HFIG Houston Fashion Week, Day Two

Chloe Dao made an appearance at the Tranquility Park event.
Chloe Dao made an appearance at the Tranquility Park event.
Jay Marroquin

See photos from Day 2 of HFIG's Fashion Week in our slideshow.

HFIG's Friday night fashion shows at Tranquility Park were a grab bag of experienced tailors and novice artists. The designers delivered exciting, unique (and in some cases possibly un-wearable) garments. Houston has exceptional talent, and it's nice to see a runway filled with Houston-based artists and designers. Even though Chloe Dao showed at the Audi fashion week, she still made an appearance to support other Houston fashion designers.

If Callie Duty isn't the most popular girl in school, she might be now. At 15, Duty has already had a fashion show at a major Houston location with a full crowd. Her age did not impair her stellar color palette and garment construction. The collection boasted autumn reds, greens and gold. Duty's stand out garments included rope detailing, bubble wrap and a fringed flapper top.

Ebele Iloanya definitely has worldly knowledge on her side. She was born in Europe, raised in Africa, schooled in Scotland and now lives in the US. Her label MODChic is for women who love classic looks, but aren't afraid to incorporate some cutting edge. Her understated fabric choices, with soft, floral detail and evanescent shades of pale blues and pinks, were highlighted by contemporary cuts and geometric shapes.

Rachel Sanches' take on fashion is refreshing coming from such a young person. She makes her organic garments from eco-friendly fabric. Even though some of her models couldn't walk in the garments, the collection was a testament to possibility.

Wanying Guo sent matched pairs down the runway.
Wanying Guo sent matched pairs down the runway.
Jay Marroquin

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Originally from China and a well known and successful designer, Wanying Guo has brought her fashion line Dillion Dudd to America. At first glance, Dillion Dudd is a yuppie's-paradise line, with g-unit influences, but upon closer inspection some garments have a real chance at hipster classification. Wanying has taken a note from Les Kooples in France and sent paired female and male models down the runway. The matching outfits were too close for comfort, but highlights included crop-top sequins (yes, for both female and male), bright separates and even some geometric prints.

Chioma Ikoku and Uche Osamor have been using their UT engineering backgrounds to teach themselves design and sewing techniques. Both Nigerian-born Houston residents founded the elaniBLU fashion line and create their own prints from scratch. The main print was an African-inspired, blue-and-white diamond print interspersed with solid black, kooky draping and voluminous shoulders. The collection had modern written all over it without losing its African origins.

Malissa Long's fashion journey started when she was five upon receiving fashion plates as a child. Her 2011 collection was an eclectic mix of basic ready-to-wears and avant-garde evening dresses. Her collection included hand-dyed cotton in cute baby doll dresses and short shorts with hand-dyed silk evening gowns. The finale dress was basic white jersey knit with bright-orange hazard gates usually found near construction sites.

Stoi Phillips' "Stoi Alter Ego" line is a club-girl's dream come true. Her jersey skin-tight tube dresses, with bright-fluorescent choker-connected-to-belt ensembles, were the theme of the evening for Phillips. Her outside-the-box fashion has the ability to be an underground Houston favorite for hipsters.

Jennifer Dawn Gabiolo brought performance art and poetry slam to fashion with her 2011 collection. With a definite '70s vibe and boot-cut jeans with psychedelic prints in back, every garment was a differently styled version of the same T-shirt. The T-shirts had "I AM" in bold with smaller, unreadable text. The music of the collection was a poetry slam containing the same words.

Danny Nguyen's very clearly Native American-influenced collection was a definite showstopping finale. He is unwavering in his aspirations for unique and defined artistic style through fashion. His over-the-top detailing, bright colors, lack of editing and unquestionable sewing ability creates a dramatic story for the audience and is meant only for the stage!


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