Fashion Houston day two brought upon a new era of anticipation as the night starred a number of well-known New York designers. The evening’s line-up was Bibhu Mohapatra, Rebecca Taylor, Chris Knott for Peter Millar, Yigal Azrouel and Nicole Miller.
The first designer that showed when the lights went down was fashion and costume designer Bibhu Mohapatra. Indian-American Bibhu has always had a knack for fashion from an early age. He started out by designing clothing for his sister. After moving to New York City, he enrolled in FIT. During that time, he won the Critic’s Award for Best Evening Wear Designer during his senior year, which launched his fashion career to the next level. He has worked for Halston and J. Mendel before he transitioned to launch his namesake label in 2009. Since his launch, Bibhu strives to focus on “designing clothing with quality, craftsmanship, luxurious integrity and a life of beyond one season.” His love of lavish Indian fabrics, vivid colors and the crafts of his beloved native India are what draws most of his inspiration for his collections. While his Spring/Summer 2014 collection he showcased during Fashion Houston was influenced by the freedom, grace and beauty of modern dance, whereas the floral pieces showed a nod to have been influenced by the bright orange red Butea Monosperma (or Indian Palash) flower. The flower signifies a notion that Spring is coming and boy was Spring alive in the collection (and even the on the two projection screens between the runway)! Billowy dresses in Palash and geometric cut-out prints danced effortlessly down the runway. If that wasn’t enough eye-candy; tops, dresses and pants that were embellished with 3-D flowers were paired with their chic, crisp white reciprocals. Thank you Mr. Mohapatra for bringing a little bit of New York panache dressed with some Indian flair to the city of Houston.
For the next showcase, we switched gears a little towards a contemporary ready-to-wear collection of New York City designer Rebecca Taylor. In the beginning (circa the 90s) she, along with business partner Beth Bugdaycay started the brand under humble practices, such as going the sales, packing and shipping themselves. Both women are very grateful on how far they have come. Rebecca is well-known as a master of layering delicate dresses and skirts with textured and knit tops. For her Spring 2014 collection, she looked towards Cecil Beaton photographs from India, 90s rap style, American work wear, floral lithographs and a quote in a film about Impressionist painter- Renoir. The quote is paraphrased (since it was originally in French) as, “There is so much ugly in the world, why not make something beautiful?” Rebecca indeed made the world a bit more beautiful that evening as layered sporty yet very downtown chic looks breezed down the runway. The sporty looks also easily flowed into the last part of the collection, which featured pretty frocks and separates with ethereal Impressionist-style floral prints.
Cut25 by Yigal Azrouel was among the myriad of well-known New York City designers to present their collections during Fashion Houston. The talented Israeli born designer launched his namesake brand in 1998 and gained rave reviews for his womens ready-to-wear collections. He is now known for his impeccable construction, lux fabrications and cutting-edge designs. He recently debuted his latest line- Cut25 back in 2010. Cut25 is Yigal’s more contemporary line that associates high fashion with the simplicity of everyday wear. The line offers a youthful, feminine yet edgy appeal that marries exclusive fabrics and body-conscious contours. The Spring 2014 collection that was viewed was very streamlined and simple. There was ample black and white contrasting, moto jackets and vests, Baroque prints, body-con dresses, leather leggings and asymmetrical hemlines.
Chris Knott brought preppy menswear to Houston through his company- Peter Millar. Knott founded the brand in 2001 and created the name “Peter Millar” based on an inscription from an antique lawn bowling ball his Mother had given to him. He felt the bowling ball was from an era when people cared passionately about the impression they were actualizing in their daily lives. It is because of this, that Knott instills careful attention to detail, luxurious fabrics and superb craftsmanship in all his golf and lifestyle wear. We witnessed his Spring 2014 menswear collection that evening, which consisted of classic yet modern mens separates, which were seemingly inspired by Hamptons-meets-Southern charm. Colors were mixed. Solids and pastels popped against stripes and plaids. The classic mens suit was given a new modernized yet handsomely tailored twist. Kudos to Mr. Knott for giving men everywhere a chance to golf and paint the town red in style.
The last designer to show that evening was another well-known NYC designer- Nicole Miller. Growing up, Nicole studied at Rhode Island School of Design and had “intense” training for a year at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where she trained in fabric manipulation, drape and the art of haute couture. She launched her company with business partner- Bud Konheim in 1982. Since then, her designs are focused on either black or brightly colored form-flattering dresses and very uptown separates with a hint of edginess. She pays strict attention to the cut of the garment, such as: necklines, proportions and curves. Miller’s Spring 2014 collection titled “Rebels with a Cause” was set against a digital floral backdrop with the beat of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” blaring throughout the venue. Her signature form-fitting dresses were the stars of the show, with floral prints and body contouring lines. We also saw florals and solids in an elaborate patchwork motif. Florals were tastefully mixed with stripes and popped against neutral solids.
Miller’s show was the perfect ending to the second day of Fashion Houston.