Austin Fashion Week brought elegance and dramatic turns along runways around Austin last week.
Moved from August to May this year, the nine-day event included more than 30 runway shows; 100 designers; 30 retailers; 100 people doing hair and makeup; 70 models; and 242 mashup team members on 41 teams that paired designers with hair stylists, makeup designers, photographers, models and stylists to create one look.
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Designers we can’t wait to see more from
Daniel Esquivel: The recent “Project Runway” contestant and Austin designer ended Friday night with a collection that was fun with giant silver polka dots on little black dresses, a navy polka dot gown with rabbit ears in the front, a bright yellow shorts and strapless top with black belt, and a stunning multilayered soft pink gown with silver straps.
“I had a blast,” he said right after the show ended. “It’s all about doing what I want and love to do.”
Christi du Mesnil Craven of Lilly Lorraine: The Austinite has spent more than two years researching a fabric she created called bambli, a mix of bamboo, cashmere and Merino wool. While lightweight and very breathable, bambli creates an interesting texture that turned heads whether in gray, heather or red as it was showcased on the runway Friday night.
Amber Perley of Pearl Southern Couture: The Austinite and “Fashion Star” contestant brought the feminine Friday night. Carrying giant lollipops, models came wearing bright colors in short flared dresses or bright tops with short shorts. She also celebrated large patterned lace in interesting ways and in a variety of colors. She says she likes to stick to a classic design aesthetic and loves the “girly.”
Priscilla Barroso of Crowned Bird: Also from “Fashion Star” fame, she kicked off Friday evening with playful patterns from a shirt and pants set with orange slices dancing across it to trouts swimming across a skirt. She also played with florals, lace, hats and thigh-high stockings, bright colors, plaids and bows.
Her look, she says, is inspired by her travels and her Turkish-Panamanian heritage. It represents freedom and being free, she says. “A Crowned Bird girl knows who she is.”
Megan Summerville: The Austinite’s line of hand-dyed silk bras and panties dazzled on May 9 in soft midnight blues, peaches, rust, pinks and classic black and white. One fun look was a take on a garter belt that offered the outline of a skirt over a black one piece. Her matchup look in green gems and her all-white lingerie for Noir also impressed.
Isabella Rose Taylor of Isabella Rose: Taylor’s design aesthetic has evolved since her show last year. On May 8, the 12-year-old Austinite brought more urban contemporary looks down the runway, including metallic mini dresses, cropped leather jackets and lace hoodies. Models accessorized with Converse sneakers, boots, and leather caps and knitted beanies.
Leigh Reveley Kellogg and Crickett Lapeyre of Libellue: The line from New Orleans blends modern details with vintage style that flatters the body. It features pleats and darts for a more tailored look that’s inspired by the late 1930s.
Katherine Michael Northcott of Katherine Michael: The Lubbock designer’s uber-feminine flowy looks also have an edge to them. Northcott finds “sad dresses no one wants” in thrift shops and flea markets and transforms them. “I don’t have any formal design training, but I can envision what’s possible.”
Christine Porter of Raggdahl: The Dallas line’s out-of-the-box looks garnered some of the biggest audience cheers on May 8. The first look was a stunning mustard-color coat with a slit up to the waist that had the crowd oohing and aahing. Other memorable looks included studded sweaters, a spiked bustier and a teal tutu.
Jamie Slye Designs: Recent Austinite Jamie Slye finds vintage items from coat clips to buttons to brooches and crafts them into a unique headpiece. “Every piece tells a story,” she says. “You never know who wore that brooch before.”
Jessica Faith Marshall: Her fall/winter 2013 collection was inspired by the city at night, influenced by her early years near New York City. The 13-year-old Austinite is drawn to designing for a glamorous woman. Her sophisticated evening wear also incorporates some separates that can be dressed up such as jackets, skirts and shorts.
See more photos, more coverage of Austin Fashion Week online at statesman.com/style.