Name: Alana Madill
Occupation: Wardrobe Stylist
Spotted at: South Congress
Wearing: vintage Christian Dior swimsuit, Habitual shorts, vintage jewelry, American Apparel bag
keep austin stylish
It was the end of the night and time for the last runway show, and while I was highly anticipating seeing Stephen Moser’s runway collection, I could tell some of the audience had grown weary. If you left the Austin Fashion Week Awards early last Saturday night (and I know some of you did), you missed out. Stephen Macmillan Moser closed the show with a theatrical performance that I think truly surpassed everyone in the audience’s expectations. I was waiting to see a fashion show, but what I got was something completely different.
When you think of Kendra Scott jewelry, you probably don’t think of high-fashion runways. As the go-to jewelry line for Austin females wanting a pop of color, or a simple statement necklace, it is impossible to go to almost any event in town without seeing at least one girl wearing Kendra Scott. And as likely as you are to see cowboy boots or burnt orange at a UT football game, you’re about just as likely to spot some Kendra Scott earrings. But for the Austin Fashion Week Awards last weekend, Kendra Scott once again amped up the “wow factor” for the runway. Kendra Scott jewelry might just be an accessory, but the first model walked out looking like a walking, breathing, chandelier come to life, immediately proving its worthiness of the runway.
Two models slowly creeped down the double runway, their footsteps in sync like soldiers, but their walk as light as ballerinas. Gail Chovan’s runway show at the Austin Fashion Week Awards reminded me once again how fully encompassing her shows always are. Gail Chovan, local designer and owner of Blackmail boutique and atelier, is one of Austin’s veteran designers. Gail notoriously considers herself to design outside of Austin’s fashionable comfort zone by adhering to a more avant garde European-taught design aesthetic. Gail studied fashion design in Paris and now teaches there when she can. Her collections consistently invoke emotion within me, and I look at her designs like works of art.
After the Boudoir Queen’s runway show ended, I felt like I was being forced to get off a magical carnival ride. I didn’t want it to end, and if I had been my two year old self, I might have thrown a temper tantrum in my front row seat. Dawn Younger-Smith’s clothes do it to me every time. The designer has a way of using clothes to create a romantic world that most women can only see in their dreams. Using vintage and antique fabrics, some dating all the way back to the 1800′s, Dawn said her inspiration for her Fall 2013 collection titled “Vreeland” included everything from famed French designer Paul Poiret to the Rolling Stones in Morocco.
“Keep Austin fashion weird!” Daniel Esquivel exclaimed from the podium as he received one of 4 golden boot awards given out to the “Rising Stars” of Austin fashion. The local designer and recent Project Runway alum was definitely doing his part to keep the fashion weird at the Austin Fashion Week Awards last weekend. The designer showed up to the red carpet on Saturday night wearing a handmade leather rabbit ears mask. He obviously caught my eye, and I have to say that he was one of the few people I saw at the Awards who actually was bold enough to wear something outrageous and eye-catching. I believe there are two ways to go about dressing for the Austin Fashion Week Awards, you can either 1) wear something red carpet worthy and glamorous, or 2) wear something unique and funky.
Many of the ladies Saturday night went for an “old Hollywood” look, and trends I spotted that night included vintage headpieces, feathers, and jewels worn in the hair. A majority of the men that night opted for a “dapper gentleman” look wearing wingtip shoes, pocket squares, bow ties, and William Jackson of Influential Magazine even donned a boater.
So there I was with my friend attempting to zip me into a dress that was admittedly a little on the snug size. When the zipper suddenly stopped and felt like it might completely refuse to go up any farther, I held my breath and just said a little prayer to the fashion gods.
About a week ago I had the pleasure of being a judge for something called the “Black and Tan” fashion show, a fashion design challenge that took place during the beginning of Austin Fashion Week. The dress I chose, and the one which ended up winning the challenge, was designed by local Austin designer Amanda Yilmaz. I am so happy that the fashion challenge introduced me to her, because her work is beautiful. Amanda graciously let me pretend to be important for a night, and I wore her fancy red carpet worthy black lace gown to the Austin Fashion Week Awards last weekend. I lost count of how many compliments I received, and I was so happy to be able to introduce so many people to this lesser known Austin designer. It’s time for Austin to know about Amanda! I mean, just take a look at this other total couture gown she has made… pretty fantastic, no?
Name: Jonathan Coker
Wearing: Wrangler top, vintage jacket, Topman
Found at: La Zona Rosa
recent Project Runway contestant and Austin based designer, Daniel Esquivel
As anticipation grew for the last night of Austin Fashion Week runway shows at La Zona Rosa, so did the threat of a thunderstorm over downtown Austin. By the time the first collection hit the runway, so did the rain. It’s only fitting that Friday night, which featured 5 former fashion reality show contestants, would end up causing the most dramatic scene. Raindrops fell through the old roof of La Zona Rosa and literally began to hit the runway as models wearing Crowned Bird strutted the catwalk in the first collection of the night. Priscilla Barroso, the designer behind Crowned Bird, set the bar high by showing a unique and playful retro-inspired collection. You can read more about Priscilla’s designs and see all the photos of her runway show here.
Because Friday night featured many designers whose work we have become familiar with via TV, there was unsurprisingly a lot of hype surrounding this night of runway shows. What’s exciting about the fashion scene in Austin right now, is that it has finally begun to reach a big enough audience such that we can truly judge designers on a higher level. The bar continues to be raised while more and more Austinites start to voice their opinions. And just because someone was on a few episodes of a TV show, doesn’t necessarily mean we have to love everything they put out. Friday night’s runway shows proved this.
“Dream Pop.” That’s what Crowned Bird designer Priscilla Barroso said inspired her latest collection which she showed on the final night of runway shows at La Zona Rosa for Austin Fashion Week. ”I dreamt of what I would want to wear if I went to Sweden” chuckles Priscilla in her unique giggle. Priscilla is no doubt a dreamer, and whenever I am with the Crowned Bird designer, I honestly feel like I am in a dream.
There’s something about this little lady that not only attracts attention (we went to brunch one day and a hair stylist came up to our table and asked to take a picture of Priscilla’s self-cut pixie), but also induces a childlike joy (on that same day we went and rode a little kid rocket ship carousel ride together at the Pecan Street Festival.) Priscilla’s quirky and upbeat nature is infectious and this feeling is definitely reflected in her clothing. Cute, retro inspired, playful, and charming, are all words I would confidently use to describe Crowned Bird.