It wasn’t until my recent attendance at the 2013 Austin Fashion Awards that it dawned on me… I’m really digging the golden boots…Not just because they are handed out to lucky individuals in the Austin fashion crowd, but they look ahem…fashionable…like ‘I wouldn’t mind pairing them with a pair of skinnies or a skirt or dress’ fashionable.
Ok..so all analogies aside, the ceremony took place at Austin Music Hall and was hosted by Sandy McIlree from the JB & Sandy Morning Show on Mix 94.7. The event featured The Golden Boot awards, with fashion shows mixed in between. There was also an intermission where guests could shop the pop-up shops by such vendors as Raven & Lilly and Goorin Bros. hats, check out Facecake– who’s concept ‘Swival’ allows users to be able to virtually try on clothing and accessories in real-time; and get have some fun in the photo booth. The host was witty and kept the audience entertained throughout the show, while also excusing himself during intermission to quickly have a tie made by Ross Bennett. Huge congratulations should be in order for the following winners:
2013 RISING STARS:
~ Isabella Rose Taylor
~ Daniel Esquivel
~ Jennifer Martinson
~ Sandra Antoun
~ Priscilla Barroso
2013 Mash-Up Team Winners:
There were five runway shows that evening. The first show offered looks from forty mash-up teams (meaning a team of at least a Photographer, Hair Stylist, Makeup Artist, Apparel Designer and Model- who then had to put together a concept for one amazing image). Then the last four involved four of Austin’s most distinguished designers: Kendra Scott, Boudoir Queen, Gail Chovan and Stephen Moser.
I would like to begin with Boudoir Queen by Dawn Younger-Smith. Her collections are always ethereal and hauntingly beautiful, each with vintage influences. This collection was no different. Younger-Smith used antique fabrics (mainly from the 1800s-1930s) and based her inspiration on a juxtaposition of numerous ideals: ‘Rock n’ Roll Belle Époque’, ‘Paul Poiret’, ‘Ballet Russes’, ‘the Rolling Stones in Morocco in the 60s’ and ‘Diana Vreeland.’ The collection that flowed down the runway was apptly named “The Vreeland Collection” in which visually stunning gowns that could have come straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel danced down the runway. Being such a huge fan of vintage, I felt a fond appreciation of the collection, where everything is not only “green” but also one-of-a-kind works of art. Go to TheBoudoirQueen.com for further information and to shop the collection.
After several awards were handed out, it was Gail Chovan’s turn to take the stage. Gail Chovan was been an Austin staple for over twenty-five years, designing for her boutique and atelier- Blackmail, which is located on S. Congress Avenue. Chovan is known for creating artisanal couture in limited quantities and one-of-a-kind pieces. The Fall/Winter 2013 collection that glided down the runway was titled “Abiquiu” and was influenced by the painter Georgia O’Keefe and her life and work in the southwest town of Abiquiu, New Mexico. It is said that O’Keefe wore black in the fall & winter and white in the spring & summer. “The ephemeral nature of dust and the timelessness of stone…the idea of movement as opposed to the sedentary. A silhouette in black, a silhouette in white against the light of the desert and the mountains..The fabric chosen to represent this feeling was leather and hand-washed linen, at times dipped or sprayed in rubber to give it a stiffer form,” Gail explained about her inspiration and design technique. I loved the deconstruction and the simplicity of the designs. After looking up images of the late great painter, I envisioned that if O’Keefe were alive today, she’d be dancing around the beautiful New Mexico landscape in Chovan’s designs. Gail further explained her design aesthetic, “My work is unique because I eschew mass consumption and over industrialization. My designs shouldn’t be disposable. They should be timeless, each one made by hand with careful attention paid in my south Austin atelier…What I do within my designs is a study of weight, balance and texture. There is a playfulness and organic nature in the designs that let them take on a different dimension each time an individual tries on a creation.” If you are in the Austin area, take a trip over to Gail’s boutique…or if you aren’t local, go to BlackmailBoutique.com.
After a few more awards were given out, we were feted to a rather lavish presentation provided by famed Austin jewelry designer- Kendra Scott. Kendra launched her brand in 2002 with just $500 and now has a global multi-million dollar label. The extravagant statement pieces, although designed for editorial use only, just screamed ‘wear me!’ Kendra’s inspiration for the collection is not only by current and upcoming pieces, but is also associated with the seasons, as she explains, “infusing rich colors and textures to create mega statement pieces reminiscent of spring, summer, fall and winter. A parade of bold baubles merging layering chains, tassels, ornate caging, feathers and organic etched metals with a kaleidoscope of colors, from turquoise and cobalt to abalone shell and tigers’ eye, created a season sensation on the runway.” It indeed created an audience sensation that night. This blogger was literally wide-eyed and oooooing-and-ahhhing the entire show. It was visually intense, but in the best way possible! If you’d like more information, shop the collection or create your own piece of jewelry at the Color Bar, go to KendraScott.com.
The grand finale show combined a mixture of theater and over-the-top fashion by none other than the iconic Stephen Moser. Moser launched his brand, Made in Heaven by Stephen MacMillan Moser in 1987 and has been a household name in the Austin fashion industry ever since. This was literally the show to end all shows in a sense that Moser once again portrayed illustrious showmanship and skillfully crafted twenty-six looks for men and women. This collection was called “Fashion As Theater: A Pagan Royal Wedding” in collaboration with headpiece designer- Jennifer Ayers. The story opens with a shaman (portrayed by Grant Hicks in black cut velvet trimmed with iridescent peacock fringe) chanting an invocation for the awards audience to join in a matrimonial celebration. Then we watch as a procession of royal guests from various unknown cultures parade across the stage, leaving us making up stories with our imagination about their origin. The ceremony then commences when the three high-priestesses arrive, with Pagan prince’s attendant and then the Pagan prince himself (portrayed by Fets Benevides in silver-on-silver silk lamè and velvet brocade trimmed with Blue Arctic Fox) in tow. Then we see two bare-breasted mistresses of the Pagan princess appear, followed by the Pagan princess herself (portrayed by Elle LaMont, star of the new Machete movie, in a silver stretch foil column topped with crystal-beaded mesh and trimmed with Blue Arctic Fox). After the union is consecrated, the shaman makes a blessing. The end. Oh and did I mention there was a flame swallower in the middle of the action?! It was pretty intense. I must say, this is the second time I’ve witnessed a Stephen Moser runway show and I must say that he’s outdone himself in this being one of the most unique shows I’ve seen. As Moser states, “Seeing is believing…”
It was a great show and turn-out. Again, huge congratulations to all the winners!