Fashion Houston 2011 Preview: It's Getting Haute in Here

Paris, Milan, New York...Houston? IAH or Hobby airports might be the first things that come to mind when you hear "Houston" and "runway" in the same sentence, but powerful fashion forces are working to change that. With New York Fashion Week in full swing, Houston is prepping for its very own second annual Fashion Houston.

From October 10 to October 13, downtown Houston will be transformed into a fashion mecca where local, national and international designers will showcase their latest collections to an eager, style-savvy Bayou City. Last we checked, there were only two spots on the lineup that have yet to be filled, but they're already in the company of talented, up-and-coming and renowned designers:

Jerri Moore: Third-generation Houstonian Jerri Moore is opening the event, showcasing her beautifully constructed gowns and separates from her "Transformations" collection as well as some new ultra-feminine, vintage silver-screen goddess-inspired pieces. "I'm really looking forward to meeting the other designers, to see where their inspiration comes from," Moore told us over the phone. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Cesar Galindo: A native Houstonian and veteran of Bravo TV's The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection, Cesar Galindo has worked for Dolce & Gabbana, designed for Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. clothing line and is part of The Creative Development and Design Team at Calvin Klein Women's Collection. Cesar, making his second appearance at Fashion Houston, will be showcasing his secondary line, CZAR and Rojo, an all-red collection.

Chloe Dao, owner of Lot 8 Boutique on Kirby, creator of Simply. Chloe Dao for QVC and her own line, Dao Chloe Dao, will also be making her second appearance at Fashion Houston. When asked what we can expect to see from Chloe this year at Fashion Houston, her sister, Sydney Dao, said: "The DCD collection is full of bold, bright prints with nods to the '60s. Chloe's been known for her beautiful, timeless eveningwear in silk, charmeuse and chiffons. But this season, spring will have a mixture of prints in cotton jacquard, silk jersey and silk faille. Silhouettes are kept simple yet sexy with lots of back details."

Barbara Tfank: The Los Angeles-based, trend-bucking designer Barbara Tfank started out creating costumes for feature films. She has dressed Michelle Obama and Adele and is known for her classy, vintage-inspired silhouettes that call to mind the small-screen beauties of Mad Men.

Project360: Patrick Schwarzenegger (yes, that Schwarzenegger), Nick Sheinberg and Kimberly Barth began Project360 to utilize fashion as a "vehicle to generate social awareness of important global issues such as Alzheimer's disease, cancer and children in need." Many products are made with up-cycled materials and for each item sold, Project360 donates a portion of its profits to charity.

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Douglas Hannant is known for his "couture sportswear separates" (designed for the Park Avenue set that actually vacations), dramatic gowns and elegant wedding dresses. His Resort 2012 collection was heavily nautical-inspired, featuring lots of blue and white stripes and sailor caps.

J. Mendel, a brand originally known for fur, now ranges from glamorous gowns to a full women's ready-to-wear line. The Resort 2012 collection features color blocked, asymmetrical, texture-rich pieces inspired by the natural scenic beauty of Utah.

Other notable names on the lineup include Robert Rodriguez, Carmen Marc Valvo, Fabiola Arias and Norman Ambrose. Aries Milan, owner of Coquette Boutique & Bistro on Westheimer in Montrose, will launch her new line, Kate Kills Pretty, on October 11.

For tickets, schedules and more information, visit FashionHouston.net

Will you be attending Fashion Houston 2011? If so, whose collection are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments section.

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