Last night Fashion Houston continued with another series of strong showings by designers Rebecca Taylor, Bibhu Mohapatra, Nicole Miller, Peter Millar (for men), and Yigal Azrouël with his Cut 25 line, which is available at Tootsie's. Azrouël will show his eponymous collection tonight, along with Rolando Santana, Chloe Dao, and David Peck; the Cut 25 line was impressive, and his second show is eagerly anticipated.
On the runway, Mohapatra and Azrouël made the biggest impact; Mohapatra with a collection done in feminine, joyful colors and prints, and Azrouël with a collection that was youthful without being twee, and beautifully constructed, simple statement pieces.
Crowd-watching was just a little less exciting on night two, although spotting Chef Philippe Schmit in any crowd is good for at least one long, protracted swoon. It seemed like there was a lot more Chanel couture than on night two, but you find what you're looking for, right? One gentleman was wearing a smashing silk smoking jacket, and it was very hard not to reach out and pet his arm in between shows. It looked so soft!
As for the runway, here are some quick notes about the collections:
• Nicole Miller showed the same collection she showed at fashion week, but mentioned earlier in the evening that we would see some surprises. The collection, loosely inspired by the Gardens of Versailles, included a few new pieces; Miller said she goes for a contrast that blends uptown and downtown, good girl vs. bad girl. • Bibhu Mohapatra opened the show with a stunning, feminine collection with bold prints and fresh colors, like juicy tangerines and yellows. He has a reputation for being a sweetheart, which seems true -- the line to meet him in the green room was miles long at the first intermission. • Rebecca Taylor's collection was a crowd favorite, and Twitter was lighting up with compliments during the show. The clothes have a young, Taylor Swift vibe but are still sophisticated. • Peter Millar's men's collection also resonated with the crowd, and showed that menswear can be cool, sophisticated, and ratty T-shirt-free. Also, wouldn't it be great if all guys went around with their shirts sort of rakishly half-tucked in all the time? • And finally, Yigal Azrouël, whose eye-popping collection played with dark and light, hard and soft, edgy and elegant. Anyone who can make women die to own an open back grey sweatshirt with a cape knows how to make clothes. Think 'Lea Michelle' to Rebecca Taylor's 'Taylor Swift' vibe.
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The highlight of the night was a moment in the green room when, during our interview, Nicole Miller sat up and looked across the room and asked, "Is that woman wearing a sheer dress? Seriously, is she wearing an unlined dress?" It was hard to determine without staring, but it certainly appeared that the young woman in question was, in fact, wearing an unlined, black embroidered lace dress. Before settling back in to tell us about her collection, and her favorite thing in Houston ("The FOOD! Houston has the most amazing food.") Miller paused, considering the sheer dress, and said, "Well, it looks like one of ours, but it's not. I promise."