Tag - Houston fashion

1
HCC Grad Brings "Alantude" to Houston’s Fashion Scene
2
A Leap of Style – A Vision of Ankara Prints
3
Kaleidoscope: Imaginarium

HCC Grad Brings "Alantude" to Houston’s Fashion Scene

Alantude Fashion Show

Recent HCC grad- Alan Gonzales held his first large-scale fashion show not long ago at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The fashion show had two showings over the course of a weekend. Now, this was not your ordinary fashion show. You see, Alan has been a theater major all his life. His fashion career started in high school when he wanted to showcase the costume designers, because he felt that the stage is always for the actors; and the costume designers never got as much praise as they should have. He felt that their work is also just as amazing. So, he decided to produce a fashion show for them. They then got the models and the venue ready, but when it came time to do it, the designers approached him, saying they couldn’t do it (and gave every excuse in the book). So they decided not to do it… That is, until one of the models, who didn’t get the memo, asked when the rehearsals were. Alan told him that there wasn’t going to be a show. He didn’t have designers. The model’s response led him to have a change of heart. “Do you need designers? What if YOU make the clothes?”

So within a month, he put together 35 designs and had his own fashion show. “That’s when I realized I think I could do it for a living. I found that I had so much happiness and beauty in myself being on stage. I like being able to project that on other people. So when I make a design, at that point it becomes about that person and their personality and getting to see themselves in their dream dress,” Gonzalez explained.

So, with that being said, it’s only fitting that, when you have an awesome theater background such as Alan’s, that when you put on a major fashion event, you have to “go big or go home,” right?!

He’s been working on this project for a year now, though it took about four to five months working with the models and getting the videos done by cinematographer- Andrew Petersen. The evening’s festivities started out with mingling in the Grand Hall. When it was time to proceed to the theater, we were treated to a Mariachi Band and models in long gowns as we walked down the main stairwell. We gathered in a smaller lobby, where a few more models in Gonzales’ designs were posing. One gal wore a white strapless dress, with the skirt created out of paper. This dress played the role of Alan’s guestbook. It was cool having a hands-on experience, being able to literally write on one of his creations.

We then headed to the Giant Screen Theater, where all three of Alan’s F/W 2016 collections would be presented on the 60ft x 80ft screen.

His ready-to-wear collection – “My Queen’s Fate” – was filmed in an abandoned building. Again, having his theater background in mind, Alan had two actors- Zachary Givens and Justin Gibbons- doing an intense fight scene, both on video and in the theater. The scene had an underlying message that also was in relation to the mass shootings that have been plaguing the world these last few years. “The idea of me not being able to control everything and knowing that some things are just out of my control. So the whole collection is black and white and it’s a knit, so it’s ready to wear. While the models are walking down the runway, we have actors shooting paint at the clothing while it walks, so the end result of how it looks or what the print is…I have no idea…It’s been scary not knowing, but it’s been great seeing the result of this new dress that I didn’t have control over.”

His avant-garde collection- “The Carter Collection – was filmed on scaffolding on the side of a church. Alan’s inspiration for that particular collection came from a situation he had with his best friend of almost seven years. Long story short, there was lots of unneeded drama and they have not spoken since. When Alan came back home, he took out all his aggression on his sketches. “The collection is red and black, paired with chicken wire hats .. so the whole collection is very aggressive. On a market standpoint, the collection covers your body from head to toe. The clothes don’t show much skin, which I think is very important, because we’re starting to notice the importance of women in today’s society- not just as these physical beings. So it’s nice to have women look great without showing skin.”

His last collection of the evening, the haute couture collection – “Glacier”- was filmed by a lake three quarters of a mile from where they parked. “I was trying to bring this ‘lake that had been frozen over with a mountainscape in the background’ to the city of Houston. But you don’t see that here. So I had to work with fabrics that would give you the sense of winter and cold and…just a glacier; but at the same time, it was Houston weather. So all the pieces are really light. The dress that everyone has been going crazy over (including yours truly) is 36 yards of fabric with horsehair hem at the bottom. I snuck boning into it as well, in order to give it the pouf that it has. The movement of it just comes from this ‘airy glacier’ that’s happening. Despite it being 36 yards of fabric, it’s extremely light and very breathable for Houston weather; that was my main concern, because winter here is never really “winter.” You get this breeze and than that’s it…”

After the video presentations, we proceeded back to the Grand Hall, where all 26 designs were on display on models. It was so cool actually seeing the clothes up close. I think that Alan did a fantastic job putting the whole production together and serving some fierce “Alantude.” Plus, what an interesting new fashion show concept, eh?

Check out Alan’s website for his portfolio and additional information!

A Leap of Style – A Vision of Ankara Prints

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “take a leap of faith” before… Well, that’s just what designer Karissa Lindsey did when she first started her locally manufactured line- A Leap of Style. “It’s also how I want my customers to feel when they’re wearing each piece. I want them to feel as though they’ve taken a style risk on some level. The name “A Leap of Style” embodies that fully.”

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

The Boundless Infinity Romper (similar print) / Ethnic Print Head Wrap in Dreamweaver

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

It all began when Karissa was growing up. She goes on to further explain, “As a kid, I wavered between wanting to be a fashion designer, a writer, or the next Oprah Winfrey. My mom loved to shop, and some of my fondest memories with her were taking shopping trips to the local mall or out of town. That, combined with my love for creating led me wanting a career in design. I got “off track” in high school though when I read somewhere that most designers didn’t make a lot of money, so I put that dream on the back burner and ended up pursuing careers that were equally unlikely to make me a millionaire. I started pursuing design again in 2013.”

