Houston Fashion Week, Day Three: Chloe Dao, Irina Shabayeva and Marc Bouwer

Marc Bouwer presented bold, powerful prints.
Marc Bouwer presented bold, powerful prints.
Jay Marroquin

Normally, all fashion shows are odes to women and their endless ability to change from goddess divine to Jersey Shore party girl and back again, but day three at Houston Fashion Week was an ultimate ode to women and fun.

Chloe Dao opened up the festivities with Brigitte Bardot's "Moi Je Joue" and about 20 balloons. The second-season winner of Project Runway's inspiration was the Think Pink scarf she designed this past year. The bird motif represents freedom and flight and the roaring '20s, a celebration of women and all their glory. Dao's collection was happy, girly and bouncy: high-waisted shorts with bird-wing pockets and evening-style rompers. Jewel-toned blue, bubble-gum pink, ruby pink and light blue were combined in color blocking that went on forever. The collection was mostly comprised of her ready-to-wear garments that'll surely be seen at her Lot 8 store.

Irina Shabayeva, best known as the season-six winner of Project Runway, brought the whole shebang. Her collection was everything a modern girl would need in her closet to go out and have fun. She opened with a black micro-mini long sleeve with laser cut-outs and the collection interspersed between shades of nude and bright red. With a butterfly pattern and draped fabric in the shape of a rose, the inspiration for this collection clearly was nature. Her goddess sprung from nature and rocked out with gold power-mini tube dresses and see-through corseted ball gowns, but they all kept their flower-bejeweled crowns.

Irina Shabayeva
Irina Shabayeva
Jay Marroquin

Kiton is the ultimate in Italian suit makers. The Paone Family has been making fine suits since the '60s. With vintage fabrics and classic cuts, the base suits are sure to make any man look sophisticated. The clothing was quintessentially male, but it was still an ode to women everywhere (thanks to the two heavenly male models in nothing but fluorescent swim trunks). Menswear according to Kiton should be fun and accessorized with oversized briefcases, fur-lined knit sweaters, knitted hoodies with suit pants and mixed-patterned jackets with solid pants. And it was no-holds-barred on color: Pink isn't just for women; men can use it sparingly in bowties and shoes.

Marc Bouwer's ultimate badasses.
Marc Bouwer's ultimate badasses.
Jay Marroquin

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Marc Bouwer presented a show of ultimate-badass-power-tribal women. Each model posed with her fists clenched on her hips, legs spread and glaring at the photographers. His garments were full of bold prints in black, white and red--absolute power colors. Bouwer's big shoulders and Japanese-warrior Kimono sleeves reinforced his fierce patterns. Bouwer moved on to solids (red, yellow, blue, green and back to black and white). All were extremely sophisticated; the cocktail dresses, gowns--even the swimsuits could be exceptional tops with a pair of pants or a skirt thrown over. Bouwer's collection debuted here in Houston, and three of the gowns were freshly completed. The finale dress, full-length with a high collar and cropped, upward-turned shoulders, entirely inlayed with gorgeous slate and black sequins, was the perfect way to cap the night.

(Go to our slideshow of photos from Day Three.)


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