LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 22: Singer Candice performs on the runway wearing Willfredo Gerardo at Los Angeles Fashion Week FW/19 Powered by Art Hearts Fashion at The Majestic Downtown on March 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Art Hearts Fashion )
LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 22: Singer Candice performs on the runway wearing Willfredo Gerardo at Los Angeles Fashion Week FW/19 Powered by Art Hearts Fashion at The Majestic Downtown on March 22, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Arun Nevader/Getty Images for Art Hearts Fashion )

By Delfine Kernizan

Victoria’s Secret, Cushnie et Ochs, The Blonds, Pyer Moss.

More and more designers are enlisting popular and up-and-coming artists to enhance their seasonal presentations with musical performances. Over the years, fashion weeks around the world have seen an increase in musicians crossing over from the audience to the runway.

Last month, Wilfredo Gerardo became the latest designer to add a performer to their runway show.The evening wear designer tapped Haitian-American singer-songwriter and dancer, Candice, to perform at his FW/19 presentation on March 22 for Los Angeles Fashion Week, powered by Art Hearts Fashion. Gerardo also selected Candice for two of the most coveted positions in fashion week runway shows— the opening and the closing of the show.

“Always wanted to say this … ‘ready to hit the runway’,” Candice said, via a caption on Instagram under a pre-show picture of the singer in a one-sleeved, black net mini-dress from the collection, and black, thigh-high latex boots.

“Flex all over you, drip I got the juice,” the singer belted out as she entered the runway in an elaborate, floor-length purple robe with puffed sleeves and layers of satin fabric.

Candice opened the show at The Majestic Downtown singing her latest single, “Bands Up,” before an influencer-filled audience, accompanied by two back-up dancers, Ieema Copeland and Lydia Edwards. The theme of the song— which speaks to Candice’s love of designer fabrics and diamonds, and her ability to purchase such on her own— seemed to set the tone for the bold sexiness and opulence of the collection, which featured silk skirts, high slits, layered mini-dresses, embellished blazers and sequined bomber jackets.

She followed the performance with the first full walk of the show, sashaying down the runway in a cloud of purple silk.

For her opening performance, Candice “flexed” in trendy half-moon sunglasses with black frames and a dazzling rhinestone trim, by streetwear brand Chameleon Unleashed. She donned a blond wig in a long bob cut, with pink and purple tips, colored by celebrity hair stylist Ms Candy of Cosmetic Money. The hairstyle was accessorized with large, rhinestone-covered linear and “DRIPPIN” bobby pins.

To close the show in a final walk with Gerardo and model Yilena Hernandez, Candice traded her rhinestone sunglasses for an emerald green crown.

Gerardo’s designs have been seen worn by Paris Hilton, Roselyn Sanchez, Daphne Joy and MakeUpShayla. While Willfredo Gerardo’s LAFW presentation is the singer’s first fashion show performance, it isn’t her first stint in fashion. In 2018, Candice launched a women’s and unisex athleisure fashion label, V VI VII VIII Apparel, named after the traditional way of “counting in” before beginning a dance routine. She has also partnered with popular fashion brands like Pretty Little Thing, which sponsored her New Years Eve birthday and “Bands Up” single release party.

Throughout her career, Candice has worked with artists such as Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Chris Brown and more. Eight years after winning X-Factor as part of the girl group Girls United and signing to Island Def Jam under L.A. Reid, the group fell apart and Candice made the decision to pursue a solo career and has been releasing music as a solo artist since. Her latest single, Bands Up, is available now on Apple Music and Spotify, and the recently released video for the song has almost 350,000 views on YouTube.

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