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Uptown Fashion Week Catwalks Across Washington Heights

By Nigel Chiwaya | February 15, 2013 10:10am | Updated on February 15, 2013 10:42am

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Couture moved north Thursday night as uptown celebrated its own version of fashion week.

Hundreds braved long lines and packed the Alianza Dominicana Triangle Building on 166th Street for the second annual Uptown Fashion Week, a celebration of the budding fashion scene in Washington Heights.

The event featured the fall collections of 12 designers; including local designers Adrian Alicea, Dramatick Fantastic and Ashley Nunez of Weirdo Ink. The designers said they relished the chance to be a part of the beginning of a new fashion scene.

"It feels good. It's good to be a part of the community," said the Puerto-Rican born Alicea, who lives in Harlem.

"We never had anything like this when I was growing up," added Fantastic. "We always heard of Bryant Park and Lincoln Center, but uptown gives people something different. Hopefully I can bring my audience uptown."

Organized by Albania Rosario and sponsored by state Senator Adriano Espaillat, Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa and city Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the show also attempted to raise awareness for domestic violence. Celebrities, including American Idol contestant Karen Rodriguez and the cast of MTV's Washington Heights, walked down a carpet that was purple — the color of domestic violence awareness.

"I think people should stop treating other people harshly and hopefully this will make a change," said Alicea.