Tag - Houston Community College

KisaKisa Clutches Create Buzz Among Houston’s Fashionable Set
"Shear Dimensions" HCC Student Fashion Show
HCC Students Create 'Splendid' Fashions Based on Hapsburg Dynasty

KisaKisa Clutches Create Buzz Among Houston’s Fashionable Set

Kisa Williams’ round clutches have the fashionable crowd in Houston buzzing. Williams launched her brand- KisaKisa in 2015 and creates round statement clutches in a variety of prints and colors. She has an intense passion for what she does, and pours her heart into her work. Every clutch is handmade in Houston. I very recently commissioned her to do a custom piece for me, inspired by cactus, the desert, and the Southwest. I just received my bag and OHMIGOODNESS…. she NAILED it! I just can’t sing enough praise for her talent and an eye for something DIFFERENT!

Below are photos of the handbag in the desert. I thought it was only fitting, as desert and cacti/Southwest go hand-in-hand…

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

KisaKisa Cactus Clutch, made in Houston, Southwest print, desert, mountains

LAFashionsnob: Tell me a little about yourself…

Kisa: I’m from Austin, Texas. I moved to Houston in 2001 when I transferred with my job, Houston Board of Realtors. I can remember sitting on my mom’s bed in my PJs, watching her get dressed. It was like an art form. She had pride in the way she looked. Everything was perfect, from her hose, to her lipstick that matched her handbag and shoes. I can remember her having so much jewelry; and she would allow me to try it on and play dress up. That is where my love of accessories was born. Since I was a sick child, she made sure I had other activities to do besides going outside to play. So she drowned me in markers, colored paper, glue, and glitter; and I had the big pack crayons with the sharpener on the side. I can remember I had a Scooby Doo coloring book. I felt so sad for them [the characters] because they were in the same outfits all the time. So I colored Velma Dinkley’s outfit different, I made her turtleneck purple with small pink and yellow flowers. Her A-line skirt was boring, so I colored it black and white polka dots. Her socks matched the yellow flowers in her sweater. I also gave her gold glitter shoes.

I decided to go back to school late in my life, my 40’s. I have had many other jobs: real estate, nanny, clerical, and I was even a foster mom for awhile. I felt like I had a creative side, but just didn’t know how to express it. HCC [Houston Community College] showed me how to tap into my creative side and do something spectacular. I owe everything to them. The professors not only teach you, but they mentor you as well. I’m not a number, I’m KISA. I can remember sitting across the table from my professor at Chili’s on 59, and pulling out my badly made sample handbag to show her. She was like, ‘OMG I love it!’ She advised me on the size of the bag and other minor changes that I made.

LAFashionsnob: Speaking of handbags, what inspired you to start making the clutches?

Kisa: I have always been a handbag girl. I would often be asked, “Where did you get that bag?” The first chance I got, I took a handbag class with Professor Ken Simmons at HCC, and that is where it all started. I took a very simple concept and made it my own. I owe a lot to Simmons. I’m going to name a bag after him.

LAFashionsnob: Why are the clutches in the shape that they are?

Kisa: I did know at first why I was drawn to the circle, but while having lunch with a close friend- Sarah Shah, she pointed out to me that the circle is the shape of a sickle cell. I was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, the disease causes my red blood cells to be in the shape of a sickle. When the bag is open, it is the shape of a normal blood cell. There is no cure for the disease… YET. I hope to being awareness and raise money with a signature red bag.

LAFashionsnob: What makes your handbags unique?

Kisa: My bags are unique because they are circles, and made out of fabric, not leather. I was so tired of seeing square and rectangular shaped bags. I wanted to do something different. I mix colors and fabrics in a unique way, something different than black and brown.

LAFashionsnob: Where can we find your handbags?

Kisa: www.kisakisafashion.com, @kisakisafashion, Pinterest, and Mio Boutique on Westheimer in Houston.

KisaKisa clutch, fashion, style, Houston made clutch

KisaKisa clutch, fashion, style, Houston made clutch

KisaKisa clutch, fashion, style, Houston made clutchKisaKisa clutch, fashion, style, Houston made clutch

KisaKisa clutch, fashion, style, Houston made clutch

KisaKisa clutch, fashion, style, Houston made clutch

"Shear Dimensions" HCC Student Fashion Show

Houston Community College recently presented its Spring Fashion Show – “Shear Dimensions” and I was so excited to have witnessed it. The show featured twenty student designers, with each student showcasing at least five garments in their collection. These students truly exceeded my expectations, from their collection concepts to their craftsmanship. This show even surpasses some of the fashion shows I’ve been to…

Now, let’s hear it for the designers:

* Kristen Hanks presented “Swinging London,” a delightful collection of 1960s-inspired shift dresses with vibrant geometric shapes and zig zag patterning. Hanks was largely inspired by her grandmother and photos of her style back in the late 50s and early 60s. “I’ve always loved the 60s mod look. The mod movement known as Swinging London was also a big influence when creating my collection. I also used different textiles such as vinyls and suedes for the geometric shape accents on my dresses to give texture and add mixed media. The geometric shapes came from the art movement known as constructivism, which I have always loved, and helps add a more modern aesthetic,” Kristen further explained. Any inquiries for custom pieces or buying information can be directed to lizzie_hanks@yahoo.com or (281)736-0532.

* Haylee Cater presented “Cashmere”- another seemingly vintage-inspired collection, which was a combination of multi-brown and white checkered-print skirt, dress, and jacket ensembles.

