Tag - David Peck USA

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Hanh Collection Preview Benefiting "Heroes & Handbags"
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Fashion Houston Day 3
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Art Institute of Houston Presents: Senior Fashion Design Showcase

Hanh Collection Preview Benefiting "Heroes & Handbags"

Self-taught Houston artist Hahn Tran is known for her oil paintings that involve heavy, sweeping brush strokes that make for a strong three-dimensional effect. Her works often involve a self-study of the human form, culture, nature and emotion. It was in 2011 when her career took on a different path- fashion. She couldn’t find the right handbag to go with her dress for a gala one evening and decided to hand-paint one of her own to match the dress. Hahn decided she was definitely on to something when a women bought the bag right off her arm during that gala. Since then, her ‘art empire’ has spread out to not only the handbags, but also hand-painted UZO umbrellas.

We had the pleasure of getting a glimpse of her second collection of handbags at her preview trunk show held at designer David Peck’s headquarters. I thought that the collection was colorful and definitely eye-catching. The accessories are bound to be conversation starters when worn out to an event. I learned that Hahn’s bags are canvas and she uses fabric paint as her medium. Hahn is a fan of David’s designs and thought that merging the two brands would be a perfect match. Proceeds from David’s and Hahn’s sales went to benefit “Heroes and Handbags”- an event held in Houston and Dallas to benefit Heroes and Children. Heroes for Children is a Texas-based charity that advocates for and helps provide financial and social assistance for families of children (up to 22 years old) battling cancer.

Hahn’s bags range from $175 for small bags to $550 for a tote. Check out Hahn Gallery for additional information.

Fashion Houston Day 3

Day three of Fashion Houston was buzzing with excitement, as two of Houston’s notable local designers were featured on the runway. The line-up for the evening was Rolando Santana, Chloe Dao, David Peck and Yigal Azrouel.

I’d like to begin with the first designer of the evening- Rolando Santana. Rolando was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico and had a love of fashion and design from an early age. He would spend a lot of time watching his Mother create beautiful garments for her clients at her home-based dressmaking shop. He also loved going to the fabric stores, getting lost in the midst of all the unique fabrics. When he was 13, he starting helping his Mother out in her new production factory, which is where he gained better experience with pattern-making, construction and sewing. In 1991, he moved to New York City to further pursue his career in fashion. He studied at Mercy College and FIT, before working for a few fashion houses. In 2009, he was finally able to launch is own namesake brand and focused on designing with his customer in mind. His Spring/Summer 2014 collection was inspired by artist- Frida Kahlo and her strength and confidence. Rolando felt that her eclectic style and her bold way of wearing classic tailored garments were what influenced his collection the most. I felt that Santana’s collection was very fine-tuned and classic. The color palette was mainly soft, though I did see pops of bright yellows pretty florals. The fabrics were rich and crisp (loved the laces and sequins). The flouncy peplums on the pencil skirts, dresses and tops also caught my eye. It was a great collection that I’m sure Ms. Kahlo would be proud of.

Houston has gained a noteworthy designer ever since her winning slot on Project Runway. Chloe Dao realized her love of fashion from an early age. She studied at Houston Community College and then went on to obtain a degree in pattern-making from FIT in New York City. She worked in New York for about eight years, getting her hands dirty in every aspect of the fashion industry. In 2000, she returned to her hometown of Houston, where she opened Lot 8 (now DAO CHLOE DAO) in Rice Village. In 2006, she tried out for Project Runway and won Season 2. Chloe is known for her cocktail and evening wear, so for her Spring 2014, she decided to branch out and try something outside the box. Her inspiration was street fashion- mainly the fun and quirky outfits worn by some of the world’s top editors (like Giovanna Battaglia for instance). Chloe loved how effortlessly put-together and carefree they look while running around from show to show, etc. She worked on building the inspiration for the collection for months and actually put together the collection in only four weeks. She knew it would be a challenge to incorporate street fashion into her aesthetic, but she was up for that challenge. She was also inspired by how the girls would mix prints, so she knew that that would be the focus of the collection. She started out with fifteen prints before finally narrowing it down to four dominant ones. She felt that prints speak to people and wanted the Spring collection to be fun and carefree. The accessories were also a crowd pleaser that evening, think rhinestone-encrusted lizards, giant lips and rings wire-wrapped with an oversize “COOL” slogan. Her favorite accessory was the ‘lips with cigarette’ necklace, which she proudly wore in the finale. She felt that the accessories were unexpected, yet allowed her collection to pop against the vibrant prints and simple silhouettes. I loved everything about the collection and can’t wait until it comes out next year so I can own a few pieces. Be sure to check out ChloeDao.com and add her on all your social media sites to get the latest information.

The next designer also captured a roaring applause from his community- David Peck. David first started on a path towards a career in music. It was while he was working at Ralph Lauren doing their windows, that he realized he was more into fashion design. He then moved to Paris for five years, where during that time, he studied at Parsons and worked for several top fashion houses. In 2008, he moved to New York City, where he co-founded Untitled 11:11, a sustainable and high-end womenswear brand that was favored by celebrities like Taylor Swift and Rose McGowen. In 2010, he moved to Houston (where his wife is originally based) to be closer to family and eventually launched CrOp (Creative Opportunities) by David Peck. His brand is dedicated to socially responsible and local manufacturing, charitable partnerships, job creation and using practices that offer minimal impact on the environment. During his presentation at Fashion Houston, he gave us a taste of the different variations of his brand. The first half of the collection was his Fall/Winter 2013 ready-to-wear. He was inspired by his love of classic cinema, notably three Gregory Peck films- To Kill a Mockingbird, Gentlemens Agreement and Roman Holiday because they have themes of social responsibility or social injustice. The silhouettes are also inspired by the “Hitchcockian Era” of the 50s and 60s. He feels that this Mid-Century vibe is very relevant by today’s standards of timeless fashion. The second half of the collection was a peek into his Spring 2014 collection and custom bridal wear. The Spring 2014 collection was inspired by his taking a “desk vacation” since he’s been quite busy and not much time to travel. He used various objects he found around the office and was able to create prints and such for the collection. My favorite looks were the Mink faux-fur vest (the crop top version that wasn’t shown, though I saw at Tootsies, is on my “want list”), the herringbone exaggerated jacket with ruffle top and pencil skirt suit and the peridot chiffon oversize blouse with peacock handwoven pencil skirt. The finale caused the audience to tear up with joy as not only did David come out for his bow, but he brought out his entire team. He believes that it really takes a team to make the designs happen. He wanted them to experience the fashion show and see how well the community responded to his brand and the impact that it had on the city.

The night ended with Yigal Azrouel presenting his namesake signature Resort and Spring/Summer 2014 collections. He had just presented his other more contemporary line- Cut25, the night before. The collections were very geometric and architectural in design and construction. Once again, he stuck with his two signature and favorite colors- black and white and minimalist silhouettes; although he did add a few splashes of color here and there. We saw body-flattering dresses, moto jackets, slits and zippers. My favorite piece from the collection was the finale dress- a transparent halter dress with geometric structure and a hi-low skirt.

Stay tuned for the final night of Fashion Houston!

Art Institute of Houston Presents: Senior Fashion Design Showcase

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.

Huge congratulations to the designers and I wish you all the very best! Thank you Art Institute of Houston and Momentum Audi for having me in attendance.

heathermarie_033's Momentum Audi Houston album on Photobucket

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