Momentum Audi recently played host to the Art Institute of Houston’s senior fashion design showcase. This year, there were four seniors who were fortunate enough to present their collections to the public in the magnificent light-filled showroom. The show started off with Assistant Professor of Fashion Design/Fashion Retail Management Jane Carlton Hall welcoming the guests and then introducing the designers: Alexa DiBiasio, Michelle Womack, Sara Hathaway and Whitney Lowery. The DJ was then cued to turn up the music as Alexa’s collection went down the runway first.
Alexa’s collection, which embraced a playful mix of leather and chiffon in forms of easy separates that flowed down the runway. Alexa explained that her fifteen piece (five look) collection was inspired by “the idea of dark romanticism and how beauty can be found in places that are not commonly considered beautiful. How the idea of soft imagery (romanticism) and dark imagery can combine together to create something eerie, yet breathtaking. Mixing the idea of soft and hard became the main theme supporting my collection. I quickly gravitated towards my two favorite fabrics, leather and chiffon, and adopted them as the perfect representatives of my desired theme. I pushed the idea further by adding hand cut detail on each leather piece that mimicked the feel of romantic lace. The silhouettes and style of each look remained true to my own personal style.” The collection was dark, yet had a whimsical and youthful vibe. I loved the chiffon blouses, leather boleros (especially the vest with scalloped edging) and leather pants.
The next collection brought some Miami-inspired color to the stage. This collection was put together by Michelle Womack, who was inspired by art deco architecture. Michelle goes further into detail regarding the behind-the-‘seams’ of the collection, “The fabric used was a silk dupioni. All of the colors were custom mixed. I first vat dyed with a base color and then went over them with various other colors with a foam brush to create the different combinations. I also created a crochet pattern to fit along with my theme. It was based on a pineapple crochet and then I changed it up a bit to fit my needs. There is a shape that is reoccurring in my collection, I have been calling it a stair step for lack of a better word but it is reoccurring through out art deco architecture. You can find it in the shape of the corset, the skirt of the teal dress with the collar the kick pleats on the backs of the coral dress with the crochet and the the teal dress with the chevron. it is also on the front of the dress with the draping on it. I tried to create something in my collection that is unique but is simple to wear and fit many different body types while at the same time accentuating a woman’s figure.” I loved the collection’s color palette and the use of color-blocking. My favorite two looks were the blood orange dress with beautiful crochet trim on the back and the seafoam green and blue hi-low dress.
The third collection, inspired by the tuxedo, was created by Sarah Hathaway (who is currently employed as a production assistant at David Peck USA– a local Houstonian designer). She took the different components of the tuxedo and rendered them into various aspects of each look. My favorites from the included the dress with black and white paneling and the center front that resembled the front of a tuxedo shirt; as well as the dress pants with the ‘tuxedo shirt’ detailing at the hem. Overall, I thought the collection was wearable and versatile enough for that big presentation at the office and then easily transitioning into a girls night.
The last collection to take a parade around the runway was designed by Whitney Lowery. Her collection was inspired by origami, architecture and the ‘green’ of nature. The ‘green’ collection was composed of two jumpsuits, pants and a top, all of which had classic silhouettes and clean lines. I was impressed with the two-tone green jumpsuit with gold ‘origami-esque’ trim at the hem of the pants.