my opinion was aimed at the young, but hey, I'm 49 so who knows," said Marque Washington, of Washington DC, who works on "The View."
Sosa found his passion for designing fashion at the age of 14 and in 2003 was named Design Virtuoso by the American Theater Magazine.
That inspired him to create "ESOSA," his own clothing design line he promotes with his brothers.