This season, 27-year-old Melbourne designer Michelle Aznavorian turned to past decades of fashion icons of Studio 54 for inspiration of her S/S17 collection preview in New York. The Misha Collection designer references classic 1970s and 1980s silhouettes for demure cocktail dresses, jumpsuits, belted coats, and slinky gowns. Intricate hand-beading and embroidery, custom lace, ostrich feathers, silk Devore, and pony leather were among with many luxurious materials that were used to create the feminine clothing. Iconic British model- Jourdan Dunn, opened the show, wearing a black leather mini wrap dress and gloves. She finished the show wearing a dark silver metallic maxi dress with sky-high slit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The Laura Rathe Fine Art Gallery was the setting for the Houston edition of Cynique Evoule Runway Series. Felicia Mosley launched the company in 2011 in hopes of bridging designers and models with some of the nation’s top influencers. According to Mosley, “The event is an opportunity for designers from coast to coast who have garnered attention from the general population of consumers and the media, to relay their aesthetic and their ideas through an inspired collection of garments and accessories. Since fashion has no borders, Cynique Evoule also sets out to serve as opportunity for talented designers from outside the country to introduce themselves in the Midwest fashion industry and grow their brands. The premise for this showcase is to bring the support of the city and other like cities to the governing bodies, gather the community under one roof to finally be able to appreciate design talent. What started out as hope for something ‘bigger and better’ for the city will now come to fruition throughout the country!”
The “Doctors on the Runway” series is part of Cynique Evoule’s community program. A portion of the proceeds benefit children’s hospitals in the cities where the the runway shows are held. This event’s portion of the proceeds went to Texas Children’s Hospital. Thirteen of Houston’s finest female doctors were transformed into models and sashayed down the runway, wearing Caché‘s Spring 2014 collection. The event also featured local designer Angelic Reese (a.k.a. Lisa Reed) and shoes by Luichiny.
The “Doctor’s on the Runway” series’s next stop is Chicago on April 27th, followed by Atlanta, Miami and finally New York.
**Dr. Heather Brown, Dr. Monica Gray, Dr. Terriya Richmond, Dr. Daisy Ayim, Dr. Nwanyieze Amajoh, Dr. Tamecka Knight, Dr. Kidada Lewis, Dr. Monique Mckight, Dr. Connie Nguyen, Dr. Lily Zhang, Dr. Vicki Carr, Dr. Tamyra Comeaux and Dr. Jonnae Atkinson — you ladies werked that runway! Congratulations and please keep doing what you do!**