A New York Fashion Designer's Houston Education

Fashion designer Lyn Devon didn't know what she'd find when she came to Houston to participate in our first-ever fashion week last year, at the urging of modeling agency owner Neal Hamil. She anticipated the women might all want "big ball gowns," rejecting her classic American sportswear as too subtle. But Houston proved her wrong, as it has a way of doing, and by the end of her Tootsies Trunk show later that week, Devon was sold on Houston--and Houston on her, buying over $100,000 worth of clothing in two days.

So now the designer has learned two things about Houston: We're quite fond of classic American sportswear, thank you, and some of us have very healthy clothing budgets. This wisdom in hand, Devon's back in town this week showing her Fall 2011 collection, now available for pre-order at Tootsies.

Which brings us to the collection itself: It's very, very appealing. Shapes are simple and flattering, fabrics are rich without being showy (leather!), and the colors are mostly neutral with a flash of sophisticated pattern mixed in. We're not surprised that the Tootsies crowd went for it in a big way, and we might just need to step up the pace of our own blogging in order to afford a little tidbit from Spring 2011 ourselves.

Devon says she'd like to return for the next Houston Fashion Week, and delve a bit more into the Houston lifestyle. She added that after this week's Wednesday night cocktail party at Tootsies, her party hosts drove her across the street for dinner at Armando's. Driving to dinner directly across the street? Devon says her hosts had suggested they drive instead of walk. "I think it's very Houston," she laughed.

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Jenny Staff Johnson