Houston’s favorite pink-haired fashionista, Vivian Wise recently held Heart of Fashion– a new philanthropic fashion movement that spanned three nights and culminated eleven designers while directly supporting the community. The event is meant to be one of the only consumer-based fashion shows in the world, where attendees can have immediate access to the curated designs straight from the runways of New York and Paris.
The event supported Wise’s Texas Legacy Foundation, who in turn, gave a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to non-profits: Butterflys & Bandages, Legacy Community Health Services and Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston.
The Million Air hangar was transformed into a New York style affair, decked out in hues of pink, white and black. Guests walked the long pink carpet from valet and were greeted by cocktail waiters and waitresses dressed as flight attendants in 60s-inspired uniforms upon entering the large venue. The pre-fashion show party provided guests with a few bars that served complimentary champagne and cocktails, cozy yet sleek lounge areas, a plantain and chip station (complete with #DoNotFeedTheModels hashtag) and mood music provided by DJ Lewis Grell.
The highlight of the pink carpet arrivals was seeing the legendary supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice make her entrance. At 84, Dell’Orefice is the oldest working model in the industry. She was thrilled to be in Houston for the event and was especially humbled to influence Meals on Wheels- a charity she’s been involved with over the years.
The designers of opening night’s festivities were:
Cushnie Et Ochs was established in 2008 by Carlie Cushnie and Michelle Ochs and is based in New York City. The duo presented their Spring 2016 ready-to-wear collection on Heart of Fashion’s philanthropic runway. While the majority of their inspiration came from the works of NYC visual artist- Kehinde Wiley, they also took 90s hip-hop references and blended soft, feminine details for a very “Uptown Lady Meets Gangster” juxtaposition. The designers mixed hard with soft fabrics and color palettes; while showcasing minimal design, ladylike dresses, feminine ruffle trim, form-fitting silhouettes, pencil skirts, plunging necklines and tasteful peeks of skin.
The Norisol Ferrari runway show opened with 80s Dallas runway icon Jan Strimple. New York based Ferrari kept the collection in a neutral black and white palette that she is known for (along with couture construction, fine tailoring, fully-functional detailing and use of exotic fabrics and skins), ideal for Fall and Winter. The collection highlighted exquisite python coats, structured suiting, fur-lined vest (in a light olive color), glamorous felt hats, minimal yet timeless dresses and hooded LBDs.
The last and my personal favorite collection of the evening was Angel Sanchez‘s S/S 2016 collection, titled- Cayena. Sanchez infused references of traditional couture of the 1950s (especially in the silhouettes) with Caribbean-esque tropical bright colors. The collection was named after the Cayena (Hibiscus) flower that is prominent on the tropical islands. The shape of the flower petals also had a popular presence in the collection, as either a trim, or drape of the bodice or skirt. He stuck with a bright color palette, but also managed to sneak in white- as a reference to the shining light of the Tropics. He relied heavily on silk gauze to help create the voluptuous and dramatic shapes, while also using acrylic, plastic, leather and other rare fibers. I thought the clear acrylic bold and 60s/Mod-esque belts were just too good (and ahem, on point with my vintage style)!
The finale of the show as when New York designer Ralph Rucci (Chado Ralph Rucci) later presented Carmen Dell’Orefice with the Texas Legacy Award.
To find out more about Heart of Fashion, go HERE.