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The Jarmal Harris Project

Jarmal Harris has done it again. The 12th annual Jarmal Harris Project recently concluded another successful summer program. This fashion and arts boot-camp commenced this month with The Love Experience. The multifaceted show easily ranks as the most exciting fashion show that the District has ever seen. As if the remarkable fashion itself wasn't enough, the talented youth put on a full performance with singing, dancing and spoken word. There was literally a block party on stage that instantly prompted the entire crowd to rise and jam. To top it off, special effects lit up the room as colorful fog filled the stage, pyrotechnic sparks flew and confetti commenced.

The summer program reaches youth and young adults primarily east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. This talented population is often overlooked thus Jarmal Harris has found a particular passion for reaching them. The Jarmal Harris project offers programming for young adults ages 14 to 24. In collaboration with DOES and DCPS, Jarmal was able to embrace a total of 157 participants and staff. Each learned applications were divided into departments to include: the Design Department, Voice Department, Art Department, Hospitality Department and more. Each discipline was infused in the show from the beautiful stage display to the interludes between runway sets.

While Jarmal is a revered designer himself, he also partnered with veteran designer Yvonne Fields as well as celebrity designer Haus of Falenciago for runway looks. The overall fashion theme was regal and bold and expressive. Haus of Falenciago also provided a gallery style experience showcasing his work of formal wear in the venue’s atrium as guests were welcomed in. Of course the show could not be complete without D.C.’s top model Asia Abdullah who slayed the runway alongside several aspiring models in the program.

The biggest highlight for two scholars was the presentation one thousand dollar scholarships. The academic awards went to De' Nayia Bennett and Kai Jones-Blunch. Participants are already looking forward to next summer. Many of the youth participate in the Jarmal Harris Project year after year as the experience is one to remember. Jarmal hopes to cultivate a talented pool of creatives that will proudly say they are from Greater Washington, DC.

Photography credit: Bernadette Dare (Dare Digitals)

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