Fashion week 2010 heats up Houston
Houston’s inaugural Fashion Week was a mix of notable and up-and-coming designers.
Houston Fashion Week 2010 included runway shows and events from both Audi Fashion Houston and Houston Fashion Independence Group from Oct. 10 to Saturday. Audi kicked off the event with four nights of runway shows at the Wortham Theater Center by designers Marc Bouwer and Lyn Devon and Project Runway winners Christian Siriano, Irina Shabayeva and local Houstonian Chloe Dao, just to name a few.
The Houston Fashion Independence Group, a charitable organization focused on the needs of women in the community, sponsored two nights of runway shows at Tranquility Park showcasing Texas based designers and benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center. At Friday’s Fashion in the Park event, The Daily Cougar caught up UH alumni Brandon Chandler and Linda Anukwuen, who were more than happy to discuss the week’s events.
Chandler and Anukwuen gushed over Christian Siriano’s runway show Monday night.
“He (Siriano) was expecting to be the big designer of the night, and you could tell by the designs. They went from fabulous to fierce,” Chandler said.
Anukwuen said Siriano’s line included pieces that were very “wearable” along with some show stopping gowns. The last dress was a cream colored gown with an elaborate ruffled tulle skirt that Anukwuen said really had the “wow” factor.
Tuesday was an eco-friendly kind of night with a twist of el Presidente. Former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush were front and center at the Wortham Center to support granddaughter Lauren. Bush uses her collection of eco-friendly handbags to help raise awareness and funds for needy children around the world.
Houston designer David Peck partnered with local handbag and accessory designer Elaine Turner to show his collection. Peck’s brainchild “CrOp,” or Creative Opportunities, is a network of artists working together to give back. Net-A-Porter, a high-end online fashion retailer, wowed the audience with looks from Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent in its first ever runway show.
Wednesday night standouts for Anukwuen and Chandler were Dao and Bouwer.
“Chloe Dao was very innovative,” Anukwen said. “The collection was fun and flirty, and she integrated every aspect of the show from the models’ bouncy walk to the ragtime music, into that concept.”
Chandler liked Bouwer’s collection because it was very consistent and cohesive with a few glamorous red-carpet looks. Houstonian Toni Whitaker also showcased her collection Wednesday.
Thursday night honored fashion industry icon Eileen Ford with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Houston socialite and philanthropist Lynn Wyatt showcased a sampling of gowns from her private collection.
HFIG’s Fashion in the Park events wrapped up the week in a spectacular fashion. With the Houston skyline and the beauty of Tranquility Park as a backdrop, featured designers showed that Texas has talent. What made this event unique was that the entire cast of hair and makeup artists, production crews and models were all hand-picked from a pool of local Houston talent.
Callie Duty, a 10th-grader at Klein High School, showed her first collection in which she incorporated a wide range of fabrics from silk to bubble wrap. Although the bubble wrap dress probably won’t go flying off the shelves anytime soon, Duty showed a level of sophistication and creativity in her line that you wouldn’t expect from a 15-year-old.
Malissa Long also incorporated non-conventional materials into her designs. The last dress in her collection was a long white dress with orange construction fencing protruding off the sides, like wings. Although it undoubtedly sounds strange, Long somehow made it work.
Rachel Sanches’ standout piece was a full-length, form-fitting skirt. The deep brown silk skirt was paired with a matching silk top that had peacock-like feathers positioned in a “V” on the top. The outfit was noticeably hard to walk in, and the runway was painfully long, but the determined model stuck it out and it was worth the wait.
Stoi Phillips and Danny Nguyen made use of the Modern Beauty Makeup team and Hair by Paul Mitchell stylists in interesting ways. Phillips’ collection consisted of bright neon blues, greens, and purples. The models sported tiger-like markings drawn down their arms, legs and brightly colored eyes. Her interesting use of hair and make-up really made the simplistic designs stand out.
Nguyen wrapped up the event with his collection of Japanese-inspired women’s dresses. Nguyen’s models all sported black make-up over their eyes like a Zorro mask and red markings on their cheeks, but that wasn’t the only thing about Nguyen’s showing that stood out. Nguyen’s designs masterfully incorporated fringe, sequins, feathers and fabrics. The final piece was a stunning full length shimmery white gown with white feathers along the bodice and a train of white ruffles fluttering behind it.
Overall, Houston’s first Fashion Week was an all around hit. Not only did the event showcase many talented designers but proceeds from some events were donated to Houston Community College and charities Dress for Success, Legacy Community Services, Houston AIDS Foundation and the Houston Area Women’s Center.
What we learned from Houston Fashion Week:
-Fashion shows are like concerts; all the bands are good, but they always save the best for last.
-The phrase “fashionably late” was never meant in reference to a fashion show; if you want a good seat, be “fashionably early.”
-Fashion Week is not just about exciting runway fashion.