"Spotlight on Maryland Design" Installation is an Ode to the Creatives of Maryland

BALTMORE, MD (February 14, 2020) There must be love in the air as the Maryland Historical Society officially debuts the newest fashion installation today as a showcase of adoration to Maryland and those who have shaped the culture the state emanates.

Spotlight on Maryland Design will feature a new installation each month now through October, highlighting contemporary Maryland designers. The first garments on display beginning today highlight the creativity and magnificence of Baltimore-based and self-taught fashion designer, Bishme Cromartie.

Cromartie began his journey in design at the age of 8, when his aunt taught him how to sew using his own clothing as fabric. Fast forward to his high school days, Bishme started his own business designing clothes for his peers, including prom gowns. Bishme first gained public recognition as a favored contestant on the 17th season of Bravo TV’s hit series, “Project Runway.” Since then, Bishme has continued to create captivating designs, shedding positive light on the city of Baltimore. 

Bishme considers his designs to reflect the art that inspires him in his everyday life: boundary-breaking, fun, romantic and socially conscious. Since "Project Runway," Bishme has dressed some recognizable celebrity clients such as Andra Day, Dascha Polanco, Karrueche Tran and Niecy Nash.

As a farewell to Bishme before he leaves the city of Baltimore to continue his journey in Los Angeles, MdHS will display Bishme’s elegant, pink gown, quite similar to the “Rose that Grew from Concrete” dress he made on "Project Runway" as an ode to Baltimore, during the opening of Spotlight on Maryland. The pink dress is made with metallic material and includes a bountiful flower on the bodice.

“I designed the back of the gown open to resemble me ‘carrying my problems on my back,’” Bishme explains. “While creating this garment, I felt a sense of disappointment in not making it all the way to the end of the competition. It took a while for me to appreciate the beauty of this gown. I think it helped me get over the pain of so much I was holding on to.”

Those who visit the first month of the installation will also have a chance to see Bishme’s dress worn by MdHS’s former Vice President of Collections, Alexandra Deutsch, at last year’s Spectrum of Fashion Opening Gala. Both dresses will be showcased as MdHS’s appreciation for Bishme and the positivity he brings to the community of Baltimore.

Those who’ve been to the Maryland Historical Society within the past year may be familiar with Bishme Cromartie and his work, as he is featured in MdHS’s Spectrum of Fashion exhibition, which opened to the public in October 2019. Now, visitors can enjoy even more of Bishme’s work and see first-hand why his bold designs have made headways in the fashion industry and made a lasting impact on the city of Baltimore.

Bishme's gowns will be on view in "Spotlight" through March 29.

The Maryland Historical Society is located at 201 West Monument Street in Baltimore. The museum’s operating hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday.