Tag - Houston

1
Damsel White Label Creates Buzz for Alternative Brides
2
Late Night Vintage and Antiques Shopping at The PLACE Upstairs
3
‘Fashionably Illustrated’ with Langford Market x Rongrong Devoe
4
Pink Hair…Don’t Care!
5
Rongrong Devoe – Fashion Illustrator
6
Fashion Houston Finale: Bling, Menswear, Ocean Blues and Visions of Marfa
7
Fashion Houston Night Three: Vintage Renaissance, Melancholy Photography, Mark Rothko and Chloe Dao

Damsel White Label Creates Buzz for Alternative Brides

The cold weather didn’t stop perspective brides-to-be and their friends from going out to Silver Street Studios Events open house this past week. The inaugural event, organized by Piper & Muse, was titled “The Creative Heart of Houston” and showcased several creative wedding professionals; including Cafe Natalie, Swift + Company and Flora Eventi. The event seemed to be quite interactive, ranging from mingling with industry experts, tasty food and cake sampling, a fun photo booth and a DIY station provided by Pop Shop.

The main reason I was there was to support friend and local bridal designer- Natalie Harris of the Damsel White Label, who hosted a runway show showcasing her latest creations. I would describe Damsel White Label, which launched in 2013, as ‘couture for the alternative bride,’ as her designs aren’t for the typical cookie-cutter bride. The rebellious yet sophisticated gowns feature unexpected details; such as killer stripes, edgy silhouettes, laces and bursts of color. The looks that evening also boasted bouquets constructed out of brooches and bits of fabric. Harris states that she designs for the Montrose/Heights/Austin-type gal in mind and creates styles that stay true to the wearer’s personality. She offers her client “Haute Custom Service,” where she takes her passion for design to the next level. She works one-on-one with the client, starting from the initial consultation and works with the bride to customize and make sure the dress is PERFECT for the big day. The entire collection that was showcased is customizable, from the hem length, a sleeve addition and even down to the fabric substitution. Harris showcased a floral print gown, where the print was actually designed by Harris herself, which that too, is also customizable. Harris goes on to explain, “Brides may order a custom print as a sentimental touch used as a print lining. Past clients have chosen everything from punk rock concert posters to a memoriam with a father’s army stripes or grandmother’s favorite flower. From the inside out, Damsel White Label strives to make gowns that make everyone say, “Oh, that’s so [insert amazing client’s name here]!”

If you are currently on the hunt for a fun yet edgy gown for your big day and want to break away from the tradition- definitely check out Damsel White Label.

Late Night Vintage and Antiques Shopping at The PLACE Upstairs

The PLACE Upstairs

3708 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002
HOURS: Thursday-Saturday 9PM- 1AM
FACEBOOK

“Beautifully Bizarre” is the tagline for The PLACE Upstairs- Houston’s latest and greatest late night antique and vintage shopping experience. With a tagline and offbeat shop hours like that, you just have to wonder…’What DO they have up there?’ and ‘Who goes antique shopping at 11:30 at night?!’

The PLACE Upstairs is located well…as it’s namesake states…upstairs and above the local neighborhood bar- Continental Club. The whole 2nd floor of the building is actually a hidden gem of local vintage shops, but The PLACE Upstairs just happens to break the mold and stand out just a tad bit more. It opened in September 2013 by husband and wife proprietors- Laura and Mike, who also own Replay on 19th Street in the Heights.

Them being long-time collectors of vintage, antiquities and oddities themselves, decided to cash in their ‘wealth of stuff’ or ‘401K’ as they humbly call it; when they found that perfect spot in the Mid-Main section of Houston. Once the space was established, coming up with a name of the shop was also somewhat of a daunting task. Though it wasn’t until one brief conversation with the owner of the Continental Club for the name to be set…

The conversation went something like this:

CC Owner: ‘What are you calling your new shop?’
Mike: ‘What, the place upstairs?’
CC Owner: ‘Yeah, what are you calling it?’

So you can imagine a gigantic lightbulb above Mike’s head going Ah HA! The name was vague, enough to make you question- ‘what is it’? “So we didn’t want to say what it was…but we did want to say WHERE it was.”

Then the shop was first opened, 100% of the merchandise was from their personal collections; though now it’s more like 85%. Laura recalls that when people would come up to the counter with an item, she would say, ‘Oh! This was above my sink for fifteen years!’ “Everything has a home to me still (in my head). Like, I know where it was in my house…”

Laura credits all her beautiful stuff softens the blow of Mike’s bizarre stuff (such as antique medical tools, doll parts, taxidermy). They have a running joke, “You might want to try on the rhinestone bracelet, but it might be on a raccoon paw!” She says the oddest things she has are the post-mortem photos. “I think it’s fascinating that that might have been their only memory of someone. And that they pose them like they were living. It’s just utterly fascinating. Morbid in a way, but in an endearing way.”

The earliest piece they have in the shop is a Roman coin, followed by pieces from the 1850s/60s and then up. My guess is that there is nothing really above the 1960s (and that’s even pushing it). I could literally stay there for a few hours, just looking at the 1800s/1910s beaded handbags, clothing and just…stuff… that’s the best way I can put it, because there’s just a hodge-podge of curiosities that could fit every category … Also, the best thing is that there’s usually a story (provenance) or two behind everything and usually Laura or Mike are happy to tell it. The average price- points of the shop are $30-40ish, but there are bits and baubles for $1 and apparently a item or two up to $8,000. “We want people to leave with something. We like to think of this place as an adoption agency. We are just finding homes for treasures.”

‘Fashionably Illustrated’ with Langford Market x Rongrong Devoe

My lovely friend and fashion illustrator- Rongrong Devoe hosted the ‘Fashionably Illustrated’ meet-the-artist event at Langford Market in Rice Village last night. Her presentation of her wares: prints, cards, totes and cell phone cases complemented Langford Market’s boho esthetic. Large framed prints hung all around the store. It was chance to shop, have light bites, champagne and mingle with the artist; who also did live sketching with an in-store purchase.

While there, I also met another fashion illustrator- Eva Duplan, who recently relocated to Houston from Dallas. She is (now) a mutual friend of Rongrong and I’s. I do hope that there are more events that enable local artists like Rongrong and Eva to showcase their talents to the community. These ladies are incredibly talented and their illustrations embody different traits that are special and unique. Basically, my point being… everyone has their own way of perceiving things and these ladies show that through their illustrating.

Before I took my leave, I had the chance to see Rongrong in action, sketching the cutest customer, wearing a hot pink knit sweater and billowy floral skirt. I was impressed to see that it probably took Rongrong maybe ten minutes to sketch her. The illustration (in color I might add) turned out exceptional and the girl was just ecstatic with joy.

Keep up the great work Rongrong!

Pink Hair…Don’t Care!

** Photography by Nicole Kestenbaum Photography **

(Vintage Top- THE Place Upstairs, Skirt c/o Choies.com, Clutch- H & M, Heels c/o Nine West.)

Yet another night of Fashion Houston 2014! I now officially LOVE wigs!

Rongrong Devoe – Fashion Illustrator

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to draw. However nowadays, my focus has changed…but I do admire folks who are talented in the art of illustration…in all industries. I recently heard about Rongrong Devoe- a local Houston fashion illustrator- via Popshop and of course, instagram. She has the gift of taking images of models, celebrities and bloggers and creating remarkable likenesses of them on paper. I had the opportunity to not only sit down with her to discuss her blossoming career as an illustrator, but also watch her draw a model in the latest Elie Saab collection.

LAFS: Tell me a little about your background in the fashion industry?

Rongrong: I moved to NYC to pursue my Master’s degree of Illustration at Fashion Institute of Technology six years ago. While I was in school, I worked as a part time design assistant at a women’s apparel company for a year, while freelancing as a fashion illustrator as the same time. After I graduated, I worked as a full time CAD designer for a private label company for three years. I mainly use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to design intimate apparel and sleepwear.

LAFS: What got you started in illustration?

Rongrong: I have loved drawing ever since I was a child. I fell in love with fashion when my Mom bought me the first fashion magazine- ELLE China since I was 15. I spent so much time drawing beautiful models and clothing during my teens. After college I realized there is a career called fashion illustration, so I decided to apply to FIT to study fashion illustration.

LAFS: Why “fashion”?

Rongrong: I have always loved drawing beautiful things. Models, gowns and street style are my major inspirations. Can you imagine without fashion, how boring the world will be?

LAFS: Do you have any mentors/favorite illustrators or designers you look up to for inspiration?

Rongrong: Yes. A lot of people inspire me, such as: David Downton, William Bil Donovan and Jennifer Lilya.