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

There was a time when she went through a rough patch, during which she went to counseling and eventually had her faith renewed. “The more my faith in Christ grew, the more confident I became; and I wanted something that would reflect that new confidence on the outside – African prints, or ankara, are the perfect reflection of that with all of the bold colors and designs. I started out just designing a dress for my birthday, and a couple of friends encouraged me to sketch out a collection. I started sketching again, which was really freeing, and I bought a $50 sewing machine on eBay and got to work. A few months later I had a “line” and A Leap of Style was launched. It’s crazy to think how far the company has come from those initial days.”

Karissa’s inspiration stems from her admiration of vintage fashion- mostly the 50s and 70s. “The silhouettes from the 50s were just so flattering to the female form, and I always strive for flattering. And the 70s were just such a fierce time in fashion – I’m currently inspired by everything from the caftans that were so popular in that decade to the disco fashion. I love recreating these silhouettes in African-inspired textiles.”

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand / maxi skirt / crop top

Zuwa Maxi Skirt in Cobalt Maze / A Leap of Style Crop Top

 

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand / maxi skirt / crop top

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand / maxi skirt / crop top

“At the core of A Leap of Style, our goal is to empower and inspire women through fashion. That means empowering and inspiring the women who wear our pieces, as well as the women who work behind the scenes to make the clothing and make the brand “work”. I’m expanding the team and always on the lookout for women who want to use their talents with a creative startup – if anyone is interested, they can email us at:[info@aleapofstyle.com]! Be sure to check out the website, where we’ll be adding new styles after July 4th. Also, check us out on social media, as we are constantly updating our Instagram and Facebook pages. Right now, on the blog, we feature bloggers wearing pieces from A Leap of Style, but soon I’ll be blogging more personal pieces of inspiration, advice, and such from my journey as a designer. Our team is growing, but I want to maintain a personal touch and I’m a writer at heart too, so I’m excited for that.”

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

Embellished Truths Collection Birds of a Feather Shorts

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

 

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

I had heard of A Leap of Style through social media and numerous friends. I was thrilled when I had the chance to finally meet Karissa at one of her recent pop-up shops. For this shoot, I chose five pieces that I felt really conveyed my aesthetic. I loved being able to mix ‘n match the prints, as they all seem to work well with each other. When it came time to accessorize the looks, I added my own unique flair: vintage bracelets, oversize sunglasses, necklaces, and belt.

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

LAFashionsnob / A Leap of Style / Ankara / African prints / outfit / Houston brand

** Images by Sofia Emm **

Kaleidoscope: Imaginarium

Kaleidoscope Houston concluded with Imaginarium- held at the very cool Vivaldi Stone Boutique. Wikipedia defines imaginarium as a reference “to a place devoted to the imagination. There are various types of imaginaria- centers largely devoted to stimulating and cultivating the imagination, towards scientific, artistic, commercial, recreational, or spiritual ends.” The event was exactly that… a destination into one’s imagination. The artists that showcased that evening (including myself) helped transform the showroom into a inspiring showcase. The art gallery-esque lighted stone sample walls created a unique backdrop for the runway. Shawn Flowers and Yung Chris HK (founder of Son Kiss’d) were the fabulous hosts of the evening.

Now, because I spend the good first half of the show behind-the-scenes, I wasn’t able to see most of the performances, which included: Fenyx Aerial, Stella Marie Manalo– (whose voice I heard during rehearsal, and the girl can SING!); Toki Singh and Son Kiss’d.

I showcased a curated vintage collection with pieces from my shop- Lone Star Vintage. I also included accessories that I have made throughout the years. It was a great experience for me to showcase my talent to the large audience.

Local bridal designer Natalie Harris of Damsel White Label had a low-key presentation, that of which I wasn’t able to fully see. However, I was able to catch a glimpse of the designer with two of her models after the program. She was showcasing select gowns, one of which is one of my faves. To the unforeseen eye, it’s a gorgeous white wedding gown, BUT if you look closely under the white overlay, you can see a beautiful print of a Texas bluebonnet field. The prints are basically why I’m going to get my (eventual) wedding dress done by her. Harris likes to incorporate edgy and memorable details into the gowns, thus giving the bride-to-be a non-traditional approach to her beautiful day.

The last half of the evening (and the half that I was able to watch) continued with the debut of Of Myth + Muse’s first collection. The brand’s designer- Em Natalicchio also collaborated with Elyse Herman of Bark & Beam, a brand that does bohemian flower and crystal crowns. Natalicchio’s designs were feminine and romantic. I loved the black leather romper with lace top, the bralettes and skirts.The Of Myth + Muse website is live, however the collection will not be available until spring.

The last runway presentation belonged to André Redou on apparel, Damari & CO. on gloves, and Shopnonhuman on jewelry. Fashion designer- André Redou is also a furniture designer. His collection was sexy and clever. High-waisted shorts (my fave), pencil skirts, tops and jackets were in materials such as: vinyl, mesh and nylon. Damari Rubio- glove designer-extraordinaire at Damari & CO.,created a collection of short and long gloves for Kaleidoscope that I feel represented each of her collections: Be Chic, Be Fit, Be Free, Be Playful and Be Romantic. Michelle Yue is the brains behind Shopnonhuman– a jewelry brand that focuses on minimalistic-meets-futuristic designs that are mostly created from high-quality lucite. I especially love the ‘knot choker‘ and the ‘bangle bundle.’

I want to thank Pamela of Ubertina Productions for putting on this amazing event where local artists and creatives can come together and do amazing things. I also want to thank the entire Kaleidoscope team- you guys worked extremely hard and rocked it! Let’s see what Kaleidoscope Houston 2017 brings!

** Toki Singh **

Photo by Ubertina Productions

** Lone Star Vintage collection photo courtesy of Ubertina Productions **

Copyright © 2013. Created by Meks. Powered by WordPress.