Friday night: the most anticipated night for Runways and Marketplace at Austin Fashion Week. The crowd is buzzing with end-of-the-week anticipation as some of Austin’s, and America’s, most creatively innovative and stylishly savvy minds take the runway. Their featured collections silence the room and send waves of whispers through audience as each designer unveils the culmination of their career, thus far. It is edgy, it is raw, it is fashionably forward fashion. Austin Style waits, heart racing, as the first model steps to the u-shaped runway.
A second NBC Fashion Star alum, Priscilla Barroso, awakened the crowd with her line – Crowned Bird. The collection was very Austin in a feminine, soft, and quietly flirty style. The designer featured lots of bows, high-low tops, and hats. The hats: reminiscent of the 20s. If Daisy Buchanan lived in 2013, she would be wearing Crowned Bird. The fabric was lightweight, loosely fitted and apropos for the looming spring and summer. Overall, the line was impressive. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Crowned Bird popping up in the shops on SoCo, if it isn’t there already. You can shop the current retail for Crowned Bird here.
Southern Belles, Three07, brought a sophisticated Alabama swank to the runway Friday night. Created by three college design students, Three07 emits an air of femininity and deep southern charm. The label presented big hats paired with off the shoulder, printed dresses to create a lazy, and fashionably chic summer look. The colors were mostly light and demure, with a few pops of “that red” that was seen in the previous night’s KHG showcase. If one were spending a spring in the blue grass or a summer on the coast, it would be Three07 that fills the suitcase. Perfect for summer, the south, and Austin, Three07 delivered a wonderfully classic southern collection. Shop the label here.
Pearl Southern Couture
The second southern designer to walk the runway was the line of Pearl Southern Couture. A Dallas native, designer Amber Perley brightened up the room with bold hues of green, red, and blue. Her fun, girly, and flirty collection screamed festival wear and elicited excitement from the audience. Pearl featured lots of off the shoulder dresses and tops, paired with floppy hats and sandals. Amber Perley is another Texas native to compete on NBC’s Fashion Star. You can shop the current collection for Pearl Southern Couture here.
Vian Hunter, another Fashion Star alumni, brought a retro-inspired look of the 60s to her showcase. The first few models wore printed frocks; cap sleeve, fall to the knee, and full-skirted “trudy” frocks. Hunter followed up the airy, flirtatious look of spring with a black leather skirt and silk leopard shirt combination – a pairing that was somewhat androgynous, but very sexy. “That red” from the KHG collection was also spotted trekking down the runway in a silk sleeveless blouse. Vian Hunter mixes her affinity of the retro era with the sophisticated femininity of the modern woman. You can shop the Vian Hunter collection online, here.
RVN (Young & Fabulous)
Young & Fabulous presented another designer to AFW, and with RVN came a stampede of models dominating the runway in black leather pants (with zippers, all the way up the side – an immediate favorite), long sleeve and full skirted ice skater dresses, clean silhouettes and a no-fuss attitude of chic New York Style. The designers of Young & Fabulous are notoriously sharp, dapper even, and continue to embody the style of a brisk-walking New Yorkers. Their labels emit and air of effortless style on the go. The collection featured purples, charcoal, black and a few pops of “that KHG red” – a color that seems to making a swift introduction all over the runway this season. Shop the swanky apparel of RVN at Young & Fabulous.
Highly anticipated, patiently awaited – Ross Bennett’s runway showcase took the culmination of his AFW predecessors and sent them spiraling into his wake. Classical Chaos, the RBC fall line, blends edge and silent seduction into a barrage of fashion genius. The heavy theme of black accented in gold, or red, creates a flattering silhouette for women to embrace. Bennett’s use of color elicits an after hours, maybe even daytime, ambience of classical confidence. The RBC showcase did not disappoint, and lifted the crowd into an eruption of camera flashes and croons of approval. Ross Bennett is on the move, and everyone is following. Shop RBC here.
Austin local, Lilly Lorraine, presented a collection rich in hedonism. The designer favored long dresses and jackets that hugged the silhouette. The accents for many of the sweater pieces (dresses, mainly) were chunky and rich in color and in fabric. Again, “that red” appeared in a show-stopping gown that strode confidently down the runway. The style of “that red” in “that gown” was classy, and gorgeous, and embodied the definition of the female character. Lilly Lorraine has definitely made a name for herself, and Austin is proud to house her collection. You can also shop Lilly Lorraine online here.
Energetic, enthusiastic, and fashion forward, Daniel Esquivel brought a bursting array of color to his showcase for AFW. The designer seemed to favor black, white, and yellow, with a nod to pink chiffon and “that red”. The first dress on the runway was a black and white polka dot gown, with angled cutouts around the neck and a train the followed the model down the runway. The look was stunning, and nicely fitted for spring – or summer. Or fall, even. Esquivel also featured a men’s line, and was one of the only (outside of the Megan Summerville’s underwear collection) designers to do so. The energy this man brings to the stage is infectious, and mirrors his own passion for creative freedom and fashion. Esquivel recently competed in Lifetime’s Project Runway and is a proud native of Austin, TX.
As the Runways and Marketplace events of Austin Fashion Week come to a close, the city is left with a head full of names and clothing, designers and fall collections. In its entirety, the Runway showcase presented fashion that would appeal to any demographic. The contributors shared a wide variety of style and creativity that is much like Austin: you can wear anything, anywhere, in this city. Personal style is a preference, and Austin embraces the character of individuality. Until next year.
© Lindsay Watson
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