LAFS: What is your working environment like?

Rongrong: I work at home most time, though sometimes in coffee shops. There is one spare room in my apartment that I use as my studio.

LAFS: What mediums do you use?

Rongrong: I use pencil, watercolor and Japanese brush. But I am always looking for new mediums to experiment.

LAFS: Three words that describe your work?

Rongrong: Playful, Detailed and Colorful.

LAFS: Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a career in fashion illustrating?

Rongrong: I think you have to ask yourself how much you love fashion illustration? If you decide to pursue this career, you need a lot of practice and need to have social media accounts to share your work and to connect with your audience, which is essential!

LAFS: Where can we find you to see your work and connect with you?

Rongrong: I have a website and I am also on Instagram and Etsy.

In summary, Rongrong and her incredible talent are a huge asset to Houston’s fashion industry. I’m so happy she chose this city to call home and I’m excited to see what she does next!

** Thank you for the illustration of me! **

Rongrong from Heather on Vimeo.

Fashion Houston Finale: Bling, Menswear, Ocean Blues and Visions of Marfa

Lebanese designer- Rami Salamoun introduced his collection of luxurious couture evening wear for men and women. Gowns were heavy in beading and sparkle, as were the detailing in the mens suits and tuxedos. The gorgeous gowns basically wore the models, in the fact that there were lines that curved and hugged the body in the right places, while tastefully showing just the right amount of skin. The finale was a man wearing what seemed to be traditional Middle Eastern garb, with the highlight being the large cape, bearing the Lebanese flag, which sparkled under the spotlights.

Miami-based menswear designer Fabrice Tardieu launched his namesake brand in 2013. He is known for blending classic street style with couture structuring. He gathers much of his inspiration through the street style culture of Wynwood Arts District in Miami. That Wynwood flair showed in his Spring/Summer 2015 collection, through the form of floral printed blazers, textured leather jackets, Ben Franklin screen-printed tees and red and black track pants with tapered legs. Thanks to Tardieu, men have a fresh outlet for letting their creative styling juices flow.

Local Houston designer- Amir Taghi joined us once again for the final night of FH5. This time, we had a chance to peek into two collections- one that was available for immediate buying and the other that was available for pre-order for Spring. For Fall, Amir looked to Iran’s past and present. “The past is known for intricate patterns and designs, but the present is known for the dictatorship ruling the country at this point in time. My job was to show the struggle of the ancient and the modern,” he explained. However, for Spring, he was inspired by Bianca Jagger and Carine Roitfeld- two powerful women were are fierce, bold and empowered. Overall, the collections were minimal in shape, yet compelling when it came to a small detail. I must say that I enjoyed the Fall collection a tad better, as I was a fan of the pop of red against a nude, print or light pink. I loved the draped bow in the back of a strapless nude dress. It was somewhat awkward…yet….somehow, it just WORKED. Then there were two more looks, an exaggerated off-the-shoulder light pink top paired with a red pencil skirt, a printed top with red maxi skirt that were my favorites as well. So simple…and yet dramatically good. The Spring collection was lovely, with a pastel palette and wearable separates. I appreciated the cigarette pants and halter tops with quirky embellished collars. The Spring/Summer 2015 collection is currently available for pre-order here.

New York City luxury ready-to-wear and jewelry designer- Valentina Kova presented her Spring 2015 collection- “Aequorea,” which was mainly inspired by her love of the sea, scuba diving and surfing. The color palette was rich with a mix of dark and pastel hues, hinting at the marvelous colors of the sea and the kaleidoscopic creatures that reside in it. The looks were breezy and could take one from a day at the beach to a night on the town. Valentina is also known for intertwining masculine with feminine, which was evident in the finely tailored jackets and trench coats. The fluidity of the chiffon and silk blouses and slip-like dresses were inspired by jellyfish. She also sent out a bodysuit tucked under a flowy silk trench coat that resembled a scuba suit. I feel that Valentina captured the essence of the sea beautifully through fashion.

