There’s always been a great truth in the saying ” the devil is in the details” tonight was no exception.
Walking the mansion that was the venue, I was greeted by a table of lovely people who smoothly and quickly checked us in. From there the room was filled with some of Houston’s most fashionable faces wearing some very chic and forward pieces. For this segment of the evening a live band was on deck and set the mood high and happy accompanied by delicious light bites from Chef Vigo. The cocktails sponsored by Hennessy, while lacking in variety, were quite tasty. After a nice time mingling the band wrapped up it’s last set, an announcement was made, and the crowd made it way outside to see the show. The grounds of the mansion with its massive pool, water feature, and bridge were turned into a curvaceous, flowing, runway lined with bamboo chairs and lantern lights. It was quite a serene and enchanting sight. I was escorted to my seat and shortly after the shown began set to the musical styling of Lee Lonn Walker and Luke Whitney.
First up Chasity Sereal. For this collection, gone were her whimsical extravaganzas, for more stately technical pieces in black. The collection was a marvel in texture more so than an outright visual appeal. One dress stole the show and was much deserving of the ooos and ahhhs. That said I still felt a little mixed being a huge fan of this designer. A couple of the designs lacked her keen eye for visual renaissance, and a little contrasting color, even in a small dose, would have been a good contribution to otherwise beautiful garments. That said, the designs still held true to Sereal’s fabulous reputation for exemplary work.
With a short pause it was headlining designer Jamel Hawk‘s collection.
Jamel kicks it into high gear with a renegade line of military influences infused with street smart practicality. It was a welcomed sight to see more creative boundaries pushed in a ode to Japanese street style. There were a couple of Oversized coats. One worn cleverly as a dress, a camo poncho that would make the hits list of anyone’s wardrobe, and a sheer camo set that was down right criminally good. The shirts featured contrast trim, a vinyl collar on a crisp tuxedo shirt, and a origami like motorcycle jacket with sheer sleeves to make this a blazing presentation. It wasn’t all perfect pieces however. The elastic waist band on some of the slacks just looked unpolished in my opinion, as well as a khaki pant/sweatshirt look that was just too simple to make an impact. The collection still was incredibly strong and communicated that Jamel is fine tuning his signature aesthetic as a designer.
Overall the show was a success with the only misses being the lack of lighting at the beginning of the runway, and the venue’s auxiliary parking seeming a bit like an after thought. Executive producer John Roy really challenged himself to make a unique experience for all the attendees and that he did accomplish. The singer chosen to play over the show was a great touch and added to the ambiance, the runway path albeit long, was creative and gave the clothing visual context. The Houston fashion scene is on the rise and this was one of many shows to come that are going to help raise the bar.
Written by: Omar Lisandro
Photographer: Dick Clarke
Photographer: Charlie Ewing