* Constance Franklin presented “Le Smoking.” It was very “Mad Hatter,” with whimsical tailcoats, veiled millinery and eye-catching patterns.

* Linda Padilla presented “Marina Collections,” a collection with a “nautical-meets-sailor” sort of theme.

* Cecilia Rojas presented an all-white collection, adequately titled: “Angels.”

* David Valdez presented “Havana Melody,” a print-heavy plus-size collection with awesome fringe detail and uber-cute top and skirt ensembles.

* Lara Faussat created “Exotics,” a collection with an assortment of separates, with two things in common: lovely scalloped hems and unique blend of multi-blue with prints fabrics.

* Lauren Battistini’s inspiration for her “Sculpted 70s” collection was Stevie Nicks’ style in the early to mid 70s. “I took note of her low necklines and wide leg pants, along with details such as: pendant necklaces and aviator sunglasses. I looked at the fabrics she wore, such as: suede, leather, and silks; combined in one outfit. Though I appreciate the bohemian, flowy aesthetic in her wardrobe, I personally aimed to design more fitted pieces. What you saw in my collection is essentially tailored or fitted. I narrowed the wide-leg pant a bit, minimized the volume in the bishop sleeve of the cobalt blue blouse and ‘sculpted’ the garments to the body,” Battistini further explained.

* Kemi Alao presented “Drive,” a collection that looked to have been inspired by a little bit of race car driving and ‘romanticized driving.’

* Annie Chyr presented an all black and white collection, titled “Dissociate.” I LOVED how she paired dresses with edgy structured capes.

* Erica Medrano presented “La Adelita Collection,” that I feel was inspired by Frida Kahlo. Bright flower crowns adorned the models heads. From the Matador-inspired jacket and shorts ensemble to the white finale gown with dramatic cape-like train in the back; that collection’s seemingly Hispanic influence really caught my eye.

* Maria Hammond’s “Resilience” collection had a more laid back 60s feel, with clean-cut sleeveless dresses that, when seen from the back, had a lovely bow design detail.

* Jessica Guardiola’s attention to sculptured shoulders and lines in her “En Garde” collection was really impressive. All her designs hugged the body’s curves, yet flowed when needed.

* Kitty Dupas’ “La Rapture,” focused on leather and black and white patterns, namely chevron and polka dots. I can imagine myself twirling happily, wearing the mini dress with long leather fringe.

* “La Vie en Rose,” by Claudia Covarrubias focused on sweet silk shantung-like cocktail dresses and one gorgeous ballgown.

* Katya Blakey’s “Black Swan” collection looks to have been inspired by the movie Black Swan. Each model wore a black gown with fitted bodice and full tulle skirt in a variety of lengths and had ribbon that was wound around one arm, which seemed to mimic the ribbon ties of ballet slippers.

* Monika Pham’s “Femme Fatale” collection was the essence of the femme fatale, but without overdoing it. Dresses that hugged the body or showed some leg with a slit were trendy details in the collection.

* Student designer Nhan Doan took the collection’s name “Walking Flowers” literally, in that the models that were walking, had flowers somewhere on their garment. The garments were subtle, allowing for the flowers to take center stage as either a statement belt or the awesome finale cape collar.

* Criseyda Arriaza’s “Eclipse” collection showcased beautifully tailored gowns that all had a black and red color palette.

* The last student designer was Alan Gonzalez, who presented “Glacier.” He chose a white and periwinkle color palette for his mixture of garments, ranging from cool pants with striped cut-outs at the bottom, a ruffled dress that reminded me of Rhianna’s pink Giambattista Valli Grammy dress; to the finale gown that needed a pint-sized escort to help carry the long train. Be sure to check out his website!

I want to personally thank Andrea Bonner, the rest of the faculty of HCC, the folks that helped create such a great show, models, designers, and makeup artists.

HCC Students Create 'Splendid' Fashions Based on Hapsburg Dynasty

In conjunction with the opening of the Hapsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections, a selection of fashion design students from Houston Community College were chosen to design an outfit or two based on this era. The Hapsburg Dynasty began in Austria in the late Middle Ages and concluded in the early 20th Century. Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is currently housing more than 90 works of art, including arms and armor, sculpture, Greek and Roman antiquities, court costumes, carriages, decorative-art objects, and paintings by Caravaggio, Correggio, Giorgione, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titian, and Velázquez.

The evening’s fashion presentation- “Fashion Fusion”- was where 20 garments went down the runway, blending edgy, yet contemporary views taken from the costumes and fabrics from the exhibition. The show was styled by Tamara Klosz Bonar, while the mile-high Marie Antoinette-inspired updos were fashioned by the talented Edward Sanchez and make-up was provided by Tre Spa.

Christian Le, Teresa Rangel, Samira Craig, Alfredo Saucedo, Judi Hallenback, Violet Navarro, Bridget Fizer were among the chosen designers to showcase their ‘splendid’ designs, ranging from ‘Gothic-esque Royalty’ to ‘a day at the races à la Ralph Lauren’ and ending with a magnificent finale of ball gowns.

The panel of judges, which included Fady Armanious, creative fashion director of Tootsies; Helga Aurisch, curator of European art; and Clifford Pugh, editor-in-chief of CultureMap unanimously crowned Christian Le 1st and 3rd place, while Teresa Rangel took home 2nd place.

Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections exhibition will continue to be around until September 13th. For tickets and more information, go HERE.

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