Texans In The Tents at Fashion Week
Due to the sheer magnitude of Fashion Week, it would seem the chances of running into anyone you know would be remote. Lucky for me, there are more than a few familiar faces backstage, in the pit and on the catwalk. Since my first time at Fashion Week as a reporter in 2004, the six degrees of separation now feel like they’ve whittled their way down to just a few degrees.
At my first fashion week, I felt like a fish out of water. Well, more like a guppy just learning to swim. As I learned the ropes of photographer protocol and networked with folks who basically are also fish in what begins to feel like a smaller and smaller pond the more you go, what I found back then is there are a lot of Texans in the fashion week tents.
As I write this on our flight to New York to a cover the shows, and the Fall Fashion we’ll see on racks in September, I’m most excited to re-connect, sort of like a summer camp for big people, with talented folks who help make the shows a success. So many of these people are Texans!
The University of Texas Fashion Group
The UT Fashion Group has been assisting backstage as dressers for more than 10 years for the following designers, Timo Weiland, Tess Giberson, Lela Rose and most recently they experienced their first “front of house” duties in September 2012 at the Project Runway finale taping.
As dressers, the students are responsible for making sure the designer’s collection is in pristine condition and the model is dressed in each look on time, whether it’s zipping zippers or tying shoes.
Backstage is chaos, but for these students, it’s the hustle and bustle of an exciting experience, and a look into the real world of fashion. Many of these students will make some lifetime fashion choices for internships and eventually will make it into the “real” world.
Texas Designer, Lela Rose told me after her show in September she has enjoyed having the UT fashion group be a part of her backstage production crew.
Attendees for this season are:
Angeli Aguilera, Anh Nguyen, Annie Lee, Anna Lawson, Carolina Ramos, Cristal Martinez, Demetrius White, Jade Watermiller, Jarie Maldonado, Jenny Cole, Roberta Izquierdo, Shelby Smith, Victoria Espinoza, Zoe Patterson
Gerry Hanan – Round Rock, TX
This Irish-born photographer has many accomplishments under his fashion belt. He not only is the at the top and back of the press pit, which is typically reserved for the best of the best photographers who stand on homemade boxes made of duck tape to make sure no head is in the way of their lenses. Gerry stands tall shooting beautiful images and in some cases he will be shooting for top clients like Maybelline New York or the photohouse Corbis. It has been fun to be in the same photography pit with him as he adds a touch of genuine Texas hospitality laced with an Irish accent.
Look for our video feature on Gerry during Fashion Week.
Edie has a flare for a great eye with anything stylish. She is a interior designer/stylist by trade but expanded her love for anything creative to fashion which was a natural fit for her. She is a fashion stylish with the Dragonfly Agency in Dallas. You may have seen one of her fashion layouts from Austin Lifestyle Magazine and if your closet needs a pick me up, Edie is your go to gal to update your look or revamp your closet.
Fashion Show Producer
A Houston native, and most-recently an Austinite until about a year or so ago, Melissa is the owner of Fly Productions. She works directly with the designer to create the entire concept for a fashion show. From selecting the music, light direction, to the materials for the runway, it is all on the shoulders of Melissa and her Fly team. Her clients have included Naeem Kahn, Rebecca Taylor, DL 1961, Jill Stuart, Chris Benz, Badgley Mischka and Calvin Klein. She can be seen backstage directing the lead makeup and hair designers making sure the models are picture perfect for the runway. After a sound and light check run thru, she perches herself high in the corner of the tent and calls “lights up, model walk.” Then, the magic of the fashion show begins.
To learn more about Melissa click here.
Designer – Christi du Mesnil Craven
Christi is somewhat of a newcomer to the Austin Design scene. In March 2012, Christi publicly launched Lilly Lorraine Inc. at the SXSW Fashion Exhibit Style X where she received incredible reviews for two pieces she designed and created a textile for the Francina Mermaid Gown and Lilly Brocaded Tunic. Christi has a patent pending for the technique used in both pieces. You can now find Lilly Lorraine garments on sale online and inside her bright downtown Austin Showroom. It’s there Christi continues the legacy of her inspiring grandmother by sharing the gift of beauty through her wearable designs.
Culture Map Houston
Cliff has enjoyed a long, successful journalism career at the Houston Post and Houston Chronicle. Clifford Pugh has discovered the joys of the web in creating a unique news and information site that covers Houston in real time for the daily news site Culture Map Houston. His claim to journalism fame came at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, when screenwriter Alexander Payne asked him to hold his Oscar while he went to the bathroom. Cliff is busy jumping from show to show inside the tents at Fashion Week and brings an interesting prospective to the articles he writes. It’s nice to have a man’s opinion in the industry.
Fashionably Austin is supported by our friends at Austin Infiniti, Beauty on the Go and Ideal Heel!