We are very well accustomed to thinking of the fashion world in terms of New York, Paris and Milan. Anything local, anything less recognizable is deemed less desirable for some reason. I don’t believe it’s true. In fact, the names that now grace the runways of New York and Paris had to come from somewhere. That’s why events, such as Fashion Week Dallas, are so fascinating and so important. They give the opportunity to emerging designers and local stars to showcase their collections, and offer guests a unique and vibrant experience of a live fashion show.
Fashion X Dallas, took place at the Fashion Industry Gallery September 8th through 10th, is a growing success in Dallas. In its third year, it drew an esteemed group of designers, and attracted a vibrant crowd of attendees on each of the consecutive days. The program was an interesting combination of STARS (well-known designers who brought their collections specifically to be shown in Dallas), LOCALS (established local brands), and CAPSULES (mini collections by emerging designers). Fashion X Dallas also recognized and honored Style Setters – celebrity personalities, who have impacted the Dallas social scene by their formidable and fashionable presence – and raised money to benefit causes selected by them.
On Thursday, September 8th, Runways honored LeeAnne Locken, Cast Member of REAL HOUSEWIVES of DALLAS, and Steve Kemble, our own “America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru”, and supported their charity of choice – AIDS Services of Dallas. Project Runway Season 2 winner, Chloe Dao, presented an elegant, yet relaxed and vibrant collection that focused predominantly on dresses. Michelle Lesniak, the winner of Project Runway Season 11, showed feminine, upbeat and somewhat quirky aesthetic. My favorite was a delicate lace blouse with fringe. Daniel Esquivel, contestant on Season 11 of Lifetime’s Project Runway, offered a mix of modern, elegant, and eccentric looks – both to please and to surprise!
Among the LOCALS, we admired the classic and timeless looks of LIZNA, fairytale imaginings of LOREN FRANCO, easy to care and easy to wear comforts of ABI FERRIN, bold statements of CLAN OF CRO, and, of course, the exquisite out-of-this world gowns by BINZARIO COUTURE. Capsule collections were shown by MEGMORGAN, CRISTAL MARTINEZ, LADY OF INFLUENCE, APLOMO and COLT –COLLECTIONS.
On Friday the excitement heated up when Heidi Dillon appeared on the scene. A high-profile Dallasite best known for founding the well-known non-profit organization, THE FASHIONISTAS, and deeply involved in the city’s philanthropic and charity world, she walked the runway as the style setter, and selected portion of the proceeds to benefitting the FGI Dallas Scholarship Fund. On Friday STARS were GUNNAR DEATHERAGE, seasons 9 & 10 of Lifetime’s Project Runway, SONJA WILLIAMS, New York designer, who secured the look for Heidi Klum’s children’s line, Truly Scrumptious, and AMANDA VALENTINE, a Nashville-based clothing and accessory collection designer, and celebrity stylist. Gunnar Deatherage wowed with the his artistic irreverence, Amanda Valentine inspired by the use of bold geometric compositions, while Something by Sonja brand offered toned down softness of the urban New York.
LOCAL presentations included fun and flirty BUDDYLOVE and IZZY&LOLA, mature and sensuous GUSTAVIA, and absolutely incredible vintage fashion by Vintage Martini. Special notes should be made for the adorable children’s fashion show by THE PORCELAIN TEACUP, sexy and elegant men’s line by SUITSUPPLY, and rebellious and wild THIS IS SLOANE. Capsule collections were shown by SIXCHEL, SYMBOLOGY, SHALON B, and the stunning surprise of the evening NOUR DIAB with her fabulously embroidered gowns.
VIP guests started the last day of Fashion X Dallas at the VIP Sponsored party by Cadillac. They even got to drive brand new Cadillacs XT5 to the FIG! Saturday was full of excitement. The Style Setter of the day was none other, but LINDA GRAY, an award winning actress, director and a former UN Goodwill Ambassador. Her role of ‘Sue Ellen” in the original TV series “Dallas” is known all over the world. In fact, I first saw the show back in Russia, as a young girl. Linda Gray chose Assist the Officers Foundation as the charity of the day.
STARS of the day were SEAN KELLY, Lifetime’s Project Runway Season 13 winner, and KORTO MOMOLU, a runner up of Season 5 Project Runway and the designer for such notables as Miss Universe and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. SEAN KELLY’s minimalistic elegance and unexpected silhouettes were inspiring, while KORTO MOMOLU’s original style derived from the essence of her rich Liberian heritage struck a chord with the crowd. Among the LOCALS we admired FERRAR for her provocative sophistication, BENTLY+LACE for sweet femininity, NINE MUSES COLLECTION for edgy and young, yet classic designs, BATCH No. 8 for charming artisanal attitude, TINSLEY RADIX for bold pattern use, and ESE AZENABOR for daring, extravagant luxury. ALANTUDE was the night’s DISCOVERY – Alan Gonzalez’s passion and imagination simply lit up the evening. CAPSULE appearances were presented by DAHL, FLAWLESS HONEY, ARCHETYPES 1.1, AISLING N. BERNARD, and ERICA DAWN WOODMORE.
Fashion X DALLAS created a very exciting event in our city – colorful, rich in experience, inspiration and fun. Fashion is not just what we see on the pages of Vogue and Glamour. Fashion is alive, thriving and passionate; it is a process of creation, a way of living. Being a part of it was a memorable and uplifting experience. I can’t wait to be a part of it all over again.