Last but certainly not least, Houston designer David Peck‘s impeccable collection took to the runway. This Fall/Winter Resort season, he was inspired by a road trip to his hometown of Santa Fe, NM last Fall. He also went to Roswell, Taos and Marfa. He designed prints that were inspired by those cities, as well as the colors and textures that reside in the area. There was one notable print he used, a picture of a vintage trailer parked in a desert landscape; he explained to me that he took that print from a photograph he took while at the El Cosmico Hotel in Marfa. The collection featured his signature easy separates, finely-tuned career wear, stunning cocktail and eveningwear and lastly- the debut of his faux-fur vest collection. David additionally added statement accessories, such as handwoven clutches, belts and jewelry- all bearing resemblance to the Southwest. Just when you thought the presentation was over, there was one surprise after another. There was one segment when the models marched down the runway in two versions of David’s faux fur vests. Just when you thought, ‘oh this can’t get any better…’ well my friend, it does. The light dimmed and we were mesmerized by dancers from the Houston Ballet. The finale of the show had models mixed with the dancers, who were sporting exotic masquerade masks. Congrats to another successful collection David! I want one of everything in my closet… please… and thank you!

Fashion Houston Night Three: Vintage Renaissance, Melancholy Photography, Mark Rothko and Chloe Dao

New York designer Bibhu Mohapatra once again returned to Houston and graced us with another wonderful collection. His Spring 2015 ready-to-wear collection was inspired by British writer, heiress and political activist- Nancy Cunard (1896-1965). Bibhu had been on a Cunard ocean liner a couple years back and read about her in the ship’s library. He recalls being enthralled by her philanthropist lifestyle and style. Her style was very eclectic, as she favored large African-inspired statement jewelry made from mainly natural materials, such as: wood, bone and ivory. She was known for stacking large bracelets on both arms, from wrist to elbow. The necklaces she wore consisted of bulky cubes, taking on a hint of ‘Cubism.’ Mohapatra’s collection was his view on how he thinks Nancy would dress if she were alive today. Geometric patterns, leather and vintage (notably the 20s/Art Deco period) silhouettes were very prominent in the collection. All the looks were powerful, modern and feminine, while taking on an air of Nancy Cunard’s legacy.

Rebecca Minkoff flew in from New York City to present her Spring/Summer 2015 collection, inspired by Deborah Turbeville- a fashion photographer who was known for turning the otherwise light and whimsical art of fashion photography and turning it into more dark and melancholy beauty. She would manipulate her negatives by scratching, tearing or dirtying them up; as well as fade the color or deliberately overexpose them. Minkoff sent easy breezy bohemian pieces, along with her signature handbags down the runway. Some of the looks also gave off a subtle 70s vibe. A fringed moto jacket, reversible moto jacket, crisp blue and white with blue strip shirt-dresses stood out as key pieces in my opinion.

Houston Community College alum Jo’se (Jio’zei) Reyes’s collection took on an all new meaning to the “in charge” mantra. Structured suiting in dark hues were key elements in the collection. Geometric cut-outs and edgy color-blocking were strong points, while Reyes also took risks by including risqué slits in numerous garments. Regardless of the sensuality of some of the looks, Reyes still nailed the powerful “take charge,” strong career wear.

During intermission, pop/soul singer and songwriter- Ashley Toman took to the stage and performed a couple of her hit songs.

New Yorker Rolando Santana also returned to Houston to showcase his Spring/Summer 2015 collection, inspired by one of his favorite painters- Mark Rothko. The collection wasn’t a literal take on Rothko’s paintings, rather it adhered more to the simplicity of his work, the overall color-blocking and a hint of ‘Cubism.’ Lovely pastels played with darker hues on 40s/50s style dresses, flared skirts and bouncy blouses. Santana also took to toying with multiple textures, such as: fur, sequins, silks, etcetera. It was quite a pretty collection and I’m excited to see what Rolando brings to Houston next year.

Houston’s very own Project Runway darling- Chloe Dao was the last designer to headline night three. Of course, her Spring 2015 collection ‘The Building Block’ was undoubtedly a crowd-pleaser. Chloe goes on to state that, “The designs are meant to be staples in your closet. It was about building the perfect wardrobe for a woman. Within the collection, there were a lot of classic ‘must have’ pieces, such as a luxurious silk striped dress shirt, a sultry off-the- shoulder dress and a the ultimate skirt.” Chloe opted for timeless silhouettes, but added little touches of her own (such as fresh fabric choices). The ‘WOW pieces’ that seemed to get the most rave from the audience were the finale dresses in a gorgeous floral fabric. I also loved the long wrapped striped shirt dress, so crisp and clean. Check out chloedao.com for additional information. Be sure to also stop by her boutique in Rice Village if you are local to Houston (6127 Kirby Drive Houston,TX 77005).

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