Fashion Houston- Day 4

Each night of every fashion week I’ve attended thus far, the collections seem to get better and better. Such was the case for the fourth and final night of Fashion Houston. Four designers were spotlighted- Johanna Johnson, Zachary Prell, Haute Hippie and Wes Gordon.

Australian designer Johanna Johnson did her country proud when she showcased her Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Johanna launched her label back in 2005 and is entirely based in Australia. Her signature design aesthetic is old world style and is infused with vintage finishes and techniques. Today, the brand is known for its timeless red carpet gowns and is favored by many celebrities. The collection that was spotlighted in Houston was titled- ‘Muse.’ The swoon-worthy gowns were had a very “old Hollywood glam” with 1920s Art Deco silhouettes. The beading on some of the gowns took about a month to complete, which just adds to the decadent quality of the brand. Beautifully delicate crystal headpieces and accessories added extra ambiance to the “Great Gatsby -esque” collection. I especially loved the metallic gold maxi skirt and the finale silver gown with beading. Both pieces are elegant and versatile, in that you could easily dress them up or down. The Johanna Johnson presentation was one of the those edge-of-my-seat moments and left me wanting more.

New York-based mens sportswear brand Zachary Prell was up next on the runway. Originally a business and finance pro on Wall Street, Zachary had always found issues finding a shirt that fit well. That set the stage for him to create the perfect sport shirt. He has had no formal training in design and decided to just roll up his sleeves and design by trial and error. After two years of working on product development with his team of industry experts, he officially launched his namesake label in 2006. Since then, the label has grown and is known for skillfully crafted clothing that is versatile and sharp. Zachary presented a mix of key pieces of his Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 collections during Fashion Houston. The Fall 2013 collection was inspired by “easy luxury” and the wardrobe needs of the modern man. We saw muted colors, cozy knits, layered shirts and suave motorcycle jackets. The collection easily flowed into the Spring 2014 collection, which was inspired by the Cosa Rican seashore- lots of color, prints and slubbed-cotton solids. For more information on the brand, please check out

New York based brand- Haute Hippie was launched in 2008 by Oklahoma native- Trish Wescoat Pound. She moved to New York City in 1994 and began her fashion career at Calvin Klein. Throughout the years, she climbed the ladder and gained exceptional stature with leading industry insiders. In 2008, she pulled out her whole life savings, traveled to India and six months later, showed her first collection in LA. When asked about the conception of the brand, I’d like to paraphrase Wescoat, “When fashion stops being a trend and becomes a style. There’s a very big difference between fashion and style…We design into a style, a look or aesthetic and not necessarily what the trends are…It’s always about that “style”…Who a woman was in the 20s or 70s- the marriage of all that. Modernizing vintage, yet with masculine tailoring too. Think of pairing a gown with a motorcycle jacket…That is Haute Hippie.” The Spring 2014 collection was inspired by the story of Persephone- The Greek goddess of Spring. According to Greek mythology, Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and wife of Haides- god of the underworld. Long story short, she had to eat a handful of pomegranate seeds, after which she could spend six months on Earth and six months in the underworld; which is how the seasons came about. The collection was inspired by Persephone as a person and the duality of her. She goes from being an innocent girl to being a woman and then queen of the underworld and goddess of Spring. I loved the collection in that it did tell a story… from minimalist silhouettes and neutral colors that slowly blossomed into beautiful floral prints and bright colors. I also noticed some looks that referenced roaring 20s influence (which I was naturally drawn to). Trish did a wonderful job also juxtaposing vintage-inspired accessories with modern pieces. Let’s not forget about the “chest-ccessories”- like beaded collars, opulent shoulder and chest pieces (Trish believes one should always protect their heart) and other body jewelry. This brand is sure to cater to the little “haute hippie” in all of us (it did for me)!

Wes Gordon grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and has always had that passionate drive to be a designer. When time came, he moved to London for four years, during which he studied at the prestigious Central St. Martins and spent his summers shadowing Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford. Upon graduating, he moved to New York and made his first small collection and then showcased it in a hotel room during fashion week 2010. It wasn’t until this past fashion week in September where he won the hearts of his audience and celebrities alike during his first fashion show. He certainly won my heart as well, as his Resort/Spring 2014 collections were pretty fantastic. I was able to get the inside scoop on the inspiration behind the collections from Wes himself and this is what was concluded…Resort/Spring 2014 was about exploring clean, streamlined but still feminine and delicate look. The looks are modern, luxurious and fresh at the same time. They also pay homage to the late 90s elegance: Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Gwyneth Paltrow a la Great Expectations and Kate Moss in W. Gordon implemented a lot of pastels, which he also grounded them with blacks, coppers and bright whites so they {the pastels} look cool instead of looking “pretty-pretty” or like an Easter decoration. One of my favorite pieces (besides the copper chain-mail crop top) from the collection were the sheer lace tapered pencil skirts that were worn with a striped dress skirt…So chic! Gordon commented that he wanted the models to move relatively fast because he thought the skirts looked better when they moved. It was such a beautiful way to end the last evening of Fashion Houston!

Til next year…..

I’d personally love to thank On the Mark Communications Neil Hamil Modeling Agency and Fashion Houston. To all the designers- thank you for coming to Houston and it was such an honor to be in attendance at your shows!

David Peck, Chloe Dao, Johanna Johnson, Wes Gordon, Trish Wescoat Pound- it was such a pleasure to meet you and speak with you